As a Kalibrate company, TAS and our clients benefit from the expertise of the wider team across the globe. Here, we meet Kalibrate Planning Vice President of Data Operations, Rich Wilcox.
What is your role?
I’m responsible for our global planning and insight product operations, from requirements gathering right through to client handover. My focus is on data innovation, client satisfaction and the continuous improvement of what we do at Kalibrate.
My role involves meeting with our global clients to create innovative data-driven solutions that help them maximize the potential of their retail network. Our solutions rely on accurate and current market data; therefore, a lot of my time is spent working with strategic partners and coordinating the collection of data from all corners of the world. Working with many disparate and complex data sources can be extremely challenging. Fortunately, I’m surrounded by an incredibly talented team of analysts and surveyors that can fulfill our vision and deliver reliable datasets, accurate models, and valuable insights to our clients.
What does a typical day look like?
Every day is different! I’m usually up quite early with my son, I catch-up on what’s happened in the US overnight with a coffee and then it's either on to early morning calls with APAC or out on the bike to get some exercise.
My mornings are mostly spent working on client projects or proposals. This involves sourcing and speaking to data partners, putting together the intricate pieces of the puzzle to create an accurate and reliable planning model. I like to get hands-on with our growing product set and the underlying technologies to ensure that my technical understanding evolves with our products and we’re able to effectively position and deliver the latest and greatest of what we can offer.
Throughout the afternoon I spend most of my time meeting with our global team, guiding product delivery and meeting with clients. There’s usually a lot to get through during the afternoon. While it can sometimes feel a little intense, it’s incredibly satisfying to look back at the end of the day and see all that has been achieved.
It takes a strong, well-coordinated team to get things done on time and to the right standard. I spend time each day meeting with the team - either one to one or as part of our regular stand-ups to ensure that everyone has what they need to succeed. This is probably the easiest part of my job thanks to team that we have.
What do you love about your role?
I love the variety that comes from working in a truly global company. In a single day, I can be kicking off new project with a client in Asia, working on a conceptual EV charger planning solution in the UK, and analyzing the impact of COVID on gas, convenience, and food service locations in the USA. Every day is different and challenging in its own way. This, and the people, is what has kept me at Kalibrate for six years.
Why did you choose to join Kalibrate?
Kalibrate’s data-driven solutions and science is what first attracted me to the company. I wanted a role that could stretch my technical capabilities whilst working with clients. I also wanted a role where I was empowered to make decisions and had significant opportunities for career development. Kalibrate offered this, and a whole lot more!
What do you think are the greatest challenges and opportunities in the retail sector?
COVID will hopefully pass in time, but the pandemic has accelerated the shift towards mobile ordering, delivery, and low contact shopping. Some will return to their old way of doing things, many will not. What is becoming clear is the need to understand your customers and their preferred shopping channels, so you can build omnichannel optimization models. Retailers need to adapt to this omnichannel world to survive.
Across all sectors, gut feel is less effective than ever. Retailers particularly need accurate, current, and comprehensive datasets, combined with sophisticated analytics and modelling to leverage the challenges that they face to create growth opportunities.
Where do you see the fuel, convenience retail and QSR markets heading?
These markets will continue to be disrupted by new technologies and a new generation of competition. Over the coming years we will see a shift towards electric vehicles, online convenience, and quality fresh produce. Existing gas stations will be reinvented as EV charging hubs with offers that meet the needs of those recharging their vehicles.
Convenience stores will increasingly offer mobile-driven delivery services and new online-only market entrants will emerge with lower operational costs. People are looking for quality, fresh, fast food, and as many dine-in restaurants branch out to offer delivery, competition will be greater than ever.