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In the second of a three-part series, Joga Uppal explains how he uses the One Stop formula to work for his business, and discusses his journey to successfully launching his new store.
In part 1, Joga talks about why he and his brother Aman chose to become One Stop franchisees and the importance of collaboration.
Making the One Stop formula work for us
One Stop has a prescribed formula for store operation; it could almost be seen as ‘retailing for dummies’. This is not to suggest that it is an easy transition to their system because at the early stages the new franchisee has to totally change their store operation.
Any major change has its challenges, but the support that One Stop provided us certainly smoothed the journey.
Once the system was fully implemented I quickly saw the benefits of working the One Stop way. The system is set up brilliantly. They have thought about everything and it starts with their EPoS – a system designed by retailers, for retailers.
Thirteen weeks before our new store was planned to launch, One Stop’s scanning system was installed in our original store. Along with the engineer, they provided a Launch Support Manager who was with us for the first week.
His role was to train our team on the system, as well as assist wherever he could to ensure a smooth transition to the One Stop store management system.
By the end of the first week we had all our SKUs on the system, shelf-edge price labels in place and the first deliveries from our new supplier had arrived.
At the end of this first week our temporary One Stop banner had replaced the previous fascia and we were on our way.
Over the next few weeks we had a phased programme of delisting the products that we would not be taking into our new store range. For most stores moving to One Stop there is a 13-week transfer period and ours culminated in the opening of the new store.
Our process of training and learning was not easy for us as our Dad passed away at the end of November 2015. Even though we had only just joined them, the people at One Stop were incredibly supportive during what was a very difficult time.
They certainly did their very best to help us keep the project on track.
Launching our new store
The weeks before our new store opened were filled with learning the One Stop store management processes, which very new to Aman and myself. This was happening alongside finalising the details for the fitting out of the new store and transfer of the business into the new space.
The support we had for launch was very complete, from layout planning and ranging through to fit-out. The assigned One Stop project manager smoothly guided us through, ensuring we were happy with everything as we went along.
We were not happy to have to close during the final few days before the opening while the business was transferred, but we knew that it was absolutely necessary for safety reasons. The launch team were very hands-on and supportive, with a focus was on a perfect launch and beyond.
One of the big things that impressed us about One Stop – from Andrew King and John Miller to the rest of the team – is that they are retailers who understand that while the parent company is a corporate, the franchisees are individual businesses and it is a partnership.
This makes for a relationship that is personal, not corporate.
The ‘nerve centre’ of the store operation is the EPoS back-office with emails coming out from One Stop daily to keep us up to date. The daily routine of orders and deliveries are set so we know what we need to do on each day, which helped make the huge transition so easy.
As we had no previous experience with EPoS, One Stop suggested that we have the ‘back-office’ terminal on the counter rather than off the shop floor. We have found this a big help with our store efficiency.
Our order windows are each morning. We have a two-hour window; I concentrate on fresh ordering, and Aman looks after ambient orders from the warehouse.
If we had the back office located away from the sales floor we would require a staff member to man the tills whilst we took time to do orders. Our staff can now concentrate on the shop floor during the morning, dealing with the deliveries whilst we can do orders and serve customers.
We have found the One Stop Franchise Support Line to be a real boon. We have come to know the team well, and no matter who we speak to, they have always been interested in helping us solve every issue that we have wanted help with.
In part 3, Joga talks about the benefits of joining One Stop and how it has helped with improving employee training, planogramming and managing his store.
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