It’s all about the customer: Cisco solutions for seamless retail experiences

Discount Tire reaches new heights of efficiency and customer engagement.

From the pandemic to supply chain bottlenecks, the retail industry has had its share of challenges in recent months. That’s why digital transformation is more important than ever.

Those retailers that build a secure, flexible network infrastructure are in position to roll with the changes, whatever they may be. Because, as we’ve all learned, the unexpected will happen.

But retail today isn’t just about weathering challenges. It’s about creating exciting new experiences for customers. Experiences that are seamless, fast, and delightful, whether in-store, at home, or on a mobile device.

Discount Tire, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., is a leading tire and wheel retailer in the U.S. It’s known for its great prices and customer service. The company’s commitment to constantly improving its customer experience led Discount Tire to Cisco.

Some of these new innovations have been spurred by the pandemic and the ongoing supply chain issues. New-car sales have dropped, for example, and customers want to keep their older cars running as smoothly as possible. So, demand has risen: for the right products and services and for seamless, safe, and highly informed customer interactions — from anywhere.

By investing in Cisco Meraki and Cisco SD-WAN networking technologies, the company laid the foundation for innovative new solutions. These include the ability to carry out just about any interaction or purchase on a home or mobile device, before picking up products in the store. To speed service in and around stores, cameras also read license plates on parked or idling cars, to give store associates a jump on a particular car’s service history and current needs. And the company is evaluating smart speed bumps to examine the condition of tires, before customers even enter the store.

Given today’s supply chain challenges, inventory management is more important than ever. So, Discount Tire has implemented Cisco Meraki technologies that enable them to keep careful track of which products are where — and to streamline replenishment efforts. For commercial vehicles and fleet operators, this can also reduce downtime.

Beyond that, the company is also exploring more advanced solutions, with a demand-forecasting module that employs machine learning to incorporate multiple data streams to predict the effects of factors such as sales, promotions, and weather.

“These kinds of advanced tools are all about the delivering a better experience for the end customer,” said Gary Desai, CIO of Discount Tires. “We want to increase our engagement with customers, wherever they are. And serve them in ways that are as free from friction and frustration as possible. We want to deliver on our promise that customers can get a 30 percent shorter average wait time when they buy and book online.”

Read more about Cisco and Discount Tire in the Wall Street Journal.


Related content: