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For the most part, the retail technology of today is moving in a similar direction. Retailers are incorporating innovative and robust digital infrastructures with one clear goal: to achieve greater customer engagement. They are seen investing millions of dollars for redefining a customer’s in-store experience and making it ideal shopping paradises that can attract and retain customers. However, the path to an engaging and customer-friendly retail store doesn’t begin with just incorporating new technology. The ‘magic’ happens only when every piece of technology and processes in the store are in sync with each other, working like seamless, well-oiled cogs and gears powering the in-store ‘digital engine.’
Retailers are the experts in choosing the right solution for their customers, but where can they find the expertise needed to onboard innovative technologies and keep these devices always connected and in perfect working condition?
For many retailers, the search often brings them to CrossCom, a field service management expert. With over 35 years of experience and a highly-skilled workforce, the company has been helping retailers transform their stores into technological hubs to engage and retain consumers. As an exceptional technology support service provider, the company caters to store infrastructures in retail, grocery, restaurant, and other similar environments, and helps them apply the best practices that create impeccable governance processes to offer measurable outcomes and repeatable business improvements and value.
The Driver of Innovation and Growth
As CrossCom celebrates over three decades of excellence in providing field service management solutions for distributed technologies, it would be interesting to note that the company’s journey began with installing and servicing phone systems in the Chicago area. CrossCom nationwide expansion started with helping one of its early clients—Walgreens—to replace the phone systems in their 1,200 stores around the country. It marked the launch of the company’s specialization in supporting retail environments throughout North America with its distributed field labor network.
In the following years, CrossCom focused on tailoring its services according to the needs of its retail clients. The company quickly expanded its services into the broader retail sector and entered the on-site support market for retail technology, including point of sale (POS), servers, networks, wireless, voice, and security.
Fast forward to 2021; CrossCom is a renowned name in the retail space for offering immaculate support desk services and technology assistance for many national retailers. The company deploys support desk personnel and systems, and provides other support services from its Tulsa, OK facility and its facility outside of Chicago, IL, further bolsters repair, staging, logistics, and warehousing operations. As an organization that is foresighted and proactive, CrossCom offers well-designed toolsets to assist its clients in their retail journey. Further, the internally managed offerings are tightly integrated—operationally and systematically—to provide unique governance-based outsourced services.
“We see ourselves as partners to retail, grocery and restaurant customers and support all aspects of their business, striving toward the common goal of enhancing the consumer experience,” says Greg Miller, president and CEO of CrossCom. This is clearly visible in CrossCom’s client onboarding process. CrossCom starts by understanding a client’s direction first, in terms of understanding their most pressing challenges and business vision. Once CrossCom identifies the specific challenges, they follow a proven process bolstered by their team’s extensive knowledge and expertise in the retail domain.
Another area where CrossCom’s approach benefits its retail clients is its OEM-agnostic support services. Rather than being a technology representative of the OEMs, CrossCom acts as an extension of its retail clients. Especially since retailers do not stick with one brand for their in-store technology requirements, their stores are filled with equipment from a multitude of OEM vendors. And, the challenge arises when the stores need to upgrade or service their systems. Since most OEM technicians cater to specific brands, retailers have no choice but to employ multiple service providers. CrossCom, as an OEM-agnostic service provider, helps clients overcome this issue by delivering bespoke solutions as per their needs while also offering extensive support for the same.
The Changing Winds in Retail
In the current pandemic crisis, there has been a significant change on the payment side of the retail business. As a company catering to a broad clientele, including mall-based, general, and grocery retail stores, CrossCom is witnessing drastic changes in the landscape. While some clients are cutting back on technology investment with the pandemic’s onset, others are accelerating their digitalization goals to keep up with the rapidly changing market. CrossCom is helping its clients navigate the unchartered waters of the pandemic by providing cost-effective, flexible, and agile service offerings.
“Today, this sudden surge in digital evolution has led to an increasing number of businesses providing online shopping services alongside their brick-and-mortar stores,” says Mark DiGregorio, executive vice president of sales at CrossCom. “And we are assisting those businesses in terms of strengthening their underlying infrastructures to deal effectively with the changing customer requirements.” Whether it is mobility tools, touchless solutions, or curbside pickup and drop, the company is providing retail businesses with the necessary technical support needed to sail through the choppy waters. “We are assisting our clients on a course where they can thrive,” says Mark.
CrossCom is also playing a critical role in facilitating more engaged retailer-to-customer interactions. A case in point is when a retail client approached CrossCom for a seamless solution that would allow them to communicate with their customers. As it was the early days of the pandemic, communication while maintaining social distance was a new challenge. CrossCom piloted a solution in the first two weeks of the COVID-19 Pandemic that successfully helped the staff communicate with consumers while maintaining safe social distancing. That solution was then rolled out to hundreds of locations in the following weeks.
Bringing Enhanced Flexibility to Clients
CrossCom is highly efficient when it comes to evolving with the changing demands of clients. In fact, most of its clients are able to maneuver with ease, relying on CrossCom’s robust technological capabilities. But that is not all that the company offers. “The main factor of our innovation lies in the fact that we are not just a service provider, but also a data company,” says Jerry Gore, CIO of CrossCom. While most service providers today directly go to the client and glean from their pain points, CrossCom takes a different approach.
Centralizing Governance in Retail
“Effective governance of technology-driven processes also plays a crucial role at CrossCom,” remarks Gore. “Any other technician or service provider can fix a cable or service a piece of technology. But what makes CrossCom different is its ability to look at the bigger picture of the clients’ overall technology and tie it all together.”
But how does CrossCom make it possible? According to Gore, the secret lies in the backbone of its IT infrastructure—a state-of-the-art data center and in-house development teams. The IT team ensures that CrossCom’s Customers have access to all updated information in real-time on its centralized ERP platform. CrossCom’s inventory management is fully integrated with support desk functions, ensuring that the calls are logged, field technicians and inventory are dispatched and tracked, and every other activity—from staging and assembly to technical troubleshooting and board level repair—are managed from a single system. CrossCom is one of the few companies that offers live access to every service and solution it delivers while also providing in-depth root cause analysis and reports on the service outcomes. Such transparency assures clients of CrossCom’s diligence toward every project it undertakes.
A Workforce that Delivers
“A big part of what differentiates us in the market comes down to our company culture,” says Tim Gallegos, COO of CrossCom. “Matching highly developed processes with a talent pool that have the industry experience, education and customer focus to recognize problems and react quickly to resolve them. In addition, our well-developed processes help our staff to avoid issues and execute effectively on behalf of our customers.”
"We see ourselves as partners to retail, grocery and restaurant customers and support all aspects of their business, striving toward the common goal of enhancing the consumer experience"
Indeed, CrossCom’s workforce is undoubtedly the ‘invincible mast’ that enables the company to withstand any ‘storm’ that might come its way. The people at CrossCom have evolved with the company, developing robust skills along the way. And as Tim says, “their knowledge, expertise and commitment are the building blocks of what the company is today.” The expertise of the management, combined with commitment to process and governance, is helping the company grow. “Measuring everything we do and comparing the results with expectations, helps us continuously evolve and innovate,” remarks Tim.
Setting the Course Toward Unparalleled Success
CrossCom, like every other organization during the pandemic, is now moving with full-throttle to adapt its processes according to the changing landscape, and helping clients do the same. Even those retailers who haven’t considered digital transformation earlier have no choice but to ‘go all in,’ investing in technological projects that not only can keep them afloat during the present situation but also propel them forward. Retailers are increasingly seeking technologies that can help them reach their customers remotely, and CrossCom is keen on helping them.
The company is positioning itself as a driver of transformation in the retail space, guiding brick-and-mortar stores toward providing more omnichannel experiences, and at the same time, cutting down additional expenses. The executives and the workforce at CrossCom are taking an active part in making retailers’ digital goals turn into a reality. “Unlike OEMs, we share a common purpose with our customers, working together to deliver technology solutions in the most cost-effective and efficient manner.” concludes Mark.