Why Auto Attendant holds the key to brand loyalty

Thanks to our technology-saturated world, consumers are increasingly expecting quicker and easier ordering. Today’s consumer wants to easily scroll through their options, personalize their specifications, input their orders and pay for their items, all with a few presses of a button. Whether in a store or restaurant, touch-enabled, our AA is a great way to provide consumers with this kind of streamlined, tech-driven experience. 

While digital kiosks provide business owners with a great way to optimize operational efficiency, boost sales and streamline the ordering process, they can also deliver increased customer loyalty. Generally, consumers are happy to use any technology — especially new technology — for the sake of experience, convenience, accuracy and customization. Self-serve kiosks fit the bill on all of the above. 

Meet the customer where they are

Since consumers are already interacting with the interface, digital kiosks are the perfect way for retailers and restaurant owners to serve up additional offerings in the sales interaction such as promotions, surveys and loyalty program sign-ups. 

Traditionally, loyalty programs are sold at the register, meaning the consumer is required to share their email address and personal information with and in front of other individuals in line. The need to rely completely on the cashier is outdated, especially now that we are used to doing everything ourselves on our phone. With individualized, digital interactions, consumers are much more willing to actually take the time to sign up properly and avoid errors. Once a customer leaves the store, it is often far too late to successfully market to them, so giving them an easy option of signing up for a loyalty program during the check-out process is incredibly valuable. 

In the age of “data is the new oil,” our AA is a prime way for businesses to build in-depth consumer profiles by tracking loyalty customer purchases. From there, the data can be used as marketing analytics to approach customers with personalized offers at specific times and upsell certain opportunities. The real-time consumer analytics provide unparalleled insight into what the customer is likely to buy and the type of promotion that could further maximize the sale, and consistently bring the customer back. 

Know your audience

By reinforcing quicker and easier shopping, businesses turn one-time customers into recurring visitors who are much more willing to sign up for loyalty programs. Plus, the accuracy and privacy of the self-serve kiosk process and the ease at which the information is collected make consumers feel more comfortable participating.

Once the user is signed up, the kiosk technology can also be programmed to recognize loyalty members every single time they make a purchase. As opposed to a cashier who may or may not remember to ask the guest if they’re a loyalty member, the kiosk will always do so and furthermore, make it easy for the member to scan their loyalty card or mobile app. Outside of the store, loyalty members are able to log in to their account and see the status of their funds anytime. Whether they have existing points or are looking to earn more, the system encourages users to physically return to the store. 

Business owners can also program the AA to notify loyalty customers when they are close to reaching different tiers in spending and convince them to earn and redeem points. For example, owners can create a prompt that lets the customer know they “could have earned 2,000 points for today’s purchase if they were a member of the loyalty program,” or that they “have 500 points and can earn another 200 towards their next purchase if they buy a pint of ice cream.”

Optimize the check-out process

Without digital kiosk technology, it is extremely difficult to capture the same level of consumer demographic information or offer all of the benefits and perks associated with loyalty programs. It is a loss for both the customer and the business if a loyalty transaction isn’t tracked, which only happens through a human error at the point of sale.

Whether it be efficiently collecting pertinent information and sharing it with the customer or confidently upselling bonus offerings, kiosks are much more successful at convincing a consumer to do something. 

With so many benefits available, digital kiosks are a fullproof way to enhance a business’s loyalty program and keep customers coming back for more.

In Filuet, we offer full digital kiosk solution, you can read more about our digital kiosk operations in the Herbalife Nutrition case study in our website: https://filuet.com/case/

Source: kioskmarketplace.com


At a recent technology show in Tokyo, a large robot arm reached into a full-sized mockup of a shipping container and began unloading boxes from it. Set on a platform that moved back and forth, the robot was doing a job usually carried out by warehouse workers and forklift operators. The goal of the company that’s developing it, Mujin, is total automation.

The system, still a prototype, doesn’t work perfectly — it accidentally damaged a box during the demo — but it’s going to be trialed in warehouses in Japan this year. “Lifting heavy boxes is probably the most backbreaking task in warehouse logistics,” said Mujin’s American co-founder and CTO, Rosen Diankov. “A lot of companies are looking for truck unloading systems, and I believe we’re the closest to commercialization.”

The Tokyo-based start-up is aiming to be a leader in automating logistics processes. To do that, it’s building robot controllers and camera systems and integrating them with existing industrial robot arms. The key product here is the controllers — each about the size of a briefcase, one for motion planning and one for vision — that act as an operating system that can control the hardware from any robot manufacturer. If a goal such as grasping an object is input, the controllers automatically can generate motions for robots, eliminating the traditional need to “teach” robots manually. The result, according to the company, is higher productivity for users.

Simply put, the technology — based on motion planning and computer vision — makes industrial robots capable of autonomous and intelligent action.

Mujin turned heads when it showed off its transformation of a warehouse operated by Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com. The 40,000-sq-m facility in Shanghai began full operations in June. It was equipped with 20 industrial robots that pick, transfer and pack packages using crates on conveyor belts, as well as camera systems and Mujin robot controllers. Other robots carted merchandise around to loading docks and trucks.

Amazon also has invested heavily in automating its fulfillment centers, buying Mass.-based robot company Kiva Systems for $775 million in 2012, but JD.com called its facility the world’s first fully automated e-commerce warehouse. Instead of the usual 400 to 500 workers needed to run a warehouse that size, it needs only five. And their job is only to service the machines, not run operations.


“My goal is to automate warehouses in America and make a lot of success stories there,” said Diankov. “But will people value that, and are there enough people with expertise to do it? That’s why we started in Japan.”

Mujin’s plan is to move away from customization for every client and standardize a complete automation package.

“Unfortunately, just having a robot system work perfectly is not enough, and we need to have the equipment and system around the robot to finally allow it to contribute to the operations of the business,” said Diankov. “Once there are enough solid standardized components for warehouse automation, we can focus our energies to quickly deploy and perfect them.”

Born in Bulgaria, Diankov moved to the United States at age 10 and studied robot engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, where he earned a Ph.D. After stints at seminal California robotics start-up Willow Garage and the University of Tokyo’s JSK Robotics Lab, he founded Mujin in 2011 with CEO Issei Takino.

Staffed by about 70 people, including many non-Japanese, the start-up is headquartered in a working class district on the eastern side of Tokyo. While preaching the value of automation at trade shows, the company reminds people that the number of workers in Japan is dropping by 2,125 per day, due to the country’s low birthrate and aging population.

“In the U.S., robot technology is often undervalued and directly compared to the value of human workers, ”said Diankov, “If you’re going to be competing with that from day one, maybe you have no room to grow quickly. In Japan they have a mindset that values robotics much more, even if it sometimes doesn’t make economic sense. They’re willing to jump into investments into robotics.”

Diankov believes fears of robots taking jobs from people don’t reflect the reality of the workplace.

“Introducing robots creates more jobs, and history has shown that’s been the case,” he said. “Companies that have embraced automation, like Toyota — it’s the biggest car company in the world now.”


Mujin is building smart machines based on model-based approaches to robotics. Unlike applications in the current fad for deep learning, Mujin’s controllers are not learning to accomplish a task through trial and error. There’s no guesswork involved. They’re programmed to do a specific task very well, and every position of every joint of a Mujin robot is tracked, down to the millisecond. While that lowers the possibility for error, it also imposes a massive computational burden on the controllers, so they’re equipped with fast microchips that can evaluate tens of thousands of possible moves, choosing the best one in less than a second.

“The approach is like that of a train, plane or rocket — you don’t want it to be self-learning, just predictable when it goes from A to B,” said Diankov. “That’s how you create innovation, with perfectly predictable systems. That’s what we’re trying to do with robotics. I like to call this machine intelligence, not artificial intelligence.”

Rosen said Mujin is probably the only robotics start-up doing this advanced robotics stuff that’s not working at a loss. The company has raised $7 million in VC funding from Tokyo venture capital firms JAFCO and the University of Tokyo Edge Capital. It’s also earning revenue from projects for Japanese firms, such as Askul, which specializes in e-commerce for office supplies, and Paltac, a logistics firm, as well as JD.com in China.”In the U.S., robot technology is often undervalued and directly compared to the value of human workers.”(Rosen Diankov, CO-FOUNDER AND CTO, MUJIN)

Mujin also has managed to penetrate Japan’s conservative $1.4 billion robot manufacturing industry, dominated by global players like Fanuc and Yaskawa Electric. It’s persuaded robot makers to loosen their tight grip on their confidential software so that Mujin controllers can directly run robot servomotors. Now the start-up wants to scale as quickly as possible and expand into the United States.

“End customers are choosing Mujin first before they choose the robots,” said Takino, who met Diankov when he was a salesman with Iscar, an Israeli machine tool company owned by Berkshire Hathaway. “We are robot controller makers, which is like Windows for industrial robots. Windows was popular for the killer application it introduced — browsing the internet. We want to make killer apps like bin picking as easy as possible.”

“We’re at the cusp where all these different automation technologies — including robot hardware, sensing hardware, AI algorithms, conveyor systems and sorting systems — coming together,” said Diankov. “Five years ago it was not possible, because there were too many unknowns. But today there’s a solution for each of these different components in the warehouse. And now it’s a race to see which company puts all the components together the fastest and has the end result. There are several choices for each component, and the jury’s still out on what a completely automated warehouse will look like.”


At Filuet group, the staff discuss logistics daily. But what exactly is logistics? According to businessdictionary.com, the definition of logistics is the: “planning, execution, fulfillment and control of the procurement, movement and stationing of personnel, material and other resources to achieve the objectives of a campaign, plan, project or strategy. It may also be defined as the ‘management of inventory in motion and at rest.’”

The Cambridge Dictionary defines logistics as “the careful organization of a complicated military, business or other activity so that it happens in a successful and effective way.”

Investopedia defines logistics as the “overall process of managing how resources are acquired, stored and transported to their final destination. Logistics management involves identifying prospective distributors and suppliers and determining their effectiveness and accessibility. Logistics managers are referred to as logisticians.”

Continuing, Investopedia explains that “Logistics was initially a military-based term used in reference to how military personnel obtained, stored and moved equipment and supplies. The term is now used widely in the business sector, particularly by companies in the manufacturing sectors, to refer to how resources are handled and moved along the supply chain.”

Each of these definitions is similar to the others, but there are certainly differences as well. But how did logistics begin?

An article on the Hopkins Distribution Company (based in Reno, Nevada), “The rise of logistics,” provides a great deal of information and is a “good read.” By the way, Hopkins offers another definition: “Logistics refers to the movement of products or services to a designated location at an agreed upon time, cost and condition.”

First, ancient Egyptian, Greek and then Roman armies conquered their known worlds. Each used military tactics that had never been seen before. The Roman legions, in particular, traveled thousands of miles from Rome and among other areas, conquered most of what is now Western Europe, Great Britain and Egypt. How? Again, military tactics were part of the reason for their success; another reason was the use of highly efficient logistics system to supply its legions and garrisons. Rome’s army certainly “lived off the land.” Additionally, however, military officers termed “logistikas” were assigned the duties of providing services related to supply and distribution of resources to Rome’s legions. Their job was to enable the soldiers to move from one post to another, or into battle, with all the required resources.

As the Roman Empire declined, other conquerors adapted the work of the logistikas. In the areas that had been under Roman control, they used and improved the efficient supply systems, roads and storehouses that the Romans had used. Forts and castles were not only used for effective defensive positions, but also as storage depots supported by the surrounding countryside.

Nordic, Italian, Spanish, French and English explorers set off to seek new lands; their logistical prowess (or lack thereof) often meant the success or failure of their missions.

Later, the invention of railway locomotion in the 1830s helped England lead the world during the Industrial Revolution. In addition to its railways, the English also used canals and an efficient (for the time) road system (some of it going back to the Roman Empire) to move goods around the country. And England’s fleet of ships allowed it to move goods to North America and colonies around the world.

In each war over the centuries, armies and navies were helped or hurt by their logistical capabilities. In the military, logistics officers are concerned with maintaining the supply lines of their own forces. Others in the military chain of command focus on the disruption of the enemy’s supplies, since an armed force without resources and/or transportation is soon unable to fight.

The internal-combustion engine was used first in automobiles and then trucks. Motorized transportation became part of the logistical equation (see earlier Flashback Friday articles about Fruehauf Trailer Company, Mack Trucks and White Motor Company). World War I was the first large-scale use of machines in warfare, and the first war to include motorized aircraft. After World War I, many nations’ industrial capabilities increased, as did their logistical needs.

During World War II, U.S. industry and military experts developed superior logistical methods and capabilities that helped supply the armed forces of the U.S. and its allies around the world. Among the key logistical tools used was the shipping container, which both Malcolm McLean and his Sea-Land Corporation and Fruehauf modified for civilian use after the war. As much as any single innovation, the shipping container revolutionized the global movement of freight and the world of logistics.

At the conclusion of World War II, the U.S. military continued to use its logistics to supply its bases in the United States around the world. But the science of logistics began to be used on a wide-scale basis for commercial applications.

Some of the information above, as well as greater detail on logistics and supply chain will be the subject of future Flashback Friday articles. However, the remainder of this article will focus on the early history of logistics.

Note that what is known as logistics has been around since ancient times, but was it was not termed “logistics” until the 1800s.

According to supplychainopz.com, a 2001 article by Lummas and others points out that the word “logistics” appeared in an English-language article in 1898. Many research-based articles point to the French word “logistique,” which appeared in the 1830 book Summary of the Art of War, written by Baron Antoine-Henri de Jomini, who had been a general in Napoleon’s army.

In his book, Jomini defined logistics as: “… the art of well ordering the functionings of an army, of well combining the order of troops in columns, the times of their departure, their itinerary, the means of communication necessary to assure their arrival at a named point …”

Jomini also explained that the word was derived from the French word “logis,” which translates to “lodgings.” French military terms include “maréchal des logis” (marshall of lodgings) and “major-général des logis” (major-general of lodging). In an English translation, Jomini wrote that from these titles of officers of the general staff came “the term logistique [logistics], which we employ to designate those who are in charge of the functionings of an army.”

However, supplychainopz.com points to the January 1810 issue of Scots Magazine and Edinburgh Literary Miscellany as the first appearance of the word “logistics.” The magazine noted on page 286 that Dr. William Muller, the first public instructor of military science at the University of Gottingen, planned to publish a book The Elements of the Art of War. The word “logistics” was used in that notice. The book was published in 1811 as The Elements of the Science of War.

Muller’s book covered tactics for soldiers with different functions – infantry, cavalry, artillery and pontonier (soldiers who construct bridges). According to supplychainopz.com, “Muller explained in a very comprehensive manner about how ‘movement’ of each type of soldiers should be done, which included marching, transportation, wheeling, advancing, formation, transport of heavy guns, how to cross the river, etc.”

Most date the first use of the term “supply chain” to the 1980s. But according to supplychainopz.com, the term was first used in 1905. An English newspaper, The Independent, published an article that contained “supply chain,” referring to the process of supply for British forces in India.

According to supplychainopz.com, the following conclusions about the history of logistics and supply chain management can be made: both “logistics” and “supply chain” developed from military operations (while many believe that the term “supply chain” had its origins in the industrial or manufacturing sectors); in military terminology, logistics deals with the movement of troops and supply chain is focused on resupply points in military operations; the terms are not synonymous or interchangeable, but work together; supply chain issues are not just inter-organizational.

Based on the research and information done by staff members at supplychainopz.com, its definition is “logistics is about movement or flow or arc(s), and supply chain is about resupply points or nodes.”

With Filuet, Whether you need a consultation or complete END-TO-END SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT,

we have the knowledge and the experience to provide you with the exact solution you need.


Retail has been going through a huge disruption and transformation recently, and the winners and losers of that disruption are still not entirely clear. But what is clear is that those who embrace the challenge and the technology have the best chance of being on the right side of this battle for the customer’s hard-earned dollars.

The new breed of retail giants such as Amazon and Alibaba are online marketplaces. They have based their entire business model on that technology and are using it to great effect, and their success is hard to ignore. Many of us think that Black Friday or Cyber Monday are the biggest retail days of the year, but they have now been surpassed by Singles’ Day. Singles’ Day is Alibaba’s biggest shopping day of the year, held on Nov. 11, and this year sales were more than $30 Billion. That’s all online and in one 24-hour period.

Traditional retailers are also well and truly focused on the drive for technology. Walmart’s Charles Redfield, executive vice president of food, was one of IBM lead Ginni Rometty’s guests in her keynote, and they talked about their partnership to use blockchain to improve the supply chain and, in turn, the traceability and the safety of the goods they sell. This is being driven throughout the supply chain regardless of vendor size in a way that’s easy to apply. This is an initiative that both Walmart and IBM expect to see rolled out industry-wide. Previously, tracing a banana from shelf to source took around seven days; now it takes just over two seconds. Fun fact: Walmart sells 1.5 Billion pounds of bananas every year.

In a press conference on Monday, Proctor and Gamble’s Phil Duncan, Marc Pritchard and Kathy Fish outlined how they are changing the way they operate, starting with how they innovate. Trends such as urbanization, a surge in the aging population, resource scarcity and the pervasive nature of digital technology are driving this huge business to try and think like a lean startup and develop ideas in a more agile and creative manner. In P&G’s words, they are “innovating how they innovate.” P&G currently has more than 130 startup-stage projects running, driving new ideas to the market faster than ever before, many of them technology led. They call this initiative the P&G Life Lab, and one of the many innovative products developed there is SK-II Smart Bottle, an AI supported shopping experience utilizing Augmented Reality (AR), Facial Recognition and Smart Packaging with Auto-replenishment, delivering personalized skincare when it is needed.

We know Smart Packaging is a game changer for retailers and brands, delivering, among other benefits, that highly prized frictionless shopping experience, particularly when paired with auto-replenishment. Imagine taking a handful of household products, such as washing detergent, coffee, toilet paper, wipes, etc., and never having to shop for them again. After all, you’ve already selected your brand and variety. Amazon’s Dash Replenishment Service allows third-parties to interface with its order and fulfillment services to have products delivered on a just-in-time basis. Let’s face it, we could all find something better to do with the time, energy and cognitive overhead wasted on shopping for these items.

As a member of the Amazon DRS Solution Providers program, we’ve helped numerous brands get value from smart packaging and auto-replenishment. While brand loyalty is an important driver, it is impossible to overestimate the value of the consumer data that comes from these systems. Jabil has also created connected sensing solutions that let the consumer or the ecosystem know when a product is ready for replenishment, all backed by the enterprise software to get the most from the data generated. We’re able to combine our ability to innovate and design technology with years of experience in packaging, along with the scale of a company with 100+ facilities, including dedicated packaging plants in most geographies.

Amazon knows a thing or two about frictionless retail. Their recent Amazon Go stores, opened in metro areas, allow shoppers to browse, pick up what they want and leave without having to interact with a cashier or sales assistant. Cameras detect what each customer picks up and charges it directly to their Amazon account. Walmart is now working with Microsoft to create something similar.

In-store things are changing radically, and one of the technologies making waves in stores is Virtual and Augmented Reality, or Mixed Reality as many call it. Smart mirrors are finding their way into stores allowing people to try virtual makeup or even clothes from online stock as well as physical stock. This blend of the virtual and physical world is something shoppers are becoming increasingly comfortable using. As an example, Ikea has a VR app that allows you to use your smartphone to see what a piece of furniture will look like in your own home.

Also finding a place in retail is the digital assistant, and in some cases robotic digital assistant. And robots are also working hard in retail stores and warehouses to make sure the stock is in the right place and the shelves are filled when they need to be. Badger Technologies, for example, provides a fully autonomous robot to address out-of-stock, planogram compliance, price integrity and other operational inefficiencies.

But by far the most important part of this technology puzzle and this retail revolution is data. The whole connected ecosystem is creating data like retailers have never seen before, and they are starting to unlock the potential of that data. Many are starting to utilize artificial intelligence (AI) to help them derive insight and make faster, better decisions on consumer preferences and behavior. 
At the end of the day, what you, as a consumer, want is a fast, frictionless, personalized service. And what the retailers want is the data that comes from this digital transformation to make sure they have what you want, when and where you need it.

“Original article was published on the Jabil Blog: https://www.jabil.com/blog/frictionless-retail-in-the-age-of-data.html


First of all, automated retail is not “vending”. Vending is your 2007 Nokia phone which allowed for texting and calls. With today’s smartphones you can do your banking, emails, book your holiday, read the news and so much more.

Basically the internet continues to change our lives, in particular, the way we shop….

Retailers are in big trouble. With today’s sky-high real estate costs, rent can be 25% of their monthly expenses. However, they pay rent 365 days a year, due to labour laws, holidays and other operational challenges, the store is closed more than it is open, in fact, more than 50% of the time the doors are shut.

So, in order to address this, we created the future of 24/7 self-service stores.

Our system, is a combination of software and hardware powering an automated retail machine, called an ASC, offering the benefit of 24/7/365 shopping.

Anything from cosmetics to electronics to medicine, every retailer can customise and manage their shop interface remotely, and select exactly which items are too placed in the machine. With the maximum size of one car parking place our machines can be deployed literally anywhere, airports, shopping malls or even as a “hole in the wall” retail ATM.

Not only that, it works in any language, and accepts any method of payment.

To the retailers our system brings the power of IoT & big data allowing suggestive cross-selling, upselling and online sales data upload to corporate ERP.

But there’s more to that. Tough ecommerce addresses some of these problems, it is limited. That is, because in order to enjoy the benefits of ecommerce the customer has to have a credit card. But in fact, 3.5B people around the world are unbankable and don’t have a credit card. In the UK market alone this stands for 2.3 million households, almost 10% of population.

We were able to overcome this challenge as well; our machine enables 24/7 access to the retailers e-commerce website, with the ease of paying cash. No address for delivery, no problem – the products will be delivered to a locker on the side of the machine. It puts the entire retail experience in the simplicity of using an ATM. In case you still think “vending” consider this comparison: The difference between automated retail and “vending” is like the difference between Uber and the traditional taxi station concept.

Unlike vending, our UI/UX is tailored to your special organization needs, which is a huge benefit for direct selling organizations. The UI\UX offers customers an easy on-line buying experience with immediate gratification.

In addition, have you ever tried to buy several items at once from a vending machine? You need to repeat the entire transaction each time you order. With the ASC product line, the customer can build a product basket, same as you do when you shop online. In a way automated retail can be compared to an instant online shopping experience.

These automated stores are a convenient and flexible solution – turning all our favourite shops into 24/7/365 locations with low CapEx (no expensive real estate) and low Opex (no staffing). We are living in exciting times.

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