Store of the future

1st December 20

In a changing world, every business is looking at how they best serve their customers and create a robust operation that sets them up for the future. It’s no surprise that we’re seeing new format stores being tested – B&Q and Homebase have both successfully launched smaller, high street DIY formats, and Holland & Barratt’s new Chelmsford store supports today’s omnichannel shopping. The convenience/grocery sector has seen online and instore sales growth, and Aldi, Lidl, Nisa and more are trying new formats and concepts. Proof that the UK grocery market remains one of the most innovative retail sectors in the world, is the launch of Asda’s new sustainability store with an emphasis on reduced packaging, refills from major brands and a price promise that items sold loose will not cost more than their pre-packaged versions. Read more here.

And it’s not just new concepts. Many businesses have changed their operation to add in more digital routes for customers and faster delivery turnaround, including partnerships with Deliveroo and Just Eat. And as we discussed in an earlier newsletter, cash taking is being transformed by self-serve and self-scan options.

All this planned operational change, combined with new customer behaviours, means that businesses just don’t operate like they used to. Effective cost control that ensures busy locations have the resources they need to make the most of opportunities, while salary budget cash is not wasted by overspending at quiet times. Lots of businesses we work with had got to a place where they had a sophisticated understanding of workload and were able to plan effectively. The operations in most businesses have changed so that many operations would benefit from some modern workstudy to measure how long new and changed processes take, and to quantify opportunities for cost-saving.

We’ve worked with two businesses that traded pretty much as normal throughout the year and made a change by adding Deliveroo as a fulfilment option for customers. The Deliveroo retailer tablet and prescribed processes determine the steps to be taken, yet despite that, we found that one business takes over a minute longer to gather an order compared to a competitor that had a higher average number of units in their order. Currently, Deliveroo order levels are relatively low and the associated work is a small part of the overall store efforts. Taking steps to speed up now, based on the detailed timings we measured, will help future-proof the organisation as Deliveroo order levels continue to grow.

If your business has changed at all, modern workstudy can give a fact base to understanding your operation and making efficient choices in how you operate. There are lots of different techniques that can be used to surface operational insight; for a quick diagnostic to highlight top-line opportunities, through to a deep dive movement analysis that gets you under the skin of a process you want to improve. Modern workstudy isn’t endless weeks of data capture followed by presentation of an incomprehensible data dump. Results are action-orientated and designed to help you make changes to improve your productivity. We’ve produced a series of whitepapers on Practical Productivity, including one on Modern Workstudy.

You can check out the whitepapers here.