CSA Exclusive: Save A Lot mobilizes for superior execution

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CSA Exclusive: Save A Lot mobilizes for superior execution

By Dan Berthiaume - 12/10/2019

Save A Lot is looking to improve its customer experience and employee training with a mobile execution management app. 

Because the discount grocer’s model relies on every employee being cross-trained on core functions in the store, any breakdown in the training process put standard operating procedures and customer experience at risk. Save A Lot’s existing approach to training entailed computer-based learning modules that took 20-30 minutes to complete. 

Training was delivered on an aging computer in the store’s only break room, and leaving the sales floor to complete dozens of 30-minute courses wasn’t in alignment with Save A Lot’s operating model, which scheduled two to four employees per shift. 

Additionally, training materials were often created by diverse functional leaders, which meant they varied in approach, length, and quality, and didn’t always reflect proven learning and development curriculum strategies. At times, trainings would communicate competing priorities, leaving employees unsure of what tasks mattered most. Lastly, leaders at all levels of the business had limited visibility into onboarding, training and scoring and were unable to track skill attainment in real time. This lack of transparency posed a risk to the business. 

Save A Lot identified the highest priorities for the business and devised a plan to launch a new approach to learning. Their framework was built around the strategies of creating content around topics of interest and necessity, deploying short and engaging content, especially video, relevant to Gen Y and Gen Z employees, standardization of training and delivery with on-demand mobile content, consistent instruction quality, real-time scorecarding to gauge training effectiveness at the individual and store level, and ensuring content delivered efficiency and effectiveness for the business. 

While evaluated its tech stack, Save A Lot found GoSpotCheck, a mobile app and business intelligence suite it was already using to direct frontline teams and gain real-time execution data from every store. The retailer then overhauled its content and standard operating procedures, starting with the most strategic programs and processes. 

Key apects of the new program included keeping content length to five-minute “microbursts,” using minimal questions to affirm knowledge attainment, keeping trainings to one to two per month, and using short-form training videos and documents. Once the new program was up and running, Save A Lot experienced an 80% decrease in training course completion time, and saved 29 hours developing GoSpotCheck missions instead of standard e-learning courses. 

“We’re hitting every single key performance indicator (KPI) with this platform—sales, margin, shrink, loss prevention, labor, and more,” said Matt McLain, director of talent development, Save A Lot. “We believe it’s also leading to reduced turnover, greater productivity, better customer service, and generally a better workplace culture.”

Looking ahead, Save A Lot intends to leverage GoSpotCheck technology to streamline workflows such as planogram compliance and perishable ordering with mobile devices. 

Founded in 1977, Save A Lot is headquartered in St. Ann, Mo., and operates nearly 1,200 corporate and licensed stores in 33 states and 14 wholesale distribution centers.