KAIZEN™ in Retail

In a constantly evolving market, being unique plays a key role in capturing the consumer’s attention. During a time in which demand is higher and the entrance of new players has become ever more, companies wishing to supersede the others in their sector will have to focus on innovation as the key component to grow.

Nowadays it is possible to foresee what the trends will be in the coming years within the retail sector and it is interesting to note that all of them can already be seen.

1.       Ethics: the consumer will be increasingly aware of the origin, labour conditions managing practices and sustainability applied to the development and distribution of the acquired product.

2.       Smart living: the consumer will prefer total automation when it comes to their “day to day” purchases, saving them time and giving them a sense of service without leaving the house.

3.       Do it for me: the consumer will no longer have the time to perform activities where he/she sees no added-value. Take the example of the consumers that like to cook their own meals, but still rely on the retailer to do the picking, packing and delivery of the ingredients ready to use.

4.       Artificial Intelligence: the introduction of robotics in the services might become associated with the replacement of people by robots. In recent years, McDonald’s tried to take advantage of machines to make automatic orders and payments, reallocating a part of its staff to a new activity considered to help in differentiating themselves from other fast-food chains – table service.

5.       Supply chains: the concept of autonomous cars and robotics are going to drastically change retailers supply chain, with significant alterations in their delivery process.

6.       Customer Loyalty: gaining the trust of the consumers will be increasingly difficult. The wide range of offering in the markets has led to consumers not being afraid of “shopping around”, meaning that any error from companies can prove costly.

7.       It is not only necessary that organisations are aware of the market trends but are also prepared to monitor and become the leaders of this evolution. With changes mostly connected to technology and adaptation ability, it is with an upstream perception that KAIZEN™ Lean Methodology plays an even more essential role. Before an advanced technological solution is introduced, we believe that processes and supply chains must be Lean and highly optimised. The minimisation of all activities that do not add value for the customer will automatically allow for the increase in productivity and flexibility, the decrease of costs and excellence in customer service. Developing the team’s skills to improve continuously is one of the key drivers for a solid technological evolution. Only by doing this, will the potential investment by your company be realised in results.

In conclusion, market changes in the retail sector must be faced head-on with KAIZEN™ principles incorporated within a company’s strategy, to ensure its continued success.

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