When asked by business owners or senior executives how to improve their business, I usually give the same answer: adopt Deming’s Management Method, known as Total Quality Management (TQM).
TQM helps businesses evolve towards higher quality management. The effectiveness of the approach has been well proven and, though it can be a difficult management methodology to adopt, the results it delivers far outweigh the work required.
In his famous Serenity Prayer, American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr wrote:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
Retail executives tend to track sales figures as their most important metric, but in my experience, trying to maximise sales figures alone makes little sense. As in sport, focusing on the score won’t work on its own. Only good and consistent practice, combined with a commitment to continually improve skill and technique will deliver the desired results. The scoreboard simply reflects the results achieved in the more mundane variables.
On 19 June 2015, retailbiz.com.au reported a claim by CHOICE magazine that shoppers could face a 250%+ price hike on goods purchased online from overseas if the Federal Government closes a highly damaging loophole in the GST system.
The ‘Fair Work’ Commission recently announced a 2.5% increase to minimum wage, effective from 1 July 2015. This may be old news to you, but the misguided nature of this decision cannot go without comment. The increase creates issues at many levels, some of them strategic, with long-term consequences.
In August 1996, I wrote an editorial for The Quality Magazine, titled ‘Quality Management in Retail’. In the article, I lamented the lack of interest in TQM (Total Quality Management) amongst Australian retailers. Twenty years later, the industry still struggles with sub-optimal results, but I believe that I’ve now discovered one of the reasons why TQM gets the cold shoulder.
Independent supermarkets in Australia live on borrowed time.
But, at first glance, it’s easy to think otherwise. IGA currently operate approximately 1,300 stores. Woolworths have a mere 861 stores and Coles 746. That said, Coles and Woolworths stores occupy much more space than the average IGA outlet. Still, IGA handle a large share of the grocery market.
When a currency experiences a major fluctuation there’s usually a ‘silent period’ before the economic consequences filter through. Recently published statistics by Citi Research indicate that the Australian dollar’s recent decline in value, which started in September 2014, is now becoming visible in the retail market.