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Six Tata companies in the retail space share best practices on commissioning of a new store

Published on February 24, 2020

Commissioning of a new store can often present a challenging prospect. To learn from each other’s experiences, various companies in the Tata retail cluster, gathered at Trent House, Mumbai, to share their practices adopted, when creating new retail set-ups. Tata Business Excellence Group facilitated the EPIC best practice sharing programme on February 12, 2020.

The gathering included delegates from Infiniti Retail (Croma), Trent (Westside), Trent Hypermarket (Star Bazaar), Titan, Tata Starbucks, and Okhai, a rural women’s collective supported by Tata Chemicals. While the Tata companies presented their best practices, members from Okhai made notes to help them when they open their first outlet for ethnic fashion, shortly.

Infiniti Retail shared practices adopted by them to overcome challenges faced while:

  • Selecting the property
  • Setting up store design
  • Completing and handing over the project
  • Managing vendors
  • Launching the store

Trent Hypermarket, in addition to its new store opening process, showcased its process to capture the following:

  • Performance of new stores
  • Safety interventions when working with contractors
  • Remote energy monitoring and AC scheduling activities based on Internet of Things (IOT)
  • Automation to reduce project time

Trent also presented its practices around:

  • Project design and management
  • Refurbishment
  • Procurement
  • Energy management
  • Audit
  • Safety

Trent has benchmarked its processes around new projects (fit-out period), refurbishment and fit-out cost and found it to be best among its Indian counterparts.

Unlike Infiniti Retail, Trent, and Trent Hypermarket, Titan manages relatively small stores — from 300 to 8000 sq ft in size. However, Titan has over 1700 stores across its various brands — Titan, Fastrack, Tanishq, Mia, Zoya, Taneria, Titan Eye, Montblanc and Caratlane. It has created an ‘Integrated Retail Services Group’ to cater to the needs of its brands. This team handles roughly 350 projects a year – close to one per day; giving it proficiency in establishing entry level as well as super luxury stores. Among other things, Titan showcased its practices of energy efficiency, safety at jewellery stores, IBM BPM workflow tool, M service – the retail maintenance portal, Project Tracker with Q focus app and sustainability initiatives at Titan’s new campus in Bengaluru.

Starbucks endeavours to occupy the prime spot in its customers’ lives — just behind ‘Home’ and ‘Work’. Hence, customer experience is a vital ingredient for Starbucks when designing its new stores. Further, to give the brand a distinctive appeal, Starbucks design team ensures that no two stores look entirely the same. Starbucks shared key attributes of:

  • Its design processes
  • Utility cost reduction with the use of IOT
  • Capex reduction initiatives
  • Store refurbishment process

In this engaging session, the delegates realised that they had many common problems. They understood that instead of adopting a trial and error method, they could be better served by learning from the solutions deployed by other companies within the Tata fold.

After the conclusion of the presentations by the five companies, the delegates spent some time in identifying specific areas where they could benefit from the assistance of the other Tata retail brands’ teams. TBExG volunteered to facilitate individual discussions and further adaptation of practices. The companies further agreed to circulate information about statutory licenses required, and a list of vendors, for activities about the opening of new stores. The participants found this session extremely useful and, on request for continued collaboration between the retail cluster, TBExG agreed to facilitate another session for the retail cluster soon.

Participant Speak

This session could not have happened at a better time! Okhai is launching its first store in the next 15 days, and valuable insights that we have gained from the entire Tata ecosystem will help us in eliminating potential mistakes and implementing value-added activities.

We have a wealth of information across the Tata group. However, there is no formal method to gain access to it. As a result, we have to reach out to friends or acquaintances to help us find the right person in the organisation. Alternately we have to adopt a top-down approach, through the CEOs. TBExG has implemented a systematic process, which makes the process of seeking information, a professional one. The transparent process of exchange of ideas will lead to collective growth and overall strength of the Tata group.

— Kirti Poonia – Okhai

The retail space demands enhanced agility when ramping up or launching new outlets. The best practice sharing session would help significantly reduce the learning curve of each team. Besides, the knowledge-sharing platform will also help us synergise with other teams in some of the common threads, e.g. procurement, technology, etc. It would certainly improve process effectiveness.

— Anirban Chatterjee - Trent

Perhaps, for the first time, I have seen people working towards store-commissioning, across different Tata organisations, come together. I had been trying for 10 years for this kind of session, I am glad it happened now. My sincere thanks to the TBExG team for organising such a wonderful event, which helps people working in similar functions to synergise, and contribute more in our sphere of activities.

— Subrata Nag - Infiniti Retail

I wish to thank the team for facilitating this forum and getting key Tata companies together. The session was enriching, and we intend to connect with our colleagues from other companies to continuously gather ideas on improving our respective functions. This forum should continue, and we should have such events every quarter.

— Vishal Shah - Tata Starbucks
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