Algorithmic Jugaad Folklore: ft The Retail Community

At this point, when we say the words “Algorithmic Jugaad”, our minds instantly link it to “Bizom”. While that has been the case in this segment of Algorithmic Jugaad Folklore, with all the stories about our teams and the innovation that has become a part of their daily lives, today’s read is something different.

Today, we are going to take a look into some of the retailers that have continued to strive despite obstacles such as Covid, by practicing one magic formula. While they probably aren’t aware that we have a name for it, what they’ve done to stay alive, is most definitely an Algorithmic Jugaad!

Upon conversing with a few retailers around us, we found that a big problem they faced was constraints in terms of both – staff, and supply. While they were initially fazed by such an unprecedented situation, they realized that they had to be quick on their feet and decided on a few things that were needed to ensure that their show goes on.

Algorithmic Jugaad #1 – When the body is in trouble, don’t be afraid to chop off the arm (especially if your arm can regenerate).

The fact that there weren’t enough products to stock up the shop, and enough people to man the outlets meant one thing – The retailers had to decide which of their shops to keep open. With staff and supply both not readily available, there was no way that all of their shops could be running as if it were normal days.

Better days would come, but first, they would have to solve at least one of their two major problems.

Algorithmic Jugaad #2 – When competitors are in the same boat as you are in, they are your friends.

When it came to the supply bit, they realized that they only had each other to rely on. Retailers stepped in to help (you guessed it) other retailers when it came to product availability so that their businesses could live to fight another day.

What this essentially did, is that it opened up avenues for collaboration in the future. At the same time, it also ensured healthier competition.

Algorithmic Jugaad #3 – You can find talent everywhere. You just need to look for the right people.

The hunt for talent can be simplified when you look for the ‘right’ people. By ‘right’ people, we mean people that need what you’re giving, and give you what your business needs.

The retailers understood this and went on to hire out-of-job delivery executives and restaurant staff – all hit by the same common enemy that is Covid. This meant two things –

  1. They now had a motivated task force that understood the new reality and would do what it took to keep a steady paying job
  2. The retailers had just solved their constraint of staff availability

Algorithmic Jugaad #4 – Use technology and keep in touch.

Having understood the power of networking within the retail community, they now found ways to keep in touch and help each other’s businesses.

Retailers from the same areas formed WhatsApp groups and used the platform to extensively communicate with each other about supply and availability. 

Now that they had a better idea about product supply, they decided it was time to go a step further to the extent that they even set up business accounts to accept orders via WhatsApp.

The beauty of this was that they now understood how exactly this had to be played out. People wouldn’t step out, so retailers became delivery executives ensuring that the product reached the hands of the customer (of course, while practicing social distancing).

One thing that is certain from this, is that WhatsApp can help build a strong supply chain (we can tell you how).

Algorithmic Jugaad #4 – Care about your customers. It leaves more than just a good impression.

As retail businesses started finding their feet again, retailers understood one thing better than ever before – knowing the customer’s requirement.

Follow-ups became a major part of how retailers carry out their business, and they made it a point to understand all aspects of what their customers need, right from the products to the frequency. The customers would be followed up with, monthly.

While this showed the customers that the retailers cared about their needs, it did more than just that. It gave retailers solid data on customer requirements, preferences, and frequency of orders to arm themselves efficiently.

The toughest of situations call for some out-of-the-box solutions that not only get us out of jams but also serve the business as long-term solutions.

And that has been today’s Folklore of Algorithmic Jugaad.

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