Building Capability For Mass Customisation
Most businesses put customers first, most certainly in the retail space. Practically, setting up a process that allows the business to offer bespoke and customised products to each customer is a challenge. Read on to discover how we worked with this jewellery brand to overcome these challenges and establish a robust process to bring this offering to all their outlets.
A leading jewellery company with a national retail presence through branded stores and a vibrant e-commerce engine was facing a singular challenge in managing customer expectations. Customers wanting to get customised jewellery designed and made for specific and special occasions were faced by Sales staff who were not competent in understanding the requirements of delivering customised jewellery. Anecdotal checks also indicated that the Sales teams did not have a robust understanding of the company’s capabilities in manufacturing and sourcing gold and precious / semi-precious stones. This knowledge gap caused dissatisfaction among customers who had time and again demonstrated preference for the brand over competition. Our client approached us based on their faith in our capability as Human Resources Consultants with expertise in helping businesses achieve service excellence.
Our solution to this issue came in two parts. The first involved training the sales staff technically to grow their understanding and to ease the process of taking customised orders at the retail stores - A detailed technical training module was developed for this purpose. Sales staff in batches of 20 attended 3-days classroom training sessions followed by visits to the factory and some ancillary suppliers. The second part involved the setup of a separate Supply Chain team tasked only with processing customer orders from the retail stores. This team centered around a help desk handling all the queries from the retail stores. The team was equipped with a webcam and connected directly with the customers to understand their requirements and to respond to specific queries and clarifications. The order received through this process was scheduled for manufacturing at the company’s captive unit or at a specific authorised vendor.
The twin processes of training the sales associates and creating the supply chain team, together ensured a trained and responsive pipeline for managing “made to order” jewellery for customers. The process was robust enough to ensure error-free management of customer orders leading to an enhanced customer satisfaction. The success of the process was borne by the fact that the Client saw a 30% increase in made to order pieces within just 3 months of implementation.
The growth of customer orders also impacted the working capital and improved the stock turnaround in the business. The training imparted to the sales staff enhanced their confidence level to deal with customers and directly improve the brand image.
- Multinational Corporations; Regional Businesses; Family Owned Groups;
- Service Excellence, Human Capital Solutions; Learning Solutions
- M K Moorthi