A Conversation with Tyco's Tim Von Kaenel and John Welter

Tyco unveiled its traffic intelligence solutions at the National Retail Federation’s Big Show this month in New York. We sat down to talk with Tim Von Kaenel, Tyco’s senior director for solution management of the retail solutions group, and John Welter, senior manager of product solutions for TYCO’s traffic intelligence suite, about the solutions and how the technology was received at the show.

Q: Tell me about the traffic intelligence solution that Tyco demonstrated at the NRF Big show this month.

A: Von Kaenel: Tyco has been selling traffic intelligence solutions for a number of years, but now we’ve formalized traffic intelligence as an entire solution set that will comprise a full range of sensor devices, software recording functionalities and remote monitoring/management of the sensor devices. It also integrates with the rest of our in-store solutions: Tyco’s RFID base inventory visibility solutions and our electronic article surveillance solutions. So customers can use the traffic intelligence solution alone or as part of our broader store intelligence platform that integrates with our other intelligence-based solutions.

In the past we’ve sold traffic intelligence more as an add-on to EAS. Now, though, we’ve integrated people-counting sensors into our pedestals, we have wall-mounted people-counting sensors, and we’ve been selling a stereo-based overhead sensor for a number of years. We also introduced at the show a monocular, single-lens overhead sensor. Taken together, it represents the most comprehensive suite of traffic intelligence sensors on the market. We’re trying to provide a comprehensive solutions suite that provides a variety of different sensors, a variety of different ways the solution can be deployed or hosted and licensed. This wide range of solutions allows the technology to be implemented in anything from small independent store operators to large-scale, regional locations.

Q: What was the response from show attendees?

A: Von Kaenel: Traffic Intelligence seems to be in increasingly high demand for retailers. Being able to understand how much foot traffic they have, whether that foot traffic went by them in a mall or came in, what their conversion rate is, and what their sales staff ratio to conversions are – in general it seems that traffic intelligence is one of those must-have solutions for a wide range of retailers. The next show we’ll be at is the Euroshop Show in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Q: Your technology has been implemented in Under Armour stores. Can you talk a bit about how the company used the product?

A: Welter: When Under Armour officials originally came to us with their need, their key determinant was accuracy. They wanted to make sure that they have a very accurate solution to count the number of shoppers coming into the store environment. Once they were able to collect that data, they were then able to bring it into their operations software to look at some key metrics and then apply those metrics out to the rest of the enterprise. The key metrics they were looking at were: peak shopping hours, traffic count and sales conversion ratios. They also wanted to track and trend sales per staff member and by department.


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