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Decentralise command! Five reasons frontline employees should own your company’s procedures

I recently spoke to a Continuous Improvement leader and VP of Quality at a large manufacturer who said; “we’ve written standards and procedures, but we need more trainers to get our employees to follow them”.

TWI for the 21st Century – Are Coaching Networks the future?

The US established the Training within Industry (TWI) Services as part of the War Manpower Commission in the summer of 1940.  At the time the US faced a significant challenge – how to increase industrial production of wartime materials while the industrial workforce was abroad, fighting the war.

4 mistakes to avoid when writing work instructions

In our daily lives, we come across examples of work instruction all the time - we follow cooking recipes, search for ‘How to’ videos online, try to understand the  user manual when setting up a new home appliance.

Why training is failing the frontline workforce

It is estimated that deskless workers make up 80 percent of the global workforce. Those are the workers at the organisational frontline:

Visual Work Instructions: What are the best devices and user interfaces?

In our article dedicated to The Benefits of Visual Work Instructions, we looked at how a digital, multi-media upgrade of Standard Operating Procedures can have a far-reaching positive impact on the shop floor – from improved safety and quality, to reduced training costs.

What are the benefits of Visual Work Instuctions?

Do you have a bunch of cookbooks in your kitchen and yet, whenever you cook, you search online for a recipe with step-by-step images? Have you ever fixed a home appliance, or resolved a plumbing disaster, or revived your car in the middle of nowhere by following a YouTube video rather than the paper manual? Have you ever video-called a friend who knows how to fix or do something that you’re struggling with and followed their guidance? What you’ve searched for in any of those situations are visual work instructions.

The challenges of the changing manufacturing workforce and how to address them

Some might say that the manufacturing industry is facing a perfect storm in terms of workforce instability:

• an ageing workforce putting valuable tribal knowledge at risk

What are the benefits of standard work?

What is Standard Work?

Put simply, standard work is all about defining and implementing the most effective and efficient way to deliver value.

Overall Equipment Effectiveness: How to calculate and improve your OEE score

The term Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) was coined in the 1980s by Seiichi Nakajima and has since been used in Total Productive Maintenance to measure the total productivity of a machine or product line.

What are the benefits of a paperless factory (or how paper-based systems are hindering manufacturing excellence)

Let’s look at two shop floors – one depicted in the nineteenth century and the other photographed in the twenty-first.

How to comply with OSHA digital record rules within minutes?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has recently issued a new rule for businesses across the US to submit workplace illness and injury data digitally.

What is the operator skillset required for Industry 4.0?

We are amidst “the next phase in the digitization of the manufacturing sector” also known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0. Most definitions focus on the technological disruptors behind it such as:

How to make continuous improvement work for your organisation?

Nearly half of organisations’ attempts to implement continuous improvement fail. We look at what might be the underlying causes and how fixing the feedback loop between planning and frontline execution can increase the success rate of adopting continuous improvement.

Supplier Performance Management:  What are the benefits of a collaborative approach?

Whether managing a multi-tier supplier network or a handful of local suppliers, manufacturers are likely to face issues with supplier performance.

How to improve your ‘First Time Right’ score in 5 steps

Imagine that you are having a new oven fitted in your kitchen.

Would you:

Have it fitted the right way the first time around, ensuring that it is perfectly functional from day one and works without a fault thereafter?

How to upskill your shop floor workforce in 5 steps?

In 2013, not long after the term Industry 4.0 had been coined, an Oxford study predicted that 47 per cent of US employment was at risk of being automated out of existence1. Since then many pessimistic (and technophobic) accounts have followed suit.

How to drive HSEQ compliance in manufacturing with digital work instructions?

Manufacturers today face a challenging task - how to continuously drive the speed, scale and efficiency of manufacturing operations while addressing the implications of employee churn, an ageing workforce and increasing technological complexity.

The Retail Execution Cloud - Zaptic and Exsellence Case Study

What does a working day with Zaptic look like for a Business Development Executive and their Commercial Manager?

The importance of continuous reinvention in brick and mortar retail

Toys R Us has announced that it will close all its stores in the US and the UK, putting 30,000 jobs at risk [1]. Earlier this week, Claire’s Accessories was reported to be preparing for bankruptcy [2]. In the end of February, Maplin, one of the UK’s biggest electronics retailers with more than 200 stores and 2,300 staff, also collapsed into administration.

What are the benfits of a mobile approach to HSEQ?

Whether in construction and civil engineering, manufacturing, transportation or facilities management, organisations need to put in place a system of HSEQ procedures to ensure the safety and well-being of workers and to evidence compliance to regulatory bodies.

Zero incident culture: the best approach to HSEQ or a meaningless corporate slogan?

The debate over the pros and cons of a zero-incident culture has been a prominent one in the HSEQ community.

HSEQ in the construction sector: What are the most common injuries and how to eliminate them?

According to the HSE, approximately 64,000 construction workers in the UK sustain a non-fatal injury at work every year.

Can we break the barriers to a fair future of work for all with tech?

Today, the average person changes job ten to fifteen times during her career. People born between 1960s – 1980s averaged two job changes by 32 years of age while young people today average four [1]. This indicates a shift away from the employment for life mindset – understood as the first job you get determines your career path for life.

Why a behaviour based approach to safety doesn’t always work and how  can tech change that?

In 2016/2017, 137 workers were killed at work with construction, agriculture and manufacturing being the industries with the highest number of fatalities.

The future of fair work: Which corner are you in?

In an excellent podcast episode the venture capitalist Naval Ravikant painted the following picture about a future of work characterised by extreme flexibility and mass self employment:

How to improve retail execution with gamification

Numerous studies have examined the reasons that motivate people to play games – including high sense of achievement, instant gratification, competition, break from tedious tasks.

How to eliminate manufacturing losses with remote equipment monitoring

Industry 4.0 is transforming the way manufacturing operations are executed and monitored. Manufacturing companies are turning to new technological capabilities.

What are the Six Big Losses in manufacturing and how to eliminate them

Developed in 1971 at the Japanese Institute of Plant Maintenance, the Six Big Losses in manufacturing have been used as a way to categorize equipment-based losses and maximize overall equipment effectiveness.

4 Benefits of Field Force Automation

Many industries have a large deskless workforce, deployed across countries and even continents to perform a diverse set of tasks. This poses several challenges – how can organisations ensure that:

• frontline workers, regardless of their location, are following the same standards of operational execution and compliance;

How to improve in-store merchandising in 3 tech-enabled steps 

Despite predictions of a “Retail Armageddon” with brick and mortar retailers facing rising e-commerce competition and increasing financial pressures, 94% of all retail sales in the U.S. still take place in physical stores.

Underpinning the 10 pillars of World Class Manufacturing with digital technology

The affordability and quality of a product are fundamental determinants of customer satisfaction.

How to prepare for a retiring workforce

The Pros and Cons of Centralising Merchandising Execution and Compliance

In-store merchandising decisions so bad they are actually good

In-store merchandising is an essential aspect of store operations with non-compliance and poor execution resulting in lost sales and customer dissatisfaction.

Merchandising Tips to Help Physical Stores Shine this Christmas

According to a survey conducted by Deloitte, this year’s holiday shoppers will spend an estimated $228 more per household than last year [1]. To make the most of the holiday season, brick and mortar retailers need to respond to e-commerce competition and growing customer expectations of a seamless, digital-like in-store experience.

Why Retail Sales Is All About Operational Excellence

Most people would think that sales are driven by teams of sales people. Well, of course this is true in nearly all cases, but there is one case where sales numbers depend more on operations execution than sales activities. 

Coaching Networks - how to upskill the frontline workforce for an age of automation?

The rapid development of technology has faced the frontline workforce with a two-fold challenge.

The Store Operations Guide: How to improve in-store standards with a leaner workforce?

Retailers are facing a serious challenge:

How to maintain and improve in-store execution standards with a leaner
workforce on the shop floor?

How to do more with less by significantly improving the productivity of their frontline workforce?

How to Upskill Your Frontline Workforce with Guided Task Execution

“There's an app for that”, said no Operations Director ever. Until now.

In this video, you'll learn how retail, services and manufacturing companies are using Zaptic to simplify task execution in-store and along supply chains, driving productivity and compliance in their frontline operations.

5 Essential Software Functionalities to Drive Frontline Operations (and how to implement them)

The proliferation of cloud, mobile, social and analytics technologies have transformed desk-bound work.

Is Uber-style Flexibility the Key to Lower Employee Turnover in Retail?

According to Bloomberg [1], employee turnover in the retail sector is 5% per month, making retail one of the industries with the lowest retention rates. Employees’ reasons for leaving are diverse and interconnected – from dissatisfaction with payment and management to monotony of daily tasks.

How Can Gamification Improve Store Operations?

Gamification is the application of typical elements of gameplay such as rules of play, point scoring, milestones and competition to professional activity, aimed to encourage employee engagement.

Should Planogram Compliance Matter?

A recent study shows that only 11% of retailers see planogram or store layout compliance as a priority KPI when measuring store performance [1]. Instead, retail operations leaders prioritise KPIs such as

How to Reduce Inventory Shrinkage in 4 Simple Steps

In 2016, inventory shrinkage cost US retailers $49 billion with 47% of retailers surveyed reporting annual increase in overall inventory shrinkage [1].

How can Physical Stores Thrive with Smarter Store Operations? [Infographic]

Despite predictions of its demise relative to e- and m-commerce, the physical store remains the most important consumer touch point.

Zaptic and Unilever: Boosting Sales Force ROI with Retail Activity Optimisation

The case study illustrates how Zaptic enabled Unilever Portugal to use mobile, cloud and data analytics capabilities to improve

When the Molehill Becomes a Mountain: What to do when compliance goes astray

Non-compliance can cost retailers and QSRs hefty fines, lost customer trust and even location closures, posing a threat to their credibility and profitability. Often, due to a blind spot in operations, small and easily resolvable issues are left to grow into unmanagable problems.

Join the Revolution with Smart Checklists in the Connected Enterprise!

Whether you prefer the term 'industrial internet of things', or industry 4.0, either way the rise of connected enterprises is changing the way all types of business operations can be monitored.

From Retail Audits to Predictive Store Execution!

In our recent article, we discussed how technology is changing the way operational auditing is conducted, transforming the concept from post-hoc reporting to a real-time, continuous and predictive capability.

How Are Tech-Enabled Audits Improving Operational Visibility?

The advancement of automation and mobile technology is disrupting how operational audits are performed. 

The Hectic Day of a Store Associate as Illustrated by Our Favourite Cat Gifs

With retailers increasingly relying on leaner, more flexible workforces, store associates are expected to be even more productive, doing more and more diverse tasks in less time.

How Can Area Managers Do More with Less?

Area managers have many and diverse responsibilities – from maximising sales and profitability, through maintaining and increasing customer service standards and health and safety compliance, to controlling staff training and development. So much to do and only so much time!

What does the future of work look like for store associates?

Cornerstone Capital Group’s latest report predicts that nearly 7 million retail jobs are likely to be automated out of existence in the coming years, leaving a large portion of the retail workforce at risk of becoming ‘stranded workers’ [1].

5 Productivity Quotes and How to Put Them Into Practice In-store

Rising e-tail competition and economic pressure has led many retailers to remove operating cost with a leaner and more flexible workforce. The challenge for retailers is to maintain and improve in-store standards with a leaner workforce on the shop floor.

How to do more with less in-store? (3 Steps to Smarter Store Operations)

Despite predictions of its demise relative to e- and m-commerce, the physical store remains the most important consumer touch point. 

How to Build an Exponential Sales and Customer Engagement Organisation? (Part I)

Airbnb and Uber are obvious examples of Exponential Organisations, disrupting the hotel and taxi industries, succeeding without owning a single room/car. However, ExponentialOrganisations are not limited to Silicon Valley tech start-ups.

The Zaptic Digital Operational Excellence Series

With 90% of sales still taking place in bricks and mortar for many categories, millennials have high in-store expectations, but offline experience attributes and operations are too often omitted in digital transformation initiatives.

How you are miscalculating your on shelf availability score and what to do about it?

On the surface, it might seem like calculating OSA scores is simplistic. However, complexity arises when attempting to calculate OSA scores across different regions, stores and time periods.

Retail Activity Optimisation Beyond EPOS Data Sources

The Promotion Optimisation Institute and Gartner similarly introduce Retail Activity Optimisation (RAO) as the leveraging of EPOS data to help field sales forces identify which stores represent the highest turnover opportunities and what the required actions in-store are.

The 3G Capital Playbook of the Future - Digital Operational Excellence

How does a 32-year old who has never worked in a restaurant, nor climbed the corporate ladder, become the CEO of a company as big as Burger King?

4 Benefits of a Flexible Workforce

94% of businesses believe that a flexible workforce is "vital or important to the competitiveness of the UK's labour market and for prospects for investment and job creation" [1]

How Digital Workers Create Happy Customers with Digital Operational Excellence

The proliferation of productivity and collaboration tools in the workplace reflects the business value in digitalising routine processes, allowing workers to focus on value-adding actions.

4 Lessons from Navy SEALs for Field Sales

Today, we want to explore how good leadership, supported by the latest technology, can empower the frontline workforce to reach optimal productivity, effectiveness and efficiency.

How Can CPGs and Retailers Digitally Improve Bricks and Mortar Operations?

Consumer packaged goods companies (CPGs) and retailers, share the common goal of continuously improving customer experience.

Discover Zaptic - The User-Friendly Process Cloud

Let's take a quick video journey to see how Zaptic empowers the workforce and enables consumer goods companies to realise digital operational excellence in retail execution.

Why CPGs and Retailers Must Address the Gap in Digital Transformations

Millennials as a consumer group are expected to spend $10 trillion over their lifetimes in the USA alone.

How to Do More with Less to Maximise Execution Coverage

Retail execution and monitoring is a complex yet necessary process to win at the shelf. Suppliers, brokers, distributors and retailers all work together to ensure brand standards are met, and consumer expectations satisfied.

Six Steps to Next-Gen Retail Execution and Monitoring

The good news for CPG execs is that rapid developments in cloud, mobile, social and analytics technologies have presented  an opportunity to improve the customer experience through digital transformation.

Demystifying the Excess Tools in Retail Execution and Monitoring

Technology has had a wide-reaching impact on retail. E- and m-commerce have become central aspects of a digital customer experience.

Omni-channel Retail Execution and Monitoring in Megacities

Today there are 35 megacities worldwide, cities with more than 10 million inhabitants. Rapid urbanisation has presented consumer goods companies (CPGs) with great opportunities and challenges.

7 Must-Have Features to Win at Retail Execution and Monitoring

Using the latest applications of data analytics, cloud, social and gamified app experience, we present an infographic with the list of features, which when implemented creates a tool that supports continuous process improvements in retail execution and monitoring:

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