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10/05/2022

How Pressed Revamped IT Infrastructure to Support Expansion and Accelerate Digital Transformation

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interior pressed juice

Editor's Note: This story has been updated with more insight from Pressed.

Juice and snack manufacturer and retailer Pressed recently bundled its managed IT services and rolled out the newly-consolidated services across all 100-plus of its U.S. stores.

With digital purchases now making up 60% of Pressed revenue, the brand teamed with IT solution provider Interface in order to support their development. CGT recently caught up with Blaine LaBron, Pressed’s VP of digital commerce and technology, to get a closer look at exactly how their partnership with Interface has changed the way they do business.

Founded in 2010 and initially operating out of a small store in Los Angeles, Pressed has rapidly expanded to include wholesale and online distribution of plant-based snacks and juices, with a goal of making plant-forward lifestyles more accessible.

There were two primary reasons that prompted Pressed to partner with Interface:

  • First, the huge shift towards digital sales meant the company needed a comprehensive tech stack across all stores that would “allow [Pressed] to offer a consistent guest and employee experience across all touchpoints and also give us the ability to innovate in the future,” LaBron shares.
     
  • Second, store security technology was another prime area for consolidation. “Scaling operations in terms of store footprint compelled us to standardize technology and store security with a single service provider. We wanted a turnkey service that would enable predictable operating costs and free up our own IT team to focus on innovation."
     

How It Works

By integrating cloud-based video management, video analytics, and video-verified alarm solutions, the technology has helped to consolidate the Pressed network and physical security operations at all stores.

Previously, staying PCI compliant was challenging given Pressed’s myriad systems and inconsistent security practices, according to LaBron, who noted that the upgrade has improved their data security posture and compliance.

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Pressed juice

These developments in turn offers deeper insight into store analytics, which can then be used to improve both employee and customer experience.  “Our IT team is now sleeping better," LeBron notes. "They no longer have to deal with frustrating network issues and troubleshooting.”

In addition, Pressed’s store operations team can access security camera recordings via their smartphones, allowing them to easily monitor employee performance, customer service standards and security loopholes from wherever they’re located.

[See Also:How Are You Using Data to Connect with Consumers? Kellogg’s, Coty, Distell Weigh In

The power of video analytics doesn’t end there. With Interface’s help, Pressed now uses video analytics to map store traffic patterns with staffing to optimize labor models, boost productivity, and provide a better customer experience. “We also use video insights to evaluate the effectiveness of the storefront displays or signage and optimize store layout,” LaBron adds. Consolidation of their tech stack also sets the stage for quicker turnaround on any of the company’s future digital innovations.

If he looks back on the two initial goals set by Pressed — building a consistent tech stack, and freeing up their IT teams to be more innovative — LaBron keeps the focus on how the partnership has simplified the business process complexity.

“After we rolled out managed services from Interface, we no longer have to deal with multiple vendors for network, security and video analytics,” he shares. “Our store operations are now streamlined and our focus is on delivering a superior guest experience using the rich data we now get through video analytics.”

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Pressed juice

In terms of roadblocks, supply chain disruptions cropped up for the juice brand. However, through a phased implementation approach and prioritizing key locations, Pressed were able to roll out the solutions efficiently and effectively, LaBron says.

Looking ahead, LaBron continues to tap video analytics as an area of interest when it comes to improving customer and employee experience. “Beyond video analytics, the ability to merge transactional data from POS with related video clips from our security cameras and alarm systems will probably uncover valuable insights to better train our employees and understand gaps in customer service,” he shares.

Merging AI and video holds great potential too. “For example, we can quickly search all instances related to a particular product or customer profile, or demographic to see how the transaction was handled at the store,” says LaBron, adding that Pressed now has the IT infrastructure in place to make this a reality in the near future.

    Areas of Success During Rapid Growth

    Pressed’s Blaine Labron shares the benefits of bundling their tech stack 

    1. We now have predictable operating costs for our stores. This is of immense help when you plan expansion. We are adding 40+ stores every year and we cannot do it without Interface’s ongoing support.
       
    2. With Interface, we were able to reduce store operating costs pertaining to network and physical security by 50%. That’s a massive win for us.
       
    3. We are no longer losing sales because the network is down and we are able to leverage the solution to train our employees better.
       
    4. The icing on the cake is the reduction in operational complexity freeing up time for IT and operations teams to take on new challenges.

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