You cannot grow to be one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world and a member of the Fortune 250 without a commitment to innovation through a robust portfolio of brands.
As a company that provides lightning-fast connections for its customers, this telecom enterprise also needs access to real-time data to make impactful decisions for their business. With numerous brands under its umbrella and over 15,000 employees, it is imperative initiatives are streamlined and crucial data is centralized.
Among their portfolio is a recently acquired mobile carrier who, over the last five years, has been implementing a refreshed retail experience for their customers. With over 5,000 retail locations across the U.S. this massive project was set in motion to outfit stores with updated graphics, optimized layouts, and new fixtures.
“We really wanted to up the retail experience,” says the brand’s leader of real estate operations and technology.
Implementing such an ambitious plan came with a huge set of challenges including:
- Connecting dozens of stakeholders and locations spread across the country
- Consolidating numerous data sources
- Creating a standard process to follow
- Integrating different technologies
Managing such a complex project requires a solution that can be flexible, integrated with numerous other technologies, and serve as a central source of truth.
After relying on painstaking manual processes at the beginning of the initiative, the team turned to Quickbase to eliminate wasted time and improve the system for retail stores vying for upgrades.
From End User of a Frustrating Process to Manager of an Efficient Operation with Quickbase
Prior to taking a leadership role within real estate operations and technology, this business leader worked in the field supporting retail stores and was an end-user of the retail refresh process.
For a store to receive the upgrades, the location submits an application to be reviewed by a central committee. The committee takes into consideration a store’s real estate profile, its location relative to target demographics, overall performance and potential ROI for new store outfitting.
At the beginning of the refresh initiative, the committee was small, and most of the process was being handled with spreadsheets and emails.
At the time, when a new site wanted to submit to the committee for review, they would need to fill out information in an Excel spreadsheet and either email the information or attach it to a record in Salesforce.
“If someone forgot to check a box, or update a cell on the spreadsheet, I would be the one chasing things down. There were times I had already submitted something but somewhere in the process it got lost, leading to repeated work and slowing down our progress,” they explain.
“With the number of locations we were opening at that time, it was almost a full-time job just to track where everything was in the real estate process.”
Very quickly stakeholders realized they needed a better system to capture all the data being submitted, integrate various technologies, and act as an end-to-end workflow management tool.
The team at the mobile carrier went through a process of identifying potential solutions and found:
- Traditional development would be too costly and time-intensive
- There was a huge desire for ease-of-use for users
- The solution would need to be flexible and handle changing needs
After clarifying their requirements, the team settled on Quickbase as their choice. Quickbase would give them the user-friendliness, flexibility, and accessibility they needed, the manager says.
“Quickbase gave us the ability to very quickly get ourselves up and running without having to wait on a very long turnaround because it's so user-friendly from a development standpoint.”
A Quickbase application turned the retail refresh project from being driven manually to smooth automation. “Before Quickbase, everything about our tracking process was difficult. It was especially difficult to have that holistic overview of all of our sites where they were in the process,” they point out.
“The Quickbase application has just been huge for us. We now have a system to manage the process. Our workforce can submit their information and be confident that it will get where it needs to go.”
The real estate ops team now has a central source of truth for everything relating to their retail locations. When new information is submitted it comes with a date and time stamp plus the person submitting it for easier tracking.
“There are a lot of processes to manage, and a lot of different pieces within those processes. Without having a solution like Quickbase, we just wouldn't be able to do it.”
The team continued to leverage Quickbase to improve this process. They added the ability to prospect new retail locations, without the need for a manual checklist.
“They can just do everything straight from the mobile application while they’re on site. It has saved a lot of time and energy. They have everything right at their fingertips. Users can take pictures and upload them immediately or come back and work on it later before sending it for final review.”
With the Quickbase application fully embedded, the refresh initiative continues to transform the retail experience for their customers.
Endless Use Cases for Quickbase Across the Organization
The single retail refresh process isn’t the only place where Quickbase is being leveraged.
“All processes related to anything store level — from fixtures to real estate — are managed through a Quickbase application,” says the real estate leader.
If a store closes and the fixtures from that location need to be repurposed, there’s a Quickbase application. The dealership interest form on the carrier’s website is even powered by an application.
From requests for communications materials to an inventory management application that’s in process, the team sees unlimited potential with Quickbase.
The endless opportunity the parent telecom company sees for Quickbase comes from the ability of any user to get up and running quickly — and build a tool that will make their job easier and more efficient.
“I'm not a programmer, I don't have a background in that. I have a background in operations and project management, and for me, Quickbase was just intuitive,” says the head of real estate operations.
“It's easy for a newer user to be able to use the system and build what you need and do it quickly. The ability to build solutions myself, and the ability to set permissions for each individual field, is hugely beneficial.”
They and their team are continuing to leverage Quickbase to tackle their biggest problems, make processes throughout the company more efficient, and ultimately improve the customer experience. Thanks to the ease-of-use and flexibility of Quickbase, these grand ambitions don’t require an enormous expansion of their budget or team.
“Without Quickbase, we would need 2-3x the amount of people we currently have today to support the rest of the retail wireless side of the business.”