Matthew Pavich of Revionics: “What really matters is that you bring goodness to the world”

I believe that bringing goodness to the world is how success should be measured. If you’re not making the world better with what you do, then what you do is probably not all that important. What really matters is that you bring goodness to the world. As part of our series about the future of retail, […]

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I believe that bringing goodness to the world is how success should be measured. If you’re not making the world better with what you do, then what you do is probably not all that important. What really matters is that you bring goodness to the world.

As part of our series about the future of retail, I had the pleasure of interviewing Matthew Pavich.

Matthew Pavich, Managing Director of Global Strategic Consulting for Revionics, develops data-informed, industry-leading pricing strategies, processes, analytics and organizational fluency to help retailers meet the challenges of today’s increasingly dynamic and competitive landscape. As a leader in pricing and business strategy development, Matt has 20+ years of experience in retail encompassing consulting, buying, pricing, and marketing across a variety of retail verticals, industries and regions.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

My parents owned a convenience store growing up, so I spent a lot of time at my parent’s business understanding how to manage a store’s operations at a very young age. Since then, I’ve been blessed to experience the full spectrum of retail, from stocking shelves at a grocery store to working as a manager at a small retailer to holding positions in management and making headquarter-based decisions. I believe that if you never worked a boxcutter opening cases in retail, you won’t truly understand things like why certain products have a high percentage of damaged items. A lot of the things I learned regarding what happens operationally and functionally in a retail environment today is a result of the firsthand experience I had working these jobs.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

My career has taken me down a lot of unique places. If I had to choose one interesting story, it would be when I was doing an executive development program for one of my previous employers. I was sent with a team to participate in a rock-climbing adventure in the Black Forest (Schwarzwald). It was an exercise designed to teach us teamwork, how to trust our co-workers and build us to be great leaders. It’s here that I found out I was acrophobic — when I climbed to the top of a hill, I was afraid to repel back down. It took me quite some time, and I had to learn to trust my team to guide me. It’s a great example of the importance of trusting and relying on your team to be successful.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson or takeaway you learned from that?

I made a lot of funny mistakes during my early career, but one story that wasn’t necessarily funny, but stands out to me as a bad business mistake, is when I was a manager at a retail gourmet bakery. My goal was to improve and streamline productivity, and one of the ways I achieved this was by reducing inventory and ordering fewer products. It was driving strong results, and I was happy with the decision. Well, come Christmas Eve, it turned out I took cutting inventory too far and we ran out of bread before we closed. Of course, Christmas is one of the biggest holidays for bakeries and it’s not a good time to run out of bread. Nonetheless, it was an informative experience early in my retail career that helped me understand the balance of cost reduction and inventory management, and how to make sure I always have the right number of products available for my customers. This lesson served me well as a merchant later on as I made sure our shelves were always stocked while still focusing on growing margins.

Are you working on any new exciting projects now? How do you think that might help people?

Our team at Revionics is always coming up with innovative ways to solve retail challenges. We have quite a few in the hopper right now, which you can learn on our website or by contacting us. In a nutshell, I spend a large percentage of my day working with retailers to find solutions to their pricing, promotion and markdown challenges. We play with some of the most exciting technologies that are really making an impact on businesses across segments, such as AI, and it’s rewarding to work with our customers to achieve their high-priority business goals by improving the accuracy and agility of their pricing. It’s exciting to be in a space and working for a company where we get to answer these key challenges on a daily basis.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

My recommendation is to always make time to unplug. As somebody who, prior to COVID-19, traveled and worked remotely from home, I’ve learned how important is to know when to shut down and truly define the times when I am working and when I’m logged off. That way, I can fully focus when I am available.

If you’re constantly staring at a computer, you’ll get Zoom fatigue and wear out. To combat this, it’s important to take breaks and exercise. While some days your schedule might not allow a full-on workout, there’s always an opportunity to take a quick break in the day to stretch your legs or go on a walk, taking care of both your body and mind.

I’ll also say while you’re not working, it’s nice to be creative and do things that are stimulating to the brain. That way, you keep your mind churning on something. For me, it means working on my improv, which works well with consulting because it helps keep me on my toes and practice answering things quickly. It’s a creative outlet that’s fun and engaging. By focusing on creative endeavors, you can thrive both professionally and personally.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

My wife has always been a great support for me. When you have children and also live a life full of travel, it means everything to have a supportive person by my side who has her own fantastic career and who I can rely on to get things done when I need to focus on my work.

Outside of family, my first manager at Revionics, Sue Dale, was a great mentor who has consistently demonstrated the leadership qualities I admire most. It’s largely due to her guidance that I am in the position I am in today.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I believe that bringing goodness to the world is how success should be measured. If you’re not making the world better with what you do, then what you do is probably not all that important. What really matters is that you bring goodness to the world.

One of the nice things about what we do here at Revionics is that on an everyday basis, we’re creating solutions that are both customer and retailer focused. We’re identifying the items that are most important for your average customers and we’re recommending ways to bring these key item prices down so that families can buy what they need. At the same time, we’re also helping retailers manage profit without hurting those key consumers. Especially in today’s post-COVID world, being able to stretch a dollar is important. Using analytics and best practices to make this come true is powerful for society.

What brings me the most personal satisfaction is to see how the work I’ve done as a consultant is helping others be better at their job and elevate their careers so they can be better and in turn, be in a position where they can then help somebody else. I like being able to help others in their career and see them pass it on.

Ok super. Now let’s jump to the main question of our interview. Can you share 5 examples of how retail companies will be adjusting over the next five years to the new ways that consumers like to shop?

  1. Growth in eCommerce: COVID-19 has accelerated the growth of eCommerce and forced a lot of retailers to reconsider how important it is. Now, we’re looking at retailers who didn’t have a large eCommerce platform before trying to figure out how to grow their online channel. As this channel expands, they need to consider additional things, including how to price competitively and how to be price transparent. Additionally, there will be an increase in potential competitors as new retailers who are primarily focused on eCommerce for a specific category enter the market, creating a challenging landscape.
  2. Shift in operational models: Because of all that’s going on this year, a lot of retailers are learning about ways to be more operationally efficient. For example, retailers who haven’t thought about working from home might want to reconsider that now that we’re in a post-COVID environment. Even going past that, how retailers set up the stores and interfaces will also change. Basic things like tap-and-pay, which the U.S. has always been behind in, will become more important as people are more afraid to touch pin pads. Retailers might also make the bold move to restructure operational formats, like the way aisles are spaced for safety, in case something else happens again. By preparing now, retailers won’t have to redo everything five years from now if another outbreak occurs and may even find that they save money as a result.
  3. Change in guard of who’s shopping: Over the past 10 years, there’s been a dichotomy regarding millennials versus boomers and how retailers can target millennials to buy their products. But in the next five years, we’ll see a shift in the narrative with some emerging focus on Gen Z. With this change, we’ll see a difference in how retailers reach customers, the type of products they put out and a change in social responsibility to cater to the younger generations’ preferences. The retailers who get in front of this trend and better understand their customers will be more successful moving forward.
  4. Rise in AI and analytics: If we think about the last five years of retail, the amount of technological sophistication and the ability to be more dynamic in pricing and make decisions quickly has moved exponentially faster. The approach of retailers shopping their competitor’s website once every month to match their pricing will no longer be good enough. They will need to process and execute against other retailers much faster. What may work today from a technological and speed perspective will similarly need to be upgraded.
  5. Move in management: The consumer base is becoming more diverse, but while retailers will always have a larger percentage of sales going to women, their management personnel are not reflective of this. To drive change, we’ll see more women in charge and holding higher levels of management at top retail companies. This is a direction that will be good for the industry and something we can expect in the next five years.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Personally, I think there’s a lot of movements out there to choose from. One of the simpler messages to get across is that simple respect and kindness can go a long way, especially as people advance in their careers and interact with a lot of different people in the retail industry and beyond. I believe that having common decency and treating everyone the same as they would treat their CEO, working collaboratively at all levels to drive great results, is valuable and can really help you find your way in the retail world.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

LinkedIn —

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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