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03 Apr 2024

Q&A: Jason Colbridge, Retail and Distribution Lead, Hitachi Solutions

Hitachi Solutions Europe Stand: 5E08
Q&A: Jason Colbridge, Retail and Distribution Lead, Hitachi Solutions

Can you tell us a bit about your background and role?

Jason Colbridge is the Retail and Distribution lead at Hitachi Solutions Europe Ltd, with 20 years of experience in the fast-paced and ever-changing retail sector. He has worked with a wide range of Omni-channel retailers across all areas of their solutions ranging from E-commerce and marketplaces to payment processing and complex Omni-Channel Order fulfilment.

Working with the wider Hitachi Solutions team, Jason helps businesses adapt to market changes, improve operational efficiency, and increase profitability. For organisations, partnering with Hitachi Solutions means gaining a consulting firm that not only understands the complexities of retail but also has the technology experience to address the challenges.

What does your company do?

Simply put, we offer business-tailored services and solutions to guide organisations through their transformation journey and help our customers address their technological challenges.

As one of the world’s leading global Microsoft partners, Hitachi Solutions has early sight of technology advancements related to AI, advanced analytics, and other leading solutions. We have an experienced team of consultants who can advise on the best way to employ these technologies to help our customers reduce costs and scale their operations.

From global transformation to maximising the latest Low-Code developments or preparing for next-generation AI and modern data-based transformation, our experts accelerate the time to value for organisations, delivering results.

How can your systems enable retailers to gain a competitive advantage?

Hitachi Solutions provides a diverse array of project structuring options tailored to meet the unique demands of our retail clients. We routinely conduct expedited discovery phases to assess project viability and forecast potential return on investment. This strategic approach not only deepens our comprehension of client objectives but also ensures our solutions are aligned with their requirements. As an established services enterprise, we employ well-developed methodologies to manage the planning and execution stages of our projects, affirming our reputation as a reliable and trusted partner.

To draw upon one use case, the retail industry generates massive quantities of data every day. This data often remains siloed. Most retailers leverage only a fraction of that data, providing them and their customers with incomplete insights. To gain actionable insights from their data to make the most of AI, seamless integration and standardised data are needed across different systems and applications.

Early this year Microsoft announced Fabric is an end-to-end, unified analytics platform that brings together all the data and analytics tools that organisations need to unlock the potential of their data and lay the foundation for the era of AI and enhance decision-making. It integrates AI to personalise shopping experiences, streamlines operations and provides actionable insights. Using these tools, we can quickly combine and harmonise data from the main line of business applications, digital data and also high street data. 

Can you share a case study with us?

David Lloyd Clubs (DLC) is Europe's leading premium health and wellness group operating 133 clubs across mainland Europe, comprising three brands David Lloyd Clubs, Harbour Clubs and David Lloyd Meridian Spa and Fitness in Germany. DLC approached Hitachi Solutions with several business problems. They had a mix of different internal systems for reporting on business performance which all provided different numbers and made it extremely difficult for any management decisions to be made. Their reporting was largely static and there was a big demand for ad hoc data extracts from the business intelligence team so that users could create their own reporting in Microsoft Excel. As with many businesses, this “off-system” analysis created multiple versions of the truth and often with different logic used to calculate KPIs.

They wanted all their data in one place, with one set of data owners, so they could have confidence their data was accurate and could be trusted. This would liberate the business, especially the club managers to make smarter, quicker, and more accurate business decisions about their individual clubs’ performance.

With Hitachi Solutions, DLC has been able to build a data culture across the organisation through a set of reliable and easy-to-use data-driven solutions. Hitachi Solutions ran an initial analytics assessment project to recommend a data strategy and roadmap that would help them address their business challenges.

What is your USP and special about your brand?

Hitachi Solutions Europe is part of Hitachi, Ltd. — one of the largest organisations in the world.

We’re proud to embrace the core values of our Japanese parent company, Hitachi Ltd. In practice, that means that we work in partnership with our customers – providing leadership to drive business transformation, while always putting the ambitions of our customers first.

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