Miller’s Monday Morning Message

Andrew MillerMiller’s Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.

Andrew Miller on operational excellence, strategy, life balance and everything in between

Toronto – June 9, 2014
In my Monday Morning Message from a couple of weeks ago, I wrote that in order to increase profit margins, you needed to create an emotional connection with customers which would create customer continuance (E = mc2). One of the ways to do that is through consistency, so that customers know what to expect each time they have an experience with your organization.
 
Every Sunday morning my daughter and I go grocery shopping at the local Loblaws. This has become the weekly tradition. We go first thing in the morning before the Sunday morning rush to ensure that everything on our list is available and on the shelves. Yesterday, I was unable to go shopping in the morning and was forced to go in the afternoon. This is usually the worst time to go because after the morning rush of shoppers, the shelves are bare and the aisles are filled with employees trying to restock them.
 
But to my surprise, when I went yesterday afternoon the shelves were fully stocked and the aisles were not filled with employees blocking them with giant carts. My afternoon shopping experience went as smoothly as my normal morning experience. Loblaws provided consistency of experience and that is something that I noticed.
 
McDonald’s is another example of an organization that provides a consistent experience. Regardless of where you are in the world, the McDonald’s experience is similar. They have set certain expectations for services and quality.
 
What are you doing to provide a consistent experience every time your customers interact with you?
 
To request an interview or more information, please contact:
 
Andrew Miller
416-480-1336

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© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2014.

Miller’s Monday Morning Message

Andrew MillerMiller’s Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.

Andrew Miller on operational excellence, strategy, life balance and everything in between

Toronto – November 4, 2013
Just when you thought the retail and grocery store landscape in Canada couldn’t get any more complicated, Amazon has announced it will start offering groceries online. Loblaws has recently agreed to purchase Shoppers Drug Mart. Sobeys has acquired Safeway Foods. Walmart is constantly growing it’s assortment of grocery items. Target is another player to be reckoned with. And now Amazon. Not to mention Metro and other grocery store chains. Who knew Canadians were so popular?
 
Here are some questions to consider as Amazon enters the marketplace:
  • How can Amazon compete with other grocery chains without offering fresh and perishable items?
  • Will customers order online knowing that they still need to go to the grocery store for fresh items?
  • Can Amazon replicate the in-store experience of walking up and down the aisles, often selecting items not on a grocery list?
  • Will customers stay away from ordering online because they like their routine of grocery shopping? 
“Amazon is arguably the greatest supply chain company in the world ,” says Andrew Miller, president of ACM Consulting. “So we know they can offer fast and reliable delivery. The question is whether enough Canadian shoppers value the online experience enough to forego their weekly trip to the supermarket.”
 
To request an interview or more information, please contact:
 
Andrew Miller
416-480-1336
 
Follow me on Twitter @AndrewMillerACM
© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2013.

Miller’s Monday Morning Message

Andrew MillerMiller’s Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.

Andrew Miller on operational excellence, strategy, life balance and everything in between

Toronto – July 22, 2013
Since Loblaws announced this past week that it would be acquiring Shoppers Drug Mart, I thought I would bring back some ideas from a recent Monday Morning Message on successful acquisitions. I had identified three key things that organizations need to do in order to be successful in their acquisitions:
  • There needs to be a clear decision as to the future culture of the overall organization.
  • There needs to be a fit at all levels.
  • There needs to be an alignment of goals.
And I would like to add one more:
  • Don’t lose focus on your existing business. It’s easy to get caught up in all of the integration activities that need to happen with a large acquisition, but organizations need to ensure they don’t lose focus on the growth of the existing business and its customers.
These are important for Loblaws to remember as the acquisition of Shoppers Drug Mart will have a very complicated integration. On the surface, the acquisition looks like a great fit because the organizations compliment each other and are not major competitors. But when you look deeper into the acquisition, Loblaws will have some tough decisions to make:
  • Can they continue with two separate customer loyalty programs? If not, which program wins out and how will they transition over to one program?
  • Can they just replace existing Shoppers products with President’s Choice products?
  • Will there be any impact on the pricing? Can Loblaws offer products at the same price in both Loblaws and Shoppers locations?
  • How will Loblaws manage the transition of employees? Will there really be no changes or layoffs?
  • Will Loblaws need to close any stores because they are too close to each other?
This is a very interesting acquisition,” says Andrew Miller, president of ACM Consulting. “It really takes Loblaws to another level in terms of what it can offer to customers and how it can compete against the likes of Target and Walmart. The next 12 months will be essential to the success of the acquisition.”
 
To request an interview or more information, please contact:
 
Andrew Miller
416-480-1336
 
Follow me on Twitter @AndrewMillerACM
© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2013.

Shoppers and Loblaw’s, a match made in heaven?

As you have already likely heard, Loblaw’s has agreed to buy Shoppers Drug Mart for more than $12b. This is actually a seemingly smart acquisition for so many reasons. The loyalty programs that both companies have. The ability to attract different customers to the various stores and leverage their strengths. The securing of Loblaw’s as a force to compete against Target and Walmart. Yes, this deal makes a lot of sense on paper.

Hopefully Loblaw’s will be able to make the integration work. They have said it will take 6-7 months and that customers will see no difference and that all employees will keep their jobs. I hope that is the case. This is a very complex acquisition and it might just be easier for Loblaw’s to keep Shoppers running as a separate division, as it has proposed.

This changes the Canadian retail landscape once again as we see additional consolidation in the grocery industry. As you may remember, only a few short weeks ago, Sobey’s parent company Empire agreed to buy Safeway. So the big get bigger. This is great if you are a supporter of Canadian businesses.

Another interesting angle…think how many service providers, consultants, lawyers, etc., will be lining up to try and get a piece of the acquisition pie. No doubt there will be money available for “integration” of the two companies.

I wish them all the best as I hope this turns out to be as good a move for both organizations as it appears to be on paper.