From the Desk of Kim Zablocky: Design Thinking Program Announced
RVCF’s focus has always been on the “Perfect Order”. As the industry evolves and online sales for both retailers and brands continue to grow, we are now faced with expanding our focus to include “Perfect Handling of the Reverse Flow of Product”.
Returns have a drastic effect as accounting departments must seek new ways to manage the reconciliation nightmare of debit/credits on returned products shipped on behalf of the retailer or .com. From merchandising to payment, companies are struggling to find ways to stem the tide of returns (that can equate to 15-40% of all online sales) and protect their margin.
Surveys, coupons, pre-authorizations, reducing purchase dollar credit over an extended period of time before returning, time limits on returns and more are being deployed with mixed results. These actions mean increased costs and less profit. Is the answer to take the draconian step of shutting off the consumer from future purchases?
RVCF is addressing the subject of “Returns” in a big way beginning with our Returns Reduction Survey and continuing through the RVCF Spring Conference. Along with a conference session dedicated to reducing returns (see related article, “ Returns: The Bottom Line Bully”), the conference agenda features a session on deploying Design Thinking methodology to the returns process along with the development of an E-Commerce Performance Scorecard, to be shared by the retailer with its brands.
We introduced the concept of Design Thinking at our Fall 2018 conference and followed up with a series of teleconferences. Based on the enthusiastic response received we will continue on this path. Whether you joined us in the fall or are just getting started, this session is certain to bring tremendous value not only to your returns processing but to future projects in your organization and beyond.
Experienced leaders from the Barkley Consulting Group, will facilitate this full day session intended for participants from both retail and wholesale/brands who manage the e-com returns process. The session will help you to think “Outside of the Box” and create new and innovative ways of addressing this timely issue.
For those that may not be familiar with the Design Thinking methodology, it is a human-centered approach towards problem-solving that sees a problem from the eyes of your end-user—the consumer, the employee, the partner. It is a way of thinking that embraces empathy, inspires creativity, and encourages experimentation to create solutions that meet the needs of the audience for whom you are designing. Design Thinking is a highly-experiential technique any company can employ to generate new ideas to solve problems while achieving maximum consumer benefit. Design Thinking provides a methodology that fuels innovative thinking. It helps people learn how to think vs. telling them what to think.
This full day session will take place on Monday, May 6th. In order to receive the greatest value from your participation, attendees must commit to being present for the full session. A pre-workshop conference call will be scheduled in April for further discussion with those who will be joining the session and a post-workshop review will be conducted to discuss ways to implement this learning in their work. Spring Conference registration is required.
About Barkley Consulting Group and this unique process:
At Barkley Consulting Group, our team of experts has deep knowledge of Design Thinking through years of practical experience. We use that experience to help companies master Design Thinking to unleash the creativity that exists within their organization.
Our experiential workshops, classroom training, and customized activities engage, inspire, and educate participants and deliver the following value:
- Comprehensive knowledge of the Design Thinking approach and how it is used to solve problems and create new opportunities
- A solid understanding of innovation; how to inspire creativity and think innovatively
- How to apply Design Thinking to real-world problems and opportunities
- Valuable professional development skills, including collaboration, communication, leadership, and empathy
- How to move rapidly from idea to action using rapid prototyping, experimentation, and iteration.
Changing mindsets to accept failure as a positive force; focusing on asking the right questions vs. giving the correct answers Our program is not merely informational but an actual agent of tangible change; attendees can implement these teachings immediately and achieve the Design Thinking Workshop for Retail: The best way to learn Design Thinking is to do Design Thinking. This highly experiential workshop will teach Design Thinking concepts and immediately put them into practice on the given challenge. More importantly, participants will be given the tools, knowledge, and experience to use Design Thinking in their jobs, with their partners, and with customers. Over the course of the workshop, attendees are exposed to new concepts and methods around human-centered design. They will learn how to empathize with the needs and desires of the end-users, how to define the real problem(s) that need to be solved, brainstorming techniques to ideate potential solutions, prototyping skills to act quickly on those ideas, and testing methods to iterate refinements to develop the ideal solution. Attendees will learn key aspects of the process through collaboration, communication, and reflection.
Finally, Companies can use Design Thinking to:
• Create new products or services
• Solve existing problems or challenges
• Unleash creativity to discover new opportunities
• Uncover insights regarding unmet needs of your customers
• Develop their internal talent and increase their confidence, sense of empowerment, and contribution within the company.