Waste in retail

                  One of the wastes in lean thinking is defects.This represents a type of waste that must be avoided.However, we typically think of this in a manufacturing environment.It does, however, relate to the retail liquor and wine store.
Since Lean was developed in a manufacturing environment, people think that it can only be applied to manufacturing companies.However, the same principles apply to all types of businesses.Retail liquor and wine stores are no exception.We’ll walk through a few examples.The first is when a customer asks for a specific bottle of wine.If your employee provides the customer with the incorrect wine, that is a defect.From lean thinking, that type of waste must be eliminated.Another example is in the dreaded “corked” or “cooked” wine and “skunked” beer.This is a defect either in the production or handling process.However, the consumer has consistently shown that the perception is that the wine store created the defect.Therefore, the consumer blames the retail outlet for the problem.This is another type of defect that should be limited by the retail outlet.The checkout process is probably the biggest place for defects in a retail store.Any sort of defect at the register for the customer can cause problems.This can be manifested in customer dissatisfaction.Other examples can be found, when you look at the processes in your store.
                    The focus for the owner should be on removing these defects.In the examples provided, the first part is to recognize that the defects occur.Once the identification is complete, a course of action can be taken to correct the defect.Now, it is important to correct the defect that happened, but also to identify the sourceof the problem.Quality must be built in, it can’t be resolved later on.In the example of the bad wine or beer, we can refund a customer’s money to solve the problem.However, this would only continue the problem.The key is to find the root cause of the problem.The quality should be at the source and rectified there.This may lie in the shipping method (unrefrigerated container), importer, or winery.Once the root cause can be identified, it will have to be fixed to stop the defect from occurring in the first place.