We are often asked about the key ingredients that will ensure a successful global display or fixture programme. Global programmes work for brand companies that want consistency around the world, and structure their processes and people so as to ensure compliance. We’ve been part of successful programmes, and we have also struggled with great clients who were thinking global, but found regional solutions best for their organisations. Others remain firmly tied to local, single country activity. Here’s some of our thoughts on what makes a successful global programme.
If products are basically the same worldwide, equipment can be designed to be universally functional. Many fast moving consumer brand companies who make their products in a wide variety of package sizes across markets and dimensions, across regions will struggle to find a common platform. Some brand companies have committed to packaging rationalisation to reduce the variations. Footwear and apparel brands have it easier while product sizing may vary, the displays and fixtures needed work well around the world.
This consistent product example allows for a universal display format.
As a brand organisation, there must be a desire for consistency everywhere but desire; is not enough. The company must be built to support the commitment and compliance. There are many different ways to achieve this.
1) Most successes are a result of eliminating single country/ local decision making head count should be operating at the regional level. Move budget out of the control of local staff, into regional or global, measure success at those levels, incentivize on compliance.
2) If it’s best to have local market management of this activity, establish systems that allow in-country staff to order from one system items that have been approved and are controlled by global management. A single ordering system, with built-in approvals, can be used to good effect while ensuring the local staff can still execute store builds or re-fits as they need.
3) Instill a “perfect enough” outlook. When in the details of programmes it is tempting to modify and customize for every retailer, every project, every country. Commit to perfect enough solutions that do the right job functionally, allow flexibility for retailer branding requests if that’s truly essential, but stop there.
Common components can lead to production and cost efficiencies on a global programme.
Consider your Supply Chain:
Assess how the supplier base is split into key activity streams. Regional and global supply chains work most effectively and can provide best cost options when the supply of fixtures is from one stream of vendors, while store build and/ or installation is more regional, or even managed at the local level. Our most successful clients have us supply equipment and work closely with their chosen installation vendors. Traditionally, a single source shop fit partner is used who provides services as well as all fixtures and furniture. In many instances, it is more cost effective to separate the shop-fit/ construction partner from the fixture and furniture supply stream.
Todays’ retail environment requires that agencies and suppliers play well with each other to support brand or retail client programmes. A suite of specialist partners structured to support programme execution can deliver worldwide excellence without excessive overhead costs to our clients.