Availability – Academy in Action follow-up

In March, Mark Yexley from category partner JTI visited Toby Stokes at his shop in Thetford to advise him on how to improve his availability. Three months on, we look at how he is better managing his stock

IAA advice

  1. Set an availability target and organise team meetings – action each morning to solve gaps
  2. Create a written plan for stock issues and share with your team so they can be solved more quickly
  3. Introduce gap checks after busy periods so you can deal with issues before the next busy period

The Results


Following Mark’s advice, we’ve put gap checks in place and we assess the shelves several times a day. Our gaps have reduced and availability has improved. We still have our standard delivery twice a week from our supplier, but we have implemented a plan for when they fail to deliver something, although we haven’t had to use it much. We have a 10-minute daily informal meeting where we reinforce availability. 


Toby has made great improvements and I am pleased his stock issues are now being resolved quickly. It’s important to keep following the formal shop’s processes and talking to staff about them, as this will help maintain customer loyalty.


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