Keep up to date with the A Team

May News 2024

ANACONDA SPECIAL PROJECT

We had a new client approach us to conduct a small in store product enhancement program in selected Anaconda stores. We are well placed to execute ad hoc projects due to our broad national coverage of people on the ground. The task involved applying additional decals on the product to 1. better communicate product features and 2. improve instructions on the use of the product.
We worked with the client to define the project and create clear task instructions for our team. We then scheduled our team to call on the designated Anaconda stores in a timely manner. Our team documented the implementation of the task store by store and took photos on completion. This was all recorded in our online app A Team Live and the results were shared with the client.

Promotional Line Stock Transfer

Our longstanding client Digital Door Locks have recently commissioned us to assist with a program to balance stock on selected promotional lines in Bunnings stores. Our job is to physically move stock from slower moving stores to fast-moving stores during the course of our regular call cycles. Digital Door Locks have provided us with a list advising the stores where a transfer will take place and the quantities involved. When we visit the “overstocked” store we make contact with a team leader and request that they raise the appropriate transfer to the designated “understocked” store. Armed with the appropriate documentation we then transport the stock from “a to b” and ensure it is received correctly at the understocked store. As always, we record the process in A Team Live so our client and our management can track the status of the project.

People Profile

Kasey Aqualina has been involved in retail and merchandising for 20 years and a valued member of A team since 2020. Demonstrating exceptional infield skills, Kasey stepped up to become a NSW Brand Ambassador in 2021 and has continued to provide a great service to all concerned. Kasey tells us “I enjoy learning about the products we represent and sharing it with Bunnings team members and our staff. I also appreciate working in closely with our client’s state managers to maximise
For those unfamiliar with the brand ambassador program, this is how it works.
On designated calls Brand Ambassadors are 100% dedicated to the appointed brand in assigned metro areas. They focus on specialised tasks such as maintaining complex displays to a consistent standard, intensive focus on POS, F&B tags, off location displays and sharing market information with Bunnings staff.
Colleague mentoring and client collaboration is also important. Our ambassadors bolster brand presence in regional areas by conducting training for our regular merchandising team and performing audits on program execution standards. Our ambassadors also work with client area managers for any troubleshooting or special requirements.

– BUNNINGS STORE REFIT CURRENTLY UNDERWAY –

Refits in Progress

•    Maitland, NSW – completed
•    Box Hill, Vic – completed
•    Hoppers Crossing, Vic – completion mid-June
•    Fyshwick, ACT – completion late June
•    Lismore, Qld – completion late June
•    Alexandria NSW – completion mid-October

April News 2024

Australian Hardware Journal Review

Every year the Australian Hardware Journal invites us to share our thoughts on the state of the industry and the direction we are taking our business. Our General Manager, Matt Wild was glad to participate covering off important topics such as how Bunnings are refining their business model and how our clients are paying more attention to the way they service independent stores.

Read full article below

CRC Promotional Allocation Dump Bin

Our client, CRC secured an allocation for an off-location dump bin for a twin promo line. Our job is to:

  • Program the stores where the allocation has been made so it can be actioned
  • Identify the stock at inwards goods
  • Discuss off-location placement with the coordinator
  • Take a before photo of the location where we are placing the dump bin and upload it into A Team Live.
  • Make up the dump bin and place the stock
  • Have the Bunnings pricing team label the bin as per Bunnings’ requirements
  • Take an after photo of the dump bin filled, label it in the new promo position and upload it into A Team Live.
  • Record results by store of completion of the project

We are well into the project and delivering another great result for our client.

Brand Ambassador Program

Our standard method of servicing clients through a shared call to Bunnings stores is a well-proven, time-efficient model and most clients appreciate the cost benefits. However, some clients prefer a more focused approach. This is where our brand ambassador program comes in.

Our brand ambassador’s role has a strong hands-on component. For designated calls, they are 100% dedicated to the appointed brand in assigned metro areas. These calls focus on specialised tasks such as maintaining complex displays to a consistent standard, intensive focus on POS, F&B tags, off-location displays and sharing market information with Bunnings staff.

The brand ambassador’s role also has important colleague mentoring and client collaboration elements. Our ambassadors bolster brand presence in regional areas by conducting training for our regular merchandising team and performing audits on program execution standards. Our ambassadors also work with client area managers for any troubleshooting or special requirements. Our clients have appreciated us conducting joint calls to accelerate specific programs.

We are finding clients are achieving a strong return on investment on this dedicated service.

If you feel this service could work for you, we are here to help.

March News 2024

New Bunnings Stock Management System

We often talk about Bunnings stock management systems because our knowledge and ability to work with them is critical to your success.  Bunnings have been evolving their inventory management over recent years and are progressively rolling out their latest iteration commencing April 2024.
It’s known as Demand & Replenishment (D&R) and replaces systems and processes for re-ordering all items except Green Life. In Australia, it replaces Assisted Stock Replenishment (ASR) and Predictive Optimised Min Max (POMM). In New Zealand it replaces ASR (min/max) and direct store ordering. D&R will cover all supplier and DC products.
Our team have participated in Bunnings training for the new app and early indications are this is a more user-friendly system with access to more information. The biggest change we see is that ordering of stock for off-location displays (clip strips, side stacks and other off locations) will become increasingly driven by stores, with the support of promotional activity and allocations via head office. This gives our team a lot more scope/responsibility to directly influence orders in-store. The key to us helping you is to work with us to provide promotional calendars of what SKUs you want placed and when. Then the rest is up to us!
We look forward to working with you on this over the coming months.

Onboarding New Clients

Over the years we have had plenty of practice at winning over and retaining new clients. We have formulated a procedure for smoothly transitioning our service for clients who are already ranged at Bunnings. We thought you might find a little summary helpful.

Prior to commencing

  • Lock in a new start date. Bunnings like it to be on the first of the month as it helps keep their KPI reporting clean. We like it that way too.
  • Formally advise Bunnings that a new merchandiser will represent the vendor with a couple of weeks’ notice.
  • Determine lines of communication.
  • Procure client’s range list – finelines, description, pack quantity, grades and images.
  • Procure any other client product information – e.g., features and benefits and load it into our online portal – A Team Live.
  • Work with the client to identify any specific tasks that require implementation including picking up any projects that may be part way through with the previous merchandiser.
  • Brief admin and field staff on new client commencing.
  • Train client on the use of A Team Live – reporting function.

On commencing

  • Start fulfilling the VIS program and tracking performance in Bunnings Ap – Vendor Hub and A Team Live.
  • Access planograms via the Bunnings app to ensure compliance.
  • Conduct an initial range health audit and identify corrective actions.
  • Conduct client review after initial visits.

If you are thinking about changing merchandisers talk to us about how we can make it a seamless process.

Range Integrity

There are a number of aspects to staying on top of stock for our clients. Our regular call involves spot checks of low-stock items to see if the physical stock on hand level
matches the stock level shown in the system. This is an important process because it enables us to identify anomalies that could prevent re-orders from being triggered. The classic example is when a line has zero stock on shelf but the system shows let’s say 5 units. This means the system will never trigger a re-order because it thinks there is stock. Our job is to flag this with the Bunnings team to correct the system to reflect the reality so a re-order can take place.
A more significant task we conduct in consultation with our clients is a full range check. In this instance, it is nice to know stock levels but the more important thing is to make sure the full range is on shelf as per the planogram. If a shelf ticket is removed and not replaced, then it is easy for this line not to be re-ordered and then it becomes a “ghost” product. We tackle this by heading in-store with a full range list and cross-checking all lines are on the shelf. If we find any missing lines, we print a label and restore the shelf layout to reflect the planogram. This enables the product to get going again. Or we may discover that a product has been de-ranged, in which case we report this back to the client.
We are happy to talk to you about adding this service to your program as an interval service.

– BUNNINGS STORE REFIT CURRENTLY UNDERWAY –

Refits in Progress

•    Maitland, NSW – completion late May
•    Box Hill, Vic – completion late May
•    Hoppers Crossing, Vic – mid June
•    Fyshwick, ACT – completion late June
•    Lismore, Qld – late June

– New Store Update -

There are no new stores in the pipeline that we can report on at this time.

February News 2024

We Have New Zealand Covered

Most of you would be aware we have excellent coverage in Australia calling on every single Bunnings store in the country and the capacity to service independent stores to your requirements. You may like to know through our alliance across the ditch we can deliver a co-ordinated approach to servicing both countries. A joint approach is becoming even more relevant as Bunnings consolidates its buying function across Australia and New Zealand. If you want to learn more, we are here to help.

Pumping up displays at Bunnings

Part of a successful supplier partnership with Bunnings is being proactive with launching new lines. And we have a part to play in implementing such programs. We recently helped White International roll out their new and improved constant pressure pump by swapping out displays in larger stores. The task involved removing the superseded display pump for the store to sell on clearance, unboxing a new pump and placing it on display. As per normal we track our progress and feed it back to the client, so they know the job is getting done!

Managing Bunnings Inventory

Bunnings implement a number of disciplines with suppliers to maintain stock integrity. A couple of examples are Short Supply Allowance (SSA) and Physical Stock on Hand (PSOH) audits. If Bunnings identify that a supplier has short-supplied stock they flag it with the supplier to investigate and verify/dispute the short supply. The supplier has a deadline to report and is penalised if a short supply has occurred. The supplier passes this verification task to us, and it is an important responsibility as it impacts on the supplier’s reputation and bottom line. Similarly, Bunnings will request a supplier from time to time to conduct a physical count of stock on hand to check this against the number in the system. This provides an opportunity to reconcile any differences in these numbers to facilitate smooth reordering. Again, our clients pass this important task onto us to perform.

– BUNNINGS STORE REFIT CURRENTLY UNDERWAY –

Refits in Progress

•    Mindarie, WA – completion mid-March
•    Maitland, NSW – completion late May
•    Box Hill, Vic – completion late May
•    Hoppers Crossing, Vic – mid-June
•    Fyshwick, ACT – completion late June

– New Store Update -

We are pleased to advise the new Noarlunga store is now open. Our State Supervisor for South Australia/Northern Territory, Jeremy Schouten took care of the set-up for our clients. Jeremy told us this project was a relocation of an existing store “The move went quite smoothly. There are always some challenges with getting all supplier’s stock in the right place at the right time, but we made it work. It’s a great move for Bunnings because they have moved to a more modern facility with an extra 1400 sq metres of retail space. Plus, there is a better drive-through timber yard and more room for parking.”

January News 2024

Projects Keep Rolling On

We shared a quick overview of the many projects we kicked off in December. Here’s a bit more detail on some of the projects continuing in January.
 

BATH PILLOW OFF LOCATIONS
One of our clients had a fun promotional allocation line – a bath pillow.  Our job was to track down stock in stores and secure off-location displays. We’re biased but we reckon our team did a great job of setting up clip strips and side stacks in prominent positions.

In Aisle Training

Panasonic have recently come on board with us. We are off to a flying start educating Bunnings team members on the features and benefits of one of their clever products. We collaborated with Panasonic to create the training module for them using our experience delivering similar content. The result is a clear and simple training module that can be delivered in aisle in about 5 minutes by our team using either mobile phones or tablets. Importantly, we track our performance using our A Team live reporting system to record each time we deliver our training program at a store. Panasonic can then easily access consolidated reports to see how many stores have received the program.

Marketing and Design Service
HARDWARE INDUSTRY EXPERTS

We like to remind our clients from time to time that we have the resources to help with your marketing. Our marketing partners have chalked up decades of experience in the hardware industry. We know what we are talking about and are much more cost-effective than an advertising agency.  Our team even includes people who have held senior marketing roles for suppliers to Bunnings / tool industry, so we are strategic too.

Talk to us about how we can help with
STRATEGIC
•    Marketing Plans
• Submissions to Bunnings
•    Range reviews
•    Product and competitor analysis
•    Pricing
PROMOTION
•    Bunnings specific point of sale material
•    Training content
•    Media releases
•    Technical writing – manuals etc
•    Packaging
•    Brochures
•    Websites
•    Email marketing
•    Social Media
•    Advertising
•    Signage
•    Video production
•    Sales incentive programs
•    Presentations
•    Conferences

– BUNNINGS STORE REFIT CURRENTLY UNDERWAY –

Refits in Progress

•    Mindarie, WA – completion late March
•    Maitland, NSW – completion late May
•    Hoppers Crossing, Vic – mid-June

– New Store Update -

We are underway with our merchandising of the Noarlunga replacement store. We are working to a scheduled mid-February 2024 opening.