October 21st, 2013
As Youngstown, Ohio continues to transition from a former steel town to a technology hub, SenSource supports the revitalization efforts of the many nonprofit organizations in our home city. In particular, the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation, YNDC, that is committed to a hands-on revitalization approach.
Last week, several SenSource employees volunteered spending the day at YNDC’s Iron Roots Urban Farm. Harvesting vegetables and preparing the gardens for winter were among the tasks performed. The farm makes use of every bit of the previously vacant 1.7 acre corner lot by housing four hoop house gardens, numerous raised bed gardens, traditional vegetable patches and the YNDC offices.
“I have never been to the Iron Roots Urban Farm before I volunteered. I was surprised by how they made use of the space they have and how much produce they are able to grow. The workers at the farm have really put in a lot of time and effort to make it a success. Overall it was a great experience,” explains Randi Searfoss, SenSource accountant.
Produce harvested at the farm is sold at local farmer’s markets and donated to food pantries. This winter, YNDC plans to sell produce to local restaurants. All proceeds go towards operation of the farm.
In addition to the Urban Farm, YNDC hosts a slew of other projects throughout the city such as boarding windows on vacant homes, turning vacant lots into playgrounds, restoring foreclosed homes and conducting educational farming classes. Visit www.yndc.org to learn more about this impressive nonprofit organization.
September 30th, 2013
This fall the team at SenSource participated in two fundraising events to raise awareness and funds for local causes.
For the second year, SenSource collected change for Akron Children’s Hospital, Mahoning Valley’s Miracles and Promises Radiothon. The community rose over $193,000 to benefit local children helped by Mahoning Valley programs and services.
“The Miracles and Promises Radiothon is one of my favorite events to participate because all of the money collected stays right here in the Mahoning Valley benefiting the children of our community,” explains Jessica Lipply, SenSource Marketing Coordinator.
For the first year, SenSource fundraised and participated in the Youngstown area Heart Walk for the American Heart Association. The team contributed $1,550 to the event total of $175,575 to fund the valuable research, education and advocacy efforts of the American Heart Association. In addition to fundraising, several employees participated in the ceremony by walking in honor of those affected by heart disease and stroke.
August 12th, 2013
An automated people counting system in your retail business is supposed to free up your human resources to do the work that really needs to be done: giving your customers a satisfying experience. You wouldn’t post an employee at every door to do nothing but count people entering and leaving. But without the proper ability to analyze the data, you can spend more staff time sorting through reams of numbers than if you really did have employees doing the counting.
Consider the wealth of data a SenSource people counting system can provide to a retail operation with multiple locations: rate of traffic broken down by the hour of the day, conversion ratio (when combined with sales data), variations in traffic between different sites, traffic flow overlaid with staffing levels, and on and on. Wading into that data and producing meaningful, understandable reports that can be shared across your organization and provide actionable information is a time-consuming task, if done manually. Read the rest of this entry »
July 26th, 2013
The nature of the gradual but weak economic recovery from the so-called Great Recession has placed some particular stresses on public libraries in the United States. While the unemployment rate has declined from its highs, there are signs of weakness behind the headline numbers, such as the reduction in hours worked and the rising number of people who have given up looking for jobs and have dropped out of the workforce. U.S. Public Libraries Weather the Storm, a report by the American Library Association, points out how libraries have been affected by these factors.
The report found that 36 percent of libraries reported increased use of technology training classes, as both the employed and unemployed tried to keep their skills up to date. Some 60 percent of libraries reported increased use of their computers and 74 percent reported increased use of Wi-Fi services, as people turn to free public resources. At the same time these demands were growing, 57 percent of libraries reported that their funding had decreased or remained flat, as pressures on local government spending continued. Read the rest of this entry »
July 19th, 2013
Take a look at SenSource’s people counters, especially the more sophisticated multi-point customer counter systems, and the first image that probably comes to mind is a large retail operation. It’s easy to imagine a department store in a shopping mall, with multiple entrances, heavy traffic flow and lots of data points that need to be collected and analyzed.
But that’s far from the only kind of business that can benefit from a customer counter system, whether a simple, single-point counter or a more sophisticated solution. Here are some other users of SenSource customer counters. Read the rest of this entry »
June 27th, 2013
Today’s national retail corporations are complex organisms with a lot of moving parts and multiple sales channels, but the sales floor is still where success or failure will finally be determined. Sensource people counters, coupled with the flexible and multi-layered reports that are easily generated using Vea Analytics software, provide a rich vein of information about what’s actually happening in the retail environment. Then the questions arise: What do we do with that information? With which parts of the organization do we share that information?
The answer: everyone! By empowering the marketing team to easily generate automatically prepared traffic reports using those important metrics for your business, the combination of SenSource people counters and Vea Analytics software lets you provide each level of the corporation with the information needed to improve efficiency and effectiveness. Read the rest of this entry »
June 27th, 2013
Ever since NRF’s Big Show in January, “big data” has been the buzzword across the retail industry. With the ever-growing availability and usage of statistical data, this “big data” term looks to be more than a fad. Combining real time mass amounts of data from multiple sources such as foot traffic, POS, staffing and weather into a single platform provides powerful operational information.
SenSource Vea Connect Software analyzes custom key performance indicators and historical comparisons giving retail management insights necessary to stay ahead of the competition. Receiving real time big data reports for every store in a chain requires commitment and strategy from retail management. In April, CIO published an online article of five tips for big data success, including:
1. Make big data a central business tenet
2. Data governance is essential
3. Don’t shortchange data accuracy
4. Pool best practices for best results
5. Expertise and collaboration are key
While these five tips are targeted for all industries, they are particularly true for large retailers using Vea Connect Software. Fully committing the time and resources to turn big data analysis into practical, strategic operational improvements are keys to success. Learn more about analyzing foot traffic data and operational data by contacting our sales team.
June 14th, 2013
Whether you’re a retail operation competing in the private sector or a non-profit institution serving the public, you’ve likely felt the pressure to work smarter with fewer resources. A recent report from Kantar Media, titled “Global Consumer Perspectives,” showed how middle-class consumers around the world are looking harder for bargains while feeling guilty about spending on non-essentials. Kantar highlighted the challenge these attitudes represent for retailers. Meanwhile, a chart on a recent post on the FiveThirtyEight Blog on The New York Times website graphically shows how spending by governments at all levels on services, a source of grants and operational funds for many non-profits and public agencies, is being squeezed by other categories of spending.
You have to work smarter with fewer resources, and SenSource automatic people counters can help you do that. But what’s the point of gathering more data if collecting and analyzing it chews up precious staff time and resources? Read the rest of this entry »
May 24th, 2013
One of the most famous quotes about advertising is credited to John Wanamaker, who is also considered the inventor of the department store and a pioneer in marketing: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”
Fortunately, information-gathering has improved immensely since the peak of Wanamaker’s career in the late 1800s. One powerful way to drill down and get more precise and detailed insight into the effectiveness of your marketing dollars is to combine data from SenSource indoor people counters with other metrics. Read the rest of this entry »
May 16th, 2013
If you manage a retail business, you can’t help but keep track of your bottom line. Sales, expenses and profits are right there in front of you. But while you’re judged on the bottom line, if you want to improve it you need more information.
The most basic and essential piece of additional information you need to know will be your conversion ratio. How many people come in the door compared to those that actually buy something? Not knowing this number can be similar to praising a pitcher for throwing six strikeouts. Did he do it in two innings or 20?
In a series on challenges facing the retail industry, Deloitte & Touche USA focused one entire chapter on improving the conversion ratio. But as the authors noted, you can’t improve it if you don’t know what it is: “Every retailer has significant opportunities to improve conversion by delivering a better customer experience. For some retailers, however, it is hard to fix what is not seen or understood.” Read the rest of this entry »