Approaching Risk Collaboratively

Risk Team

For the Food Risk Team, keeping our stores safe for our colleagues and customers is our number one priority, and through 2018 we will be taking a more collaborative approach to look at how we can improve store operations.

A New Approach

The food business has invested a great deal to re-invigorate our approach to risk, and key to this is establishing a dedicated Food Risk team within the Retail Support Centre. For a long time Risk has been a Group function, but we believe that stores deserve a front line risk support team who are in touch and engaged with our food stores, and can act as a first-line support.

Bringing in Experience

The new team brings together experienced risk colleagues into the Food support centre to support stores. Our team of 24 Food Risk Support Officers (FRSOs) will bring with them a huge amount of experience and working within food they will be closely aligned to our stores with one clear objective – to make our stores safer for colleagues and customers.

What Stores will see

From 4th February the FRSOs will be embarking on a series of operational assessments which will run through 2018. But where previous audits have been focused on spot-checks and reactively supporting stores after incidents, our new approach will be more collaborative. For each assessment, the team will be spending around 6 hours in your store – looking at all elements of store operations and operational compliance. We’ll be looking at processes that we have never reviewed before, and by spending more time in stores and speaking first-hand to colleagues and store teams we will have a great opportunity to identify where processes aren’t working, and to speak to colleagues on the front line to get their insight on how things can be improved and simplified.

Benefits for stores

This is also a great opportunity for our store colleagues to speak to the team and give your feedback and insight on how we can improve things. We will be using the data and insight we gather during the assessments to feed in to the Retail Support Centre to drive the changes, improvements and opportunities that will make your stores simpler and safer for colleagues, customers and members.  The Team are really excited about this can’t wait to get out to meet you.

Colleague Insights on Change

In 2017 we held a number of listening events for store colleagues. This year we want to do a better job of using that feedback to shape ideas, and last week the Colleague Insight Team held our first workshop session of 2018 with a group of store colleagues. It was a chance to directly influence the key areas you’ve been taking about. The session covered a lot of ground, but the focus was how in different ways we can remove any duplication and free time up in store to focus on what matters most.

Rhythm and Routine

We began by building on one of the key topics from the previous RSC Hackathon – the Rhythm & Routine Book. The changes we made in December received mixed feedback, and it was clear we could do better. Our colleagues broke off into groups to discuss what works with the current book and what doesn’t

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The overall feeling was that while the book added value in some aspects, it had become over complicated and time consuming. The main positive being that it was a good training tool for new colleagues, but had limited impact with experienced colleagues.

Groups were invited to then design what the book may look like, listing the must have details within the book and focusing on how we can make it as lean as possible. This will now be taken away and reworked and sent to the printers in time for Q2.

Innovating for the Future

Colleagues were also given a preview of the new tablets which will be hitting stores in Q2 – this was a great chance for the group to see some of the capabilities of the tablets, including delivery checking, Verisae, How Do I and Bunzl, but was also an opportunity to feedback to Project Manager James on ways we could best use the tablets in store, with suggestions including bar-code scanner/ spyglass, face-time, and inventory management.

A key focus of the day was to gain the store perspective on how we can land change better. In the Innovation Centre colleagues were given an insight into some of the key ideas, concepts and technology that may help shape our future stores, including digital warehouse mapping, electronic SELs and voice activation.

“It really makes me feel more confident that we are looking to the future” Darren, Team Manager

“I’m surprised how much focus there is on Safety” Callum, Team Manager

Our colleagues were clear on the positives of the innovation ideas they saw, especially the focus on safety, but they were equally clear that they felt it was important to focus on fixing the issues that affect stores in the ‘here and now’.  It was clear that SELs and POS was called out as a priority focus for our store colleagues.

The ‘Here and Now’

We finished off the day with a session on looking at how we can make sure we have the best processes in store. As well as looking at some of the methods we will be using to improve how we operate, some of the suggestions included giving Team Leaders more responsibility in briefing colleague on change, and to bring more consistently co-op ways of working to all roles, from Area Manager to CTM.

The Colleague Insight team will be doing all we can in 2018 to ensure our colleagues have the voice to shape the change that will be coming, so don’t forget, if you have an idea on how we can improve or simplify things in stores, or if you would be interested in attending any future listening sessions, please drop us a line at colleagueinsight@coop.co.uk