Evolving Digital Order Fulfillment and Driving Future Innovation in Post-Pandemic Retail
The client is an international home improvement retail group operating over 1,000 stores in eight countries across Europe, including household name banners in the United Kingdom, France, and Poland.
When the coronavirus pandemic hit, the client - like so many retailers - had to rapidly implement new methods of digital order fulfillment, such as One Hour Click&Collect. It also needed to mature in-store fulfillment processes like picking, shifting the role of its brick-and-mortar stores to operate as fulfillment centers.
And, as the retail landscape looks set to remain challenging, consumer behaviours and expectations will continue to be influenced by digitalisation and the increasing options for purchasing goods. The ability to rapidly launch new, compelling propositions will be crucial to success.
With the client aiming to triple the number of digital orders fulfilled by its stores, the retail group needed a strategy to improve the robustness of its digital fulfillment infrastructure and ensure it could scale and grow effectively. It also required a mature innovation capability to rapidly adapt to changing customer habits in the future.
The client engaged BJSS to assess the existing store fulfillment activities and performance across three key retail banners in the UK, France, and Poland, and provide a set of To-Be operational blueprints, and change and implementation roadmaps to achieve its goal.
Over 16 weeks of store visits, in-depth interviews, and workshops, BJSS engaged an extensive network of stakeholders to map the store fulfillment processes, employee behaviours, and technology of each of the three retail banners.
BJSS distilled these insights into five As-Is operational blueprints, representing multiple store formats across the three different banners. These blueprints identified major pain points and areas of opportunity to mature across four key pillars: Click & Collect Points; Picking & Store Location; Amendments, Substitutions & Cancellations; Store-to-Home Delivery.
Following this As-Is analysis, the BJSS team defined the core To-Be capabilities required for the client’s in-store fulfillment processes so each retail banner could effectively service Click & Collect and Store-to-Home Delivery customers. The team provided detailed To-Be operational blueprints, an extensive opportunity backlog, and a complete change and implementation roadmap.
During this process, it became clear that the client’s Product & Research Design Team required additional support to organise and deliver value to the business. Over six months, BJSS fully integrated into the Design & Research Team and established Discovery Sprints and implementation workstreams to progress research and test-and-learn opportunities defined during the As-Is assessment. The team also developed team capabilities and embedded new working methodologies.
The client now has detailed To-Be operational blueprints that provide the foundations for future store formats and propositions. The business has the roadmap to build store operations capabilities across people, processes, and technology to deliver new digital order fulfillment innovations over the next five years.
Additionally, the client’s Product Design & Research team has now been armed with a host of process improvements, including a DesignOps framework against which to understand and measure the team’s maturity, a Colleague Research Network toolset to enable collaboration with in-store colleagues and operational teams, and a bespoke test-and-learn approach to drive business opportunities forward.
This sustainable, reusable Discovery model has significantly improved group-wide collaboration and has formed the basis for numerous experiments into store fulfillment innovations. For example, one Discovery Sprint brought together the learnings from a rollout of in-store pick-up lockers across Poland. It also supported the prototyping for picking at UK stores, with an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) added to the next roadmap.
Armed with a comprehensive roadmap for augmenting in-store fulfillment processes and a Product & Design Team with increased capabilities to drive innovations across the business, the client is now perfectly positioned to adapt to any changes in consumer behavior, whatever they may be.
Fundamentally, the client is now positioned to mature its vision and store operating model as a core e-commerce fulfillment channel. The company can use the output of this engagement to leverage its vast brick-and-mortar footprint as a competitive advantage against pure-play online retailers and, in the process of doing so, will significantly enhance customer experience and engagement.