The life lesson goes something like this, “we can’t be experts in everything, so surround yourself with smart people and you will be on the path to success.” Customers are becoming more discerning not only wanting cheaper prices but also an experience that is emotionally satisfying. Competitors are trying to out-compete each other, often through supply chain optimisation and technology driven innovations. However, the increasing pace of technological change creates challenges to keep up with technology driven customer service and operational innovations. The rapid pace of change and competition means you need to be a retail and customer service expert and critically think how you source the right technological skills and capabilities.
To compete effectively requires a strategy of differentiation and innovation as customers continue to pursue price and experience. A key way to achieve this strategy is for business owners to establish partnerships with suppliers who understand their business and competitive environment. This partnership should help them create new value propositions as well as manage core business systems and activities. This was achieved by both Morgan’s IGA and Supa IGA Dromana in partnership with GPK Group, a Victorian headquartered managed services and retail technology solutions provider.
In Morgan’s IGA Managing Director, Neal Morgan’s words, “We sell groceries (extremely well), GPK build and manage the IT systems that make it easy for us (extremely well). We’ve been in business since 1971 with a mission to never knowingly disappoint a customer or team member. With six full scale supermarkets across the north-western suburbs of Melbourne we need professional advice and guidance to stay in touch with the rapid pace of technological change and the ever evolving demands of supermarket front-end POS, BOS and “paperless” office systems in an always connected world. This is where GPK Group is critical for us. They have supported us for over 15 years with a full spectrum of technology and managed services. GPK provide us our front-end Merlin POS, computers, servers, internet services as well as a rock-solid service level agreement to ensure that in the situation of technical issues, things are fixed quickly and our expectations are managed. We chose GPK Group because they not only represented a strong business case through exceptional customer support and full spectrum technical expertise but also because their values are aligned to our own. In short they are accountable, dependable and a critical part of our team.”
As reported by Sydney Morning Herald in 2016, Ritchies Stores executed a strategic transformation with differentiated concept stores. CEO Fred Harrison saw a 50% sales increase at the Dromana Supa IGA based on periodic yearly comparison. GPK Group was part of this transformation, supplying Dromana Supa IGA a wide gamut of technology including servers, internet services, store PCs, wireless connectivity, VOIP phone system, CCTV security, and a comprehensive service level agreement. GPK also managed the integration of other IT vendors including scales, refrigeration, advertising screens and self-checkouts to ensure the technological environment was completely connected and managed.
Established in 1999, GPK Group has a long history working in partnership with independent retailers as a full-service managed services provider. Founder and CEO, Grant Klaaysen states, “we have a passion to support the independent retail channel. GPK’s mission is to be our customers trusted technology partner. We are a part of their business, helping in whatever capacity needed to help them grow by implementing and managing quality, scalable and tailored technology solutions to suit their individual needs. With the 2015 acquisition of Retail Applications Product’s (RAP’s) and Merlin POS, we now have the full spectrum of capabilities to realise our mission servicing the independent retail community. It’s important our values of Integrity, Honesty and Trust are lived by our staff every day and they act as part of our customer’s team to ensure their business technology operations are delivered with care. This allows our customers to focus on their strengths. We have developed a culture of continual improvement with live customer satisfaction dashboards. To compliment this, we also conduct weekly internal employee satisfaction surveys. This is critically important to GPK. If our staff are happy and fulfilled, they will serve our customers effectively and act as part of their team more efficiently.”
If change and meeting your customers’ needs is a constant, doing nothing isn’t an option. Grant Klaaysen and GPK Group’s dedicated retail consultant, Cordell Quiane, are available for a no obligation discussion on how GPK can help you reduce operational costs, manage your IT footprint more effectively to create an exceptional experience for your customers. Contact: Phone 1300 000 475 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
This article first appeared in the February 2017 issue of MGA’s Independent Retailers magazine.