SAO gives more time for customers
Author: Christoffer Skjødt, Communications Intern
SAO - semi-automated ordering – was last year put in focus through an ambassador project, which has freed up more time for customer service.
Only few people have the title of ambassador on their CV. However, since July, 18 JYSK employees across country borders have been SAO ambassadors through a project led by Purchasing and Retail.
What is sao?
- SAO is the semi-automated ordering system in JYSK.
- The SAO system creates order suggestions for stores based on compiled data.
- SAO was introduced in JYSK in 2011.
“Each time a store changes something in SAO, the time the employees spend on this goes from something else. This is why the main purpose of the project was to create trust in the system, so the employees have more time for customer service,” says Jesper Frovin, Retail Process Coordinator in Retail Nordic and one of the people responsible for the SAO project.
The project has already created great results, which can be seen in SAO’s acceptance rate, which since the introduction of SAO has been at around 75%. The acceptance rate is at 100% if there are no changes in the system.
“It is really impressive that the acceptance rate rose from 75% to 90% in September. That has been the development since the day we gave the ambassadors knowledge and motivation on a workshop in Budapest to improve the use of SAO in their own countries,” says Christina Villadsen, who as F&R Coordinator in Purchasing has also been part of the project.
Learning and dialogue on the schedule
Two of the ambassadors are Pierre de Vos, Retail Store Supporter in the Netherlands and Belgium, and Petr Hruška, District Manager in the Czech Republic.
“Before the workshop, I only had basic knowledge about SAO. After several lessons and discussions, I got new knowledge about how to use SAO as well as a technical aspect. In addition, we had some instructive dialogues, and we had a good time together. I heard about winters in Finland, football in Ukraine and food in Sweden. One of the ambassadors confirmed that ‘surströmming’ smells terrible,” says Petr.
Better at trusting SAO
At the workshop, the ambassadors were given a task where they were to create an implementation plan to optimise the use of SAO in their own countries. After that, the best plan was chosen as the winner.
“It was great to use my new knowledge about SAO and launch my implementation plan. Everybody was enthusiastic and supported me 100% in launching the plan. I used newsletters and videos on Facebook to communicate about the system to my colleagues, and that works very well,” says Pierre.
Petr also used his knowledge from Budapest in his work with the implementation plan.
“It has been really exciting to implement my own plan, which basically says that we have to become better at trusting SAO and letting the system do the work. I introduced the new SAO attitude to my colleagues, and they have been positive and dedicated to improving the use of SAO,” says Petr.
success from the beginning
Pierre and Petr agree that the success of the project is especially thanks to their colleagues, who have been dedicated to the SAO improvements.
“Today, my role as SAO ambassador is really important in my work, where I teach my colleagues how to use SAO in the best possible way. They know they can always ask me questions, and they do so every day. This tells me that they are also interested in the project,” says Pierre.
Christina is also very impressed with the project, which has been a success from the beginning. Now she is happy that the project will continue for another year.
“It is not every day that key people come back from a workshop and make strong results as our ambassadors did. Most importantly, they have freed up time in the store. Time that can now be used with customers,” says Christina.
Tips for optimal use of SAO
- Follow-up on out of stock situation shortly after delivery has been placed on the shelves.
- Thorough review of Sales Optimising List (SOL).
- Follow-up on SM/DM values.
- Focus in store on correct stock.
- Ensure that current planograms are followed.