10 Mar We speak to Amanda Meier, Account Director at Reality interactive about her role and what it’s like to open a retail store.
What’s it like to be an account director?
Being an account director means working with a lot of different teams. Here at Reality Interactive we have a diverse scope of clients and a diverse range of projects and work in general. I work with creative folks, graphic designers, software developers, our operations team (which manages the helpdesk) and also do a variety of other things like coordinating installations and site audits.
What’s it like to work with really different teams – for example, working across the creative department as well as the operations department?
These are two really different teams – which makes it rather nice from my perspective. You have to have two different mindsets. Operations needs really deterministic direction and information. The design team is obviously much more creative – they need to have a lot more conceptual conversations – so it can be a nice mental break to go from one to another in a work day.
As a part of your role, you’re involved in project managing the opening of new stores. Can you tell us more about the Reality Interactive process for opening a new store?
Our process in opening a new store takes around 9 weeks from when we are notified that a new store is coming to when we are in the store, starting installation.
In those 9 weeks we specify a lot of hardware, do a lot of manufacturing, confirm what content will be in that store, make sure that content will be appropriate for that market. We also schedule installations and plan our auditing, and get our team read to support that installation. And last but not least, we are actually on site for 3-4 days, installing all of our hardware, and testing all of our hardware and our applications and making sure everything is running smoothly. We also create a full set of documentation for that specific location, so that when we go to support mode and someone from that local store contacts us, , we can quickly reference where they’re calling from, what they have in that store, and try to anticipate what their needs may be.
What advice would you give clients who are looking to engage us to help build their Digital Retail experience?
I think it’s really advantageous for our clients to bring us to the table as early as they can. This allows us to anticipate problems and stop them before they arise.
For example, when we are brought in while elevations and floorplans are being generated, we have the opportunity to speak up in regards to digital needs, making sure there’s enough room, ventilation and power and cabling needs for this hardware. This allows us to save our customers costs. If they have already built out their store and designed their elevations before they start to put a digital experience in, it costs money to go back in, pull cabling, and put power back in. So if we can be at the table early, we can make sure that those change orders don’t have to happen.
What do you love about your job?
I love the project management side of my job. My background is in project management – I have been in some sort of project manager role ever since graduating college and I love it. I like project management because it allows you to not do the same thing twice in any given day, and it also allows you to work with various different people and various different teams