“EUN’s new designs exude a retail spirit and a visit to their facilities, offices and factory was instrumental in understanding the scale of their capabilities and the value they offer. We look forward to experiencing the new EUN Hub and hope to continue to be involved in developing the Standard EUN for Retail”.
Retail is a market that has been growing steadily for EUN, particularly over the last two years. Even though our clients are satisfied with our solutions, we are in constant pursuit of excellence and wanted to respond to this growth, which is why we set out to make things even better and launched the “Standard EUN for Retail” project. This is a standard that encompasses processes, products and services, adapting to the needs of a retail ecosystem that requires a responsiveness and a flexible approach to changes.
Standard EUN for Retail continues to advance towards global growth, aiming to become a benchmark and partner for major retailers.
But what’s going on behind the scenes of Standard EUN for Retail?
In recent years, but most notably during the height of the pandemic, EUN identified a major opportunity in a new market sector for the company: retail. A sector where the target buildings are stores, where clients (large retailers and their franchisees) stock their merchandise.
EUN traditionally had a substantially lower turnover in the retail sector, virtually negligible, in fact, compared to the turnover of other sectors like archives, libraries, museums, corporate offices, etc. But turnover grew exponentially during the pandemic:
2020 vs. 2019: +5.8%
2021 vs. 2020: +42.9%
2022 vs. 2021: +277.7%
What was striking was the fact that this growth was based on EUN’s standard product and processes, the ones that have led to our success in our main sectors (mentioned above), although retail [link al apartado Retail] has significantly different client needs and expectations (despite always revolving around SPACE OPTIMISATION FOR EFFICIENT CONTENT STORAGE AND MANAGEMENT, which is EUN’s mission, its raison d’être).
The solution to the problem: turning a “threat” into opportunity
The main consequence of this success in the retail sector, based on our products and management processes that were not designed for this sector, was that EUN’s growth was “at risk”, since it came with certain “collateral damage”. We had to handle internal inefficiencies and the dissatisfaction of some clients that were rooted in exactly that, in not having an ad hoc product and management process specifically for retail. This meant that our growth up until then and, most importantly, EUN’s future growth in the retail sector, was unsustainable.
It became obvious that solving this “problem” was actually an amazing opportunity to extend EUN’s success in retail with greater growth in other brands and in other regions. This insight led us to launch the STANDARD EUN FOR RETAIL project.
The secret? Well-managed innovation
EUN’s secret to turning this “threat” into an opportunity has been well-managed innovation: What attributes do we at EUN believe an innovation project like the STANDARD EUN FOR RETAIL should have in order to qualify as well-managed?
The 8D methodology
We used the 8D methodology for this project to identify the root cause of the problem, devise a short-term solution and implement a long-term solution to avoid recurrence.
The 8D project was divided into two sub-projects:
- Confirming the root cause and deploying a containment measure that would allow us to ensure that the satisfaction of our retail clients remained at maximum levels.
- We did this while defining the preventive measure, which took shape as the new STANDARD EUN FOR RETAIL.
The containment measure
The goal of the containment measure as defined by the 8D methodology was clear: to keep retail clients satisfied while we developed the STANDARD EUN FOR RETAIL.
The containment measure needed to deliver immediate and effective results, and we ruled out a radical change to the product. Instead, we opted to design a containment measure in which we set the parameters of all our retail clients’ service processes (offer, supply, installation and ASS) to align them with client needs.
To ensure its success, we set a target of 0 non-conformities and 0 complaints, indicators that we measured on a weekly basis.
This was a clear commitment by EUN to focus on the retail market and quickly led us to achieve our objective, but we had to avoid any “collateral damage” that would affect projects in other sectors. This is why the preventive measure that would replace this containment measure (achieving the same, or greater, satisfaction of the retail clients, but without affecting service to other clients), had to be implemented as soon as possible.
The preventive measure
The preventive measure under the 8D methodology was subdivided into four separate yet parallel initiatives implemented by four multidisciplinary EUN teams:
- Holding workshops with our main retail clients.
- Development of the new STANDARD EUN FOR RETAIL product.
- Development of the STANDARD EUN FOR RETAIL management process (replacing the containment measure).
- Positioning of the EUN® brand as a benchmark in the retail sector.
The workshops involved in the preventive measure had three “moments” or stages:
- The first workshop (held remotely) focused on the details, taking a deep dive through interviews, questionnaires, analysis of complaints, etc. to better understand what needs/expectations of retailers were unmet or poorly met by EUN.
Our product innovation, service innovation and management systems innovation teams then developed both the new product and the new management process.
At the same time, the brand and communication team positioned the EUN® brand as a benchmark in retail (new website, posts about EUN in retail on our social media channels, organising workshops with clients, EUN Hub with retail space), etc.
- The result of all this work was then presented to the main retailers during the second stage of the workshops: the in-person workshops at the EUN Hub at EUN headquarters in Beasain. These workshops helped to strengthen EUN’s image among retailers and, thanks to our clients’ contributions, we were able to improve both the product and the process.
- The third stage was the launch of the EUN FOR RETAIL STANDARD. This is the moment when the results of our earlier efforts were brought to market with new offers, new orders, new installations, etc. This stage, naturally, meant that we were able—in the automotive sector’s purest ramp-up style—to fine tune the STANDARD EUN FOR RETAIL.
Lower environmental impact
Notably, our product innovation management system is certified to ISO 9.001:2015, ISO.14.001:2015 and ISO 14.006:2020. Coupled with our environmental management certifications, eco-design management and EUN’s overall commitment to sustainable management, we set an additional goal for the STANDARD EUN FOR RETAIL: to design a product with a lower environmental impact than our previous version throughout its life cycle.
The end result is an outstanding product coupled with excellent customer service, a product developed together with our clients that exudes a retail spirit and delivered based on advanced management and our factory 4.0.
If we take a look back at the attributes mentioned at the beginning of the article, we can confidently say that the STANDARD EUN FOR RETAIL has been a well-managed innovation:
The five main indicators of success have been:
- Turnover in 2023 vs. 2022
- No. of new clients
- No. of new countries with retail sales
- Decrease in ‘non-conformities’ and ‘non-quality’ costs in 2023 vs. 2022
- Decrease in use of raw material for the new versus old product (implies less raw material used, less energy used for production, less packaging material and less transport needed from suppliers to EUN and EUN to retailers)
- Major retail brands that continue (or are starting to) reply on EUN.