BI-LO, Maynard Partner to Set the Standard for Grocery Chains
BI-LO, LLC is a leading grocery store chain operating in the southeastern part of the United States, with stores in Georgia, North and South Carolina, and Tennessee, among other states. Headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina with stores under the BI-LO and Bruno's banners, the company operates more than 300 stores.
Previously owned by a large, publicly held retail company, BI-LO was sold in 2004 to an investment firm and now operates as a private company. In an effort to identify efficiencies and improve productivity, BI-LO's management team wanted to create, evaluate and re-validate labor standards for its stores - and they wanted it done quickly.
BI-LO turned to H. B. Maynard and Company, Inc. (Maynard®) for help in developing a methods-based approach to engineered standards using Maynard's StandardsPro® for Retail Work Measurement Software.
Maynard Sets Sights on BI-LO's High Aspirations
In order to meet various goals including establishing its 2006 labor budget,
BI-LO wanted to re-validate all of its engineered standards over a six-month period in four key departments: front end/checkout; produce; bakery and meat. These departments were selected because their work tended to involve more tasks than other areas of the store.
"For every product BI-LO sells, we wanted to identify and document the methods and standards needed to produce and sell that product," said Billy Watkins, Labor Application Manager and Senior Industrial Engineer for the grocery chain. "That's a lot of information that not only needs to be accurate and organized, but also needs to be communicated to our store managers. And we needed that data quickly."
Maynard provided industry-typical grocery data as a starting point to help develop BI-LO's standards.
Given its ambitious objective, BI-LO implemented StandardsPro but found its progress wouldn't be fast enough to meet its timeline. So the company called on Maynard experts to help with the project.
"We knew our goal was large," Watkins said. "Fortunately, we had great support not only from the BI-LO management team, but also from Maynard. They were the key to our success."
Getting (Industry) Specific/ Focusing on Time Reduction
One of the challenges slowing BI-LO's progress was the time required to develop the necessary data from scratch. To meet this challenge, Maynard provided industry-typical grocery data as a starting point to help develop BI-LO's standards. By leveraging this data within the StandardsPro application, BI-LO could develop its standards much more quickly.
"Maynard really came to the rescue. Once they became involved, we reduced the amount of time it took to develop standards significantly," Watkins said. "They were also very helpful in answering our technical questions, and were always available to discuss new ideas and better approaches to the work. It was a true partnership."
Using StandardsPro with the new grocery data also allowed BI-LO to more accurately define its methods and standards for each department. Through the software's "Profile Manager" tool, the grocery chain could address the variables involved in working with different departments and different stores. For example, in order to determine standards for its meat department, BI-LO used Profile Manager, which prompts managers to answer key questions about their operations. The questions focus on important work variables, such as the distance between the meat cooler and the meat grinder, helping to determine the amount of time workers need to complete tasks. As the managers answer more questions, StandardsPro helps create even more specific engineered standards for each departmental task.
To further streamline the process of developing standards, Maynard applied its statistical tools to focus efforts on the most important and time-consuming tasks. This helped to ensure the development effort didn't waste time by over-engineering the data for less important tasks.
BI-LO Brings Maynard Tools, Talent Together for Successful Results
With Maynard's help, BI-LO reached the goal of validating standards for its key departments, meeting their tight deadline. The grocery chain was even able to use the new standards to project its labor costs for the 2006 budget, with the knowledge that the standards were set using industry-specific data. By simulating what the time difference would be to change a particular process based on the method steps required,
BI-LO can see the impact on labor costs and better determine the value proposition.
"Through this process, we've also improved the credibility of the labor management department," Watkins said. "Our store reports clearly note each component of labor hours, providing more information to store managers than ever before."
In the future, Watkins notes that StandardsPro will be a key component of maintaining and updating new processes and standards. BI-LO is currently utilizing Maynard's PlanStaff Manager™ application which will work with StandardsPro to help stores better administer labor hours. The level of detail contained in BI-LO's new standards will provide managers will additional tools that are necessary to manage labor.
Maynard used the partnership with BI-LO to accelerate the Research and Development efforts around their latest solution, Engineered Standards for Grocery™. The new packaged solution streamlines the standards development process for store operations built around a systematic and accelerated development road map, integrating StandardsPro with industry-specific data in order to make a quantum leap forward in the reduction of standards development time.
If you would like to find out how to take your store operations to the next level with Maynard's All-New Engineered Standards for Grocery packaged solution, please click
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