Star Makers: How NexTech Puts Associates First

This team’s #SparkGoals: creating and using technology that helps associates become superstars.

“Our goal,” says Anton G., senior director, Global Business Services, at the Home Office in Bentonville, “is to build tech solutions to make associates more successful.” Anton and Walmart’s NexTech team achieve that goal by developing transformative technology solutions to capture everyday opportunities.

 

“People have unique and irreplaceable skills,” Anton says, “but computers and machines can help handle massive data analysis and mundane tasks so associates can focus on more meaningful work.”

 

The NexTech team builds innovative solutions on top of Walmart’s existing technology to deliver capabilities companywide without significant investment in replacing current systems.

These solutions benefit distribution centers, stores, and the Home Office. They often take the form of artificial intelligence (AI) or augmented intelligence, using machines to provide insights from data so people can make better and faster decisions.

 

One recent innovation is a computer vision model that helps determine whether rugs are present in store entryways when it’s raining, to improve the customer experience.

 

They are also deploying a solution that automates and expands the job search and reassignment process for associates requiring accommodations. This simplifies the process and provides additional job opportunities for our associates with disabilities who require job reassignment.

 

Another highlight involved working with the Home Office Use Tax team. “We helped that team achieve their goals,” Anton says. “No role was replaced by AI; they were simply able to elevate their performance by working with an AI solution. We’re here to help land on the ultimate solution of creating a better Walmart.”

 

Anton credits the people on his team as being the key to the team’s success. “The associates on this team are exceptional. We hire to a very high standard—people who are innovative and creative. We’ve got just over a hundred people now, with small teams in Shenzhen, Bangalore, Gurugram, Leeds, Dublin, Austin, Dallas, and Bentonville,” he says.

 

“We all love new tech, are obsessed with it. But we only deliver for the benefit of the business—we don’t do it for the sake of tech. We do it to help. We like to make the people we work with superstars in their organization.”

“One of our big visions: to get every associate more engaged with digital tools and AI and elevate their goals.”  

 

Anton G., senior director, Global Business Services    

Success Story: Use Tax

 

Use tax is applied when Walmart, Sam’s Club, or eCommerce purchases Goods Not For Resale (GNFR). GNFR is defined as all goods and services that do not go through a point-of-sale system.

 

“The NexTech team helped us reimagine our use tax assessment and reversal process and created a solution for us that uses automation and machine learning to do the time-consuming manual work and helps us post more tax reversals than we could before,” says Scott H., tax manager at the Home Office in Bentonville. “We’re constantly being asked to do more with less, and we’ve got to have artificial intelligence to help us meet those increased demands. The NexTech team can bring those solutions to life.”

For more stories, advice, and inspiration, download your copy of the Spring issue of Walmart World here!

 
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