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Customer success

In 2006, John Lewis Partnership began a long-term initiative, called Programme Q. The purpose was to put in place a supply chain that would support the omni-channel reality they faced and allow them to increase profit by delivering a superior customer proposition, and lay a foundation for change and response to market demands on the supply chain through the next decade.

For John Lewis, the supply chain is the pulse of successful retailing. As a richly experienced retailer through both brick-and-mortar and online channels, John Lewis understood the importance of being able to instantly offer customers exactly what they want at a price they were happy to pay. They also saw a persistent flaw: when it came to delivery, they—and all retailers—were failing to offer customers that same choice, convenience and certainty.

John Lewis set a goal that scheduling a product for delivery had to be as easy, as fast, and as flexible for the customer as buying the product was. It had to be profitable for John Lewis as well. To satisfy that mandate, John Lewis provides a delivery scheduling system that lets the thousands of customers who schedule delivery each day choose the delivery option that suites them at the point of sale in seconds. There are no delays between placing an order for a product and scheduling the delivery. A range of costed delivery options are available to the customer at point of sale instore, online and over the phone so the customer can choose what is most convenient for them. Value added services such as electrical installation and disposal of old appliances are also available at point of sale of the product and are factored into the delivery options available to the customer. John Lewis did all this in a way that reduced its fulfillment costs by £1.8m and directly contributed tens of millions of pounds to its top line.

Providing customers the same experience regardless of how they shop (on-line, in-store or over the phone) and scheduling deliveries at the point of sale has significantly strengthened the John Lewis brand and its reputation as an innovative omni-channel retailer. The solution, gives the customer choice and convenience whilst delivering a substantial return on investment in terms of both the significant cost savings achieved and increased revenue from the sale of value added services.