Throughout the past couple of months (when far more has become known about COVID-19 though you have to dig for the data), I’m more than a bit surprised about the number of “one size fits all” comments on this (and many other) blogs.
Can we do a bit of a thought experiment here? Imagine that instead of a deadly disease we were (all of us professionally involved in retail one way or another) tracking and trying to better understand a new sales initiative that happened to be geographically clustered and demographically stratified the way COVID-19 is. Is there one among us who would accept the fairly high-level, inherently skewed and, in a few cases outright corrupted, data to make systemwide decisions for our nationwide/international company?
Regardless of what you want to pick as the “official” start date of COVID-19, we are many months into this. The data that ought to be available to make informed decisions ought to be far richer and more insightful than the top line.
End of thought experiment.
"Siloed" and "Hub & Spoke" communications don't quite capture the frustration that Regional, District and Store Managers experience. As a HQ Ops guy 4x, I tried to explain to my brethren that communications out of HQ to the stores was like the Tower of Babel.
The entire Ops chain was expected to speak and promptly, if not immediately, respond to Buyer speak, VM speak, Distribution speak, Accounting speak, HR speak, IT speak, LP speak, Store Planning speak, etc. Each of these dialects was distinctly different and their native speakers (who, after all, used them all day long) couldn't understand why timely, clear, concise, and minimal communications allowed the store management team to do what HQ executives constantly asked them to do -- take good care of customers (who have choices) and store team members (who take care of those customers).
Doug McMillon ought to change the language before the sun sets tomorrow. The item is not, in fact, “out of stock.” It is available (i.e. in stock) if you are close enough to the fulfillment location; not available if you are too far away.
It’s a bad practice to teach your employees that it is somehow ok to lie (strong word, however that is what it is) for economic reasons.
On a related pricing note I used to routinely preorder likely best selling books I was interested in on Amazon, confident I’d get a great (if not the absolute best) price. I now find that the Amazon pre-order price is well above what will be the price when I now buy those books on one of my regular visits to Costco.
I’m still a huge fan (and user) of Amazon. However in the past year or so a number of unfortunate, trust-reducing factors seem to be a part of the Amazon shopping experience.