Alon Brands Chooses Zenput to Streamline C-Stores: Why ‘Flattening’ is Still the Future

By Vladik Rikhter


The world is flat. You may recall that’s the name of the international best-selling book by Thomas L. Friedman, a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist. This book analyzes globalization in the 21st century, and the title is a metaphor for viewing the world as a level playing field. Part of this concept is that geographical divisions are no longer a hindrance to companies’ growth.

At Zenput, we work with companies who embrace the idea of flattening. Just because retailers operate dozens, if not hundreds, of stores across their network, doesn’t mean they can’t reduce the time and labor involved in cross-company task management from weeks to just hours.

Case in Point: Alon Brands, the largest franchisee of 7-Eleven stores in the United States, has realized the advantage of Zenput and recently adopted the mobile app across its network. Now, more than 400 users across 300 convenience stores in Texas and New Mexico can automatically assign tasks and centralize auditing functions. Zenput will replace manual processes in Alon Brands’ stores, including the preparation of spreadsheets, emails and paperwork to conduct operational and retail merchandising audits. Exceptions on retail execution will be automatically routed, in-store campaigns will be verified, and other tasks will be managed through Zenput.

So in terms of geography, it doesn’t matter that a New Mexico store is hundreds of miles away from Alon Brands’ Dallas headquarters. That store will remain stocked and brand promotions will be up to date because the manager of that store is using a mobile-driven task management tool to manage inventory and verify marketing materials.

Friedman calls certain technological advancements “flatteners” because they level the playing field. Just consider Zenput’s ability to level the playing field for the in-store customer experience—it’s pretty amazing. Looking back, a technology like Zenput is like the fulfillment of a prophecy. (Keep in mind his book was published more than 10 years ago!)

Workflow software
The ability of machines to talk to other machines with no humans involved. Zenput allows senior management to auto-generate tasks and automatically monitors compliance of those tasks. Zenput works smarter so individuals don’t have to work harder.

Friedman called it “the most disruptive force of all.” Uploading allows organizations to collaborate on online projects via customizable software. That’s the beauty of a customizable app like Zenput and cloud-based technology.

Ten years ago, Walmart was ahead of its time by using technology to streamline item sales, distribution and shipping. As we see with Alon Brands today, more retailers are using technology to improve the way they do business. It’s faster, easier and just makes sense.

“The Steroids”
This is the name Friedman gives to all analog content and processes being digitized and and transmitted virtually. It may have been hard to predict the impact a device like the iPhone (first released in 2007) would have on mobile technology, but smartphone adoption has grown exponentially in the last decade. It’s a powerful technology right in the palm of your hand. And the best part is, it requires minimal investment since your employees already have the hardware—their own mobile devices.

Alon Brands has embraced that notion, and that’s why more than 400 users will be able to access Zenput’s platform. To learn more about Zenput’s ability to serve the convenience store industry, explore our website. Be sure to watch the Zenput overview video and consider scheduling a live demo.

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