This month, in the final part of our two-part series examining the potential pitfalls of improving productivity by cutting costs, I provide several takeaway pointers to help your catalog/multichannel business make these changes with as little “pain” as possible. (For part 1, click here.) There are lessons we can take away from the two stories referenced in part 1, and you should consider them when you’re looking for ways to improve productivity and cut costs: 1. What’s the effect on the customer? Think about the reaction most people will have when reading the Ann Taylor story. Why would anybody want to work in retail?
Due to the nature of what we do as a fulfillment consulting firm, we spend much of our time helping clients improve productivity and reduce costs. We must be ever mindful of the negative side — the “dark side” — of productivity projects. That’s what happens if we don’t take the human factor into account. As someone with 30 years of experience in industrial engineering, I can tell you there’s no way to achieve long-term success in a re-engineering project without considering the effect it’ll have on people. This week, in the first installment of a two-part series on the negative side effects associated