Creating a Path for Single­-platform Ordering Improves Product Sales, Visibility

The Client

This large Fortune 500 retail establishment enjoys positive customer sentiment and has captured a large share of its market. Enhancing customer service, increasing efficiency, and returning value to shareholders are longstanding goals.

The Challenge

This company has retail locations operating on two different business models. Roughly two thirds are in one distinct operating model, with the remaining third in another. While stores in the smaller group operated in some of their high growth areas, they didn’t follow the same standard ordering model as the bulk of their stores.

Ultimately, this led to less intelligence with regard to revenue and other key product metrics. Having this sales knowledge is critical to helping steer the product lifecycle, from marketing to development. The absence of key data for a portion of their stores meant that the company wasn’t seeing the full picture of product performance.

To gain better visibility, the company would need to get the one third of its stores operating differently and moved onto the standard ordering platform.

The Solution

We helped the company implement a large IT and process implementation aimed at standardizing all locations’ ordering and product delivery, with a goal of moving one third of stores onto the existing ordering platform. Necessary modifications were made to the platform to ensure these stores would be well represented in the system, encouraging a more frictionless transition.

To facilitate migration, a new product line was introduced that would rollout at the same time — one that could only be accessed through the existing standard ordering platform. This vital step provided a clean way to compel stores not already on the platform to migrate over to it. It also ensured that each of the company’s locations would order the same way moving forward.

This was a large, cross-­functional initiative that involved more than 15 teams at the company, impacting everything from ordering to delivery. It required a significant amount of coordination across the organization. To ensure success, we designed and implemented new internal structures, common processes and procedures, and reporting across numerous coordinating teams.

The Impact

By standardizing ordering, processing, and delivery of products to all stores, we were able to simplify the overall operations and reduce costs. Standardization means the company now has metrics and reporting, inventory control, and product visibility across all of their stores. Additionally, with each location using the same ordering and distribution system, the company is able to realize greater economies of scale.