Modern retailers have a problem. In a world where operational efficiency, customer experience, and workplace safety are expected to improve each quarter, a fundamental rule of business is getting in the way: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”—Peter Drucker.

Technologies such as smartphones have placed robust and versatile tools in the pockets of front-line employees and in-store management. Yet, retailers, large and small, still experience a significant lag between the moments when notable events are logged and the point at which executives can analyze data and recommend action. The management cannot improve processes if reports contain months old data, and recommendations do not reach the right people in time. Closing this gather-analyze-action loop is the core mission of ALTO.

Founded in 2005, ALTO serves over 10,000 locations worldwide, from market leaders such as Walmart, Best Buy, Home Depot, and Zara to smaller regional grocery chains; its client list includes the majority of retailers in Latin America and Mexico. The company has achieved phenomenal success by helping its clients streamline operations continuously, reduce theft-related losses, and manage risk in their supply chain logistics. ALTO’s United States team is building on the company’s experience and success to introduce new models for operational efficiency and loss prevention optimization for retailers such as Walgreens.

ALTO deploys smartphone-based tools for gathering store operations data in real-time and leverages its cloud-based analysis platform to deliver meaningful just-in-time actions to its clients’ front-line users. This helps the retail management and staff to make smart decisions and to allocate resources based on company policy, industry best practices, and executives’ data-based recommendations.
The same mobile tools can be used to assign urgent or routine tasks to individuals or groups, accelerating the speed at which executives are able to request critical operations data and review the desired results. Such tasks can be created and assigned by management or executives on an ad hoc basis or can be initiated by ALTO’s analytics platform based on a set of rules or predictive analytics.

Outside of the retail market, ALTO has strengthened its data-driven architecture to launch an end-to-end supply chain risk management solution, ALTO Assurance. Using a combination of mobile tools, Internet of things (IoT) telemetry, and GPS monitoring, ALTO Assurance aids industries like forestry, logistics, airports, and mining across the U.S. to monitor risky operational environments. ALTO Assurance helps companies tackle the risk of loss or delays due to cargo theft, weather events, unforeseen interruptions, or red tape.

ALTO applies cutting-edge analytics to assess a retailer’s risk profile and opportunities for improvement to the bottom line, both through improved efficiency and decreased losses from theft and shrink. The value of this data analytics is enhanced by ALTO’s diverse value-added services, which include auditing, security monitoring, and legal assistance in areas where ALTO’s expertise and economies of scale provide meaningful impact or insight for the client.

The management dashboards and business intelligence tools have created a generation of executives that rely on data to lead their workforce and set ambitious goals. But for human-powered processes that operate at the front-line of every organization, the typical executive dashboard is better described as a rear-view mirror, reflecting the past and an imperfect tool for short- or long-term decision making. ALTO’s clients use ubiquitous mobile technology—smartphones and IoT—to construct a framework for actionable insights, making them more agile in a market where competition for customers, employees, and profitability is always accelerating.