There hasn't been good news about our economy lately. Even so, there's one grocery store, Seijo Ishii, outperforming its competition. Let's see how they operate their business.
One noticeable thing is their obsession with their original products. Seijo Ishii isn't just using selected ingredients and avoiding using food additives, they forget about efficiency, and they hand process their foods to bring out the best flavour of the ingredients. Even though they're a grocer, their obsession with their products matches that of professional cooks. Maybe you can't compete against big names on pricing, but you have a passion for your products stronger than anyone else's, right?
In MBA classrooms, they talk about efficiency, cost cuts, etc. When you think about those terms, they're all about corporations' profits, nothing about customers' convenience. At Seijo Ishii, customers' convenience comes first. For example, they've decided not to disappoint customers with out-of-stock products. To do so, they restock products by delivering out-of-stock products from a nearby store that has enough stock. They deliver the products through their own staff (not by courier services). Obviously, this is totally cost inefficient. But, cost efficiency is the store's problem, not the customers'.
I've been saying that we should operate our businesses in a customer oriented manner. However, I usually get the response that you can't make profits with such an idealistic theory. But, the performance of Seijo Ishii has proven my point. Maybe it's time to re-think what a customer's store really is.
© June, 2016