Morrisons identified the checkout experience as one of the most important elements in achieving sustained customer loyalty.
In 2007 Morrisons deployed infrared detectors over checkout lanes and people counting devices to count the number of people entering their stores. Being able to access information on queue length and wait times, checkout managers were able to make more accurate decisions in real-time ensuring delivery of a more consistent 1+1 queue service to greater numbers of customers.
Managers were also able to predict cashier demand and noticed a significant reduction in the need for relief cashier hours.
Industry sector: retail, grocery
Geography: United Kingdom
Service solution: Queue Intelligence™ System
Project size: 495 stores
About Morrisons: Founded in 1899, Wm Morrison Supermarket plc has grown to become the UK’s fourth largest grocery chain, with almost 500 stores. Named ‘Supermarket of the Year’ in the 2008 Retail Industry Awards, Morrisons differentiates itself on ‘freshness, service and value’. Every week nine million customers pass through Morrisons’ doors.
Morrisons were seeking to deliver an improved ‘checkout experience’, while increasing the efficiency of staff deployment within Morrisons’ stores.
With a strategy forged on being ‘different and better than ever', Morrisons strive to improve the way they do business and ‘doing more of the things that matter’ for their customers – including offering outstanding service and being more efficient, so savings
can be passed onto their customers. In 2007, Morrisons were seeking to deliver an improved ‘checkout experience’, while increasing the efficiency of staff deployment within Morrisons’ stores.
Morrisons trialed the Irisys Queue Management system in a single store during Autumn 2007, extending this to a 5 store regional trial in Spring 2008.
Initial results showed they could use the existing scheduled checkout labor to improve their 1+1 service by 5-10%, producing a decrease in customer wait time and a noticeable difference in checkout service for their customers.
Prior to the Irisys solution, checkout managers manually estimated how many tills would be required, resulting in staffing levels sometimes being either too high or too low. By being able to access information on the move via PDA devices, checkout managers were able to make more accurate decisions in real-time ensuring delivery of a more consistent 1+1 queue service to greater numbers of customers.
In addition, Irisys developed a ‘Lane Scheduler’ tool to allow Morrisons to review and optimize checkout schedules by comparing historical checkout data with daily sales totals.
'Lane Scheduler' tool enabled prediction of future cashier demand
In using the tool to forecast future schedule requirements, Morrisons were able to maintain their desired 1+1 service target while at the same time reducing store cashier budgets by an average of 60 hours a week. By being able to predict cashier demand they also noticed a significant reduction in the need for relief cashier hours. Following the regional trial, Morrisons deployed the system to all stores in the second half of 2008 and first half of 2009.
Checkout managers were able to access real-time information whilst on the shop floor.
“We are seeing significant savings in checkout labor, a reduction in relief hours used and better productivity.”
Sylvia Jones, Head of Central Retail Operations, explains why Morrisons selected the Irisys solution; “The investment in the latest technology is part of our strategy to continue to not only be a leader in terms of value for money, but also in the delivery of exceptional service and real benefits to our customers. The five store trial quickly demonstrated that Irisys had delivered a system that matched our needs perfectly and feedback from the in-store management was extremely positive. By allowing us to have the right people in the right place at the right time, the Irisys system not only allowed us to deliver a streamlined customer experience, but also deliver tangible business benefits”.
Sylvia added: “We are seeing significant savings in checkout labor, a reduction in relief hours used and better productivity.”
Denise Inseon, Checkout Supervisor at Morrisons Kirkstall store describes the queue management technology as: “An indispensable tool in the customer service at our checkouts. Preconfigured to our needs, the PDA notifies me when additional tills will be required and allows me to prepare for service peaks much more effectively. Knowing customer demand in 15 or 30 minutes allows our staff to deliver excellent customer service in other areas of the store, with no impact on the customer experience at checkout. Every way we use this tool allows us to deliver an improved shopping experience to our customers, but also delivers valid benefits to our workforce.”
"Exceeded our expectations"
Sylvia Jones, Head of Central Retail Operations concludes, “It has been a pleasure to work with the Irisys team and they have exceeded our expectations. We have invested in a solution that will not only help us deliver a better shopping experience to our customers, but function more efficiently as an organisation.”