Business Process Improvement

A Regional Grocery Group

A regional grocery group didn’t flinch when it came to feeding the local population during lockdown. 

Despite various issues (including juggling new processes to keep in store colleagues and customers safe, supply chain disruptions and a shift in the importance of food retailers in consumers’ lives), our grocery client were happy to rise to the challenge.

The group had already been testing innovative technology in a cluster of trial stores and, as they introduced new services for rapid home delivery of groceries and takeaway food, they recognised it was time to take a more detailed look at their operations.

Turning to our business improvement consultants, our client gave us the following challenges:

  • Measure the length of time it took for store teams to complete certain tasks and apply that data to create a workload model that calculates a weekly ‘hours and cost’ budget for each store
  • Identify quick wins and longer-term opportunities to make sure their evolving operation was slick and in a good place to implement processes and customer driven changes that happen in food retail
  • Provide an independent view of the operational impact the technology solutions have in their stores

What did we find?

  • New electronic shelf edge technology was saving significant time in store and it went beyond simply considering time spent changing price tickets. The tickets that were automatically correct helped stores to smooth the workload peak that occurs with promotional change. Price checking routines were also eliminated. In fact, store managers who had trialed the software did not wish to revert to old style tickets, so it was good news when instore time measurements proved the business case for roll-out
  • Many stores had self-checkout tills, yet various factors (including differences in layouts and variable levels of colleague encouragement for customers to use certain tills) meant that uptake was changeable. This, in turn, created an opportunity to use self-checkout technology more to help with spikes in customer demand during busier periods and to ensure easy payment options were available to customers at quieter times when a single colleague on the till could be delayed by a complicated transaction
  • Stock processes were not as slick as they could be. Firstly, counting and gap check routines could be cut down. Additionally, better targeting of stock could be carried out to reduce overstocks and free up time in store
  • A rapid delivery service (one which operated for groceries and their extensive hot food options) could be sped up by merging process steps. Inconsistencies in how stores operated the service could be eliminated with best practices being shared

How did it help?Business Process Improvement - A Grocery Group Success Story

The biggest impact, for both stores and customers, was the roll-out of electronic shelf edge labels – it was a big hit with stores.

The study outputs provided the leadership team with a list of quantified opportunities that was used to prioritise and shape their future efficiency roadmap, together with a workload model they could use to run “what if” scenarios as they consider how and when changes are implemented across the business.

How can we help you?

Would you benefit from a business process improvement? We all know we can do things a bit better, but having an actionable plan of where you can make process improvements will save you time, energy and money. It is an investment that will make a huge impact on your bottom line.

Speak to our productivity experts and discover how we can help your business thrive? Get in touch today.