One of the BMF’s latest bespoke training courses, the title ‘Shrink Academy’, may suggest that it focuses solely on reducing shrinkage within a business. But, as we discover from its creator and lead trainer, Paul Winstanley of Bedrock UK, it is about much more.
Before setting up his own training and consultancy business, Paul was Head of Security and Loss Prevention at BSS, CCF & Keyline, part of Travis Perkins plc. Until last October, he also chaired the DIY Loss Prevention Group run by ORIS (Outsourced Risk & Insurance Solutions), which includes major merchants and DIY retailers amongst its members as well as the BMF.
“Many businesses consider shrink to be either loss of margin or stock-take variances,” explained Paul. “Shrink is about these measurements but there are a plethora of other key drivers that will have a significant impact upon a business’s bottom line profit. Unless a business is really shabby resulting in a culture of internal / external theft issues, the majority of losses, both measurable and non-measurable are a result of poor delivery of process and procedures. Research suggests that this could account to some two thirds of a business’ loss each year!”
“The majority of losses, both measurable and non-measurable are a result of poor delivery of process and procedures. And research suggests that this could account to some two thirds of a business’ loss each year!”
Paul continued: “Over the many years I have implemented ‘Shrink Academy’ across various trading formats, the key element has always been capturing heart and minds in order to deliver change. This starts at the top with the Board Members — without their commitment you cannot change a culture within an organisation to one that is both aware of what causes losses and has an appetite to implement change.”
The BMF Shrink Academy programme can be tailored to any merchant operation. Paul looks at all aspects of a business and uses the experts already working within it to identify the operational failures that cause loss.
These experts, he argues, probably have not been identified before because they have not been given a voice. However, the colleagues who operate at the sharp end, in branch network, distribution and administration teams, delivering business process and procedures will know every flaw.
Involving these colleagues in the programme will “unleash the truth” as to what drives loss within the business. Their observations are integral to the process, so the top team must take them on board and rectify them wherever possible, or provide feedback why not, if the business’ infrastructure cannot accommodate a particular change.
Shrink Academy will also identify loss which is not measurable, which Paul calls ‘lost opportunity’. He said: “This element of the programme will help you understand why a culture of poor stock counts can lose you sales. For example, in response to a customer enquiry for a particular product you check the system and confirm it’s in stock, but when they arrive at the store, the product can’t be found as the stock counts are inaccurate.
“Result — one disappointed and annoyed customer who wanted the item there and then, and so ‘once bitten twice shy’ will not be using that business again.”
No matter how much of an open-door policy you have within a business, the benefits of employing an independent, expert consultant to identify problem areas and help successfully deliver change cannot be underestimated.
For more information about Shrink Academy or BMF’s full training portfolio, please visit the BMF website or call 02476 854980.