Rosie, Sales Associate at the University Retail Store, talks of her team’s experience with St Andrews Lean Consulting.

How we started

The University of St Andrews Retail Store began its journey with Lean in January. As a team, we thought this would be a great way to kick off the New Year and an opportunity to look at how we do things. The change in staffing structure motivated us to rethink our ideas.

8 members of staff pulled together to create a hard-working team that were ready to embrace change. This team consisted of; Accounts staff, Retail Store staff and a member of the Board.

Over the course of the week working with Lean, the 8 members of staff became more cohesive. There was an amazing energy and enthusiasm within the team, and around the process of improving our everyday work. Both teams found it helpful and interesting to understand the points of view and hear ideas from each other. This gave us all an in-depth appreciation of the whole process as it passed through different functions.

Where is our shop now?

Lean really opened our eyes to a new way of doing things. To begin with, we looked at every process that is involved in the running of the shop. We then broke down each process, sub-categorising them and then went on to create an ideal state then and interim state. The interim state is what we would implement straight away to start making quick wins.

The store has been back up and running for just under two months, and everyone on the team agrees that the work we have conducted with Lean has been invaluable. We have been introduced to new ways of utilising our skills, resources and staff members more efficiently and this has made a massive difference to how we run the store. We are all continuing to follow the new processes and even develop new ideas along the way.

Going forward with Lean

Our motto is “ever to excel”. We have a lot of hard work to do going forward but we have made a huge step in the right direction through the Lean Process. We will to continue the growth of the shop, and ensure we maintain a united and happy team on this journey.

Next steps of our journey include: 

  • Mapping of all shop processes
  • Upskilling of all staff
  • Developing our offering within the University
  • Internal shop refit
  • Continuing to presenting exciting new ideas to the Board
  • Using LEAN’s process of “5 s’ing” to keep our working environment a great place to be.

Perhaps sometimes we need to stop what we’re doing for a moment to see if there is a better way of doing things. That was certainly the case in the University Shop. Lots of hard work completed in this project and lots more to go. Great working with this team and looking forward to seeing what we can achieve going forward as we continue to support them.

If you would like to find out more about what we do and how we can help you on your Lean journey, you can contact us.