AID17612: Bhanji has spent nearly
two decades working at Metro Brands, which was started by her grandfather as a
stand-alone store in Colaba in 1947 and has since grown to over 500 stores
across the country. She radiates enthusiasm for retail. “I’ve only ever worked
here. I came here straight after my under graduation. It’s not like a business
where you don’t see an end result. You put something in the store, within a
week you know how that shoe is working. You see new creations, you see new
ranges," she says.
Keeping in touch with the ground
realities of retail is essential to corporate strategy. “From being purely a
product brand, we have become a retail brand. When you walk into the Colaba
Metro store, the collection will be different from the Linking Road store. We
curate the product for each store. I want the best collection for a customer
who walks into a store," she says.
Two years ago, Bhanji and her
team implemented Eli Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints (TOC), a management
philosophy that leads to profit improvement through greater efficiency in
“Theory of Constraints brought
efficiency to our front end, helping the way we sell go from art to science.
For example, 40 new designs are introduced into our system every week. After
four weeks, we address how they have sold. We had thumb rules to check what
happens, and decide if a design worked. It is like an art, but applying TOC
helped us make it a science."
The project came with management
challenges for Bhanji, including getting on board the front line supply chain
teams who had to adopt the new technology.
“TOC wasn’t so tough from a
technology angle, but it was supremely difficult from our mindset angle. How do
you tell someone that the computer may know some things better than you?"
she says, as the legacy brand has a number of long-time employees
a. Explain the concept of “Theory
of Constraints (TOC)”.
b. What all possible challenges
Bhanji might face with the TOC?