I’m Kevin – I’m SM of the Innerleithen Store in Scotland. I’ve worked for the Co-op for the last 10 years, starting in store when I was just 17.
Looking back, I remember being so excited for our new HHTs to arrive. I’d been reading the posts on Social Media, seeing Chris Whitfield post pictures of what they would look and feel like. My colleagues and I were buzzing with excitement, imagining all of the amazing features that we hoped they would have.
When they landed, they did not disappoint. It felt like Christmas; the engineer’s arrival was more exciting than hearing Santa’s sleigh land on my roof when I was a young child. A cool £7million investment into our future, making our lives quicker and much simpler.
On the day they arrived there was a queue of colleagues waiting to use our new HHTs – the only queue I’ve ever been happy to see. Nadine, Hilda and Sharon were all desperate to go out and complete our reductions and price checks; wanting to experience the new functions, the speed and the layout. Sharon couldn’t believe how much faster they were. I was so excited to give them a try – I sat like a kid at Christmas waiting for my parents to tell me I could open my first present.
At 3:01pm on the dot, an excited Hilda came bounding up to me to show me the new reduction process. They were so excited by how much sleeker the menus were to navigate; how much easier it was to select a printer; how much faster they were and the most instant and noticeable… No more wheel of death when trying to log in.
I felt and saw a wave of relief sweep through the store team. At this point I was still desperate to get my hands on one. I had never been so desperate to do a gap scan…
I flew round the shop catching gaps, (And even deleting gaps that I had scanned in error). I was completely taken aback at the simplicity of it all. Everything a Store Manager had ever wanted for their teams was here. I printed, actioned and filled my gaps on a high. That was me hooked. What else could I do? There was only one option… Price checking. I was praying for a huge section like wines. But I got something even better… Health and beauty. I felt like all my Christmases had come at once, (Quite literally as we got top shelves the day before and headsets were due in the day after). 250 products later, I found myself bounding round my management team telling them how much better the new HHTs were. The speed was unreal. Less than 5 minutes to check all those products. I think it was the first time I’d ever heard a team leader say they were jealous about doing tasks.
Two months later I still get the same buzz. All the frustration of crashing guns, constant reboots and wheel of death are now gone; things that seems so minor but mean so much to my store team. We know there are still some changes which need to be made to improve efficiency even more, but all in all we’re thrilled with the new HHTs. The time we’re now saving on completing these tasks means we can do more of what we at the Co-op do best – serving our customers and our members better and creating room for us to engage with our communities.
I’m sure all of my fellow colleagues out there in our stores will join me in saying a massive thank you to everyone involved in making this project happen. Something like this is truly what Being Co-op is all about.