Boots is the world’s largest pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer. Boots’ The Chemist UK retail business is the most trusted brand on the high street. It has undergone a major growth that has seen the opening of 2,300 stores over the last decade. Central to the store’s success is Boots Supply Chain. It is responsible for managing the end-to-end flow of stock from suppliers to stores. With plans to restructure the entire Supply Chain, Matt Burton, Supply Chain Learning & Development Manager of Boots appointed us to spearhead the change management programme.

The Challenge

Boots was totally restructuring its Supply Chain, building a fully automated state-of-the-art Central Distribution Centre in Nottingham, UK. This meant the closure of the 18 UK Regional Distribution Centres with 3,000 people affected. It was imperative to a company of Boots’s stature and reputation that high service levels are maintained and that a smooth transition to the new system was achieved.

The key critical success factors to deliver, included:

  • Motivation and morale being maintained at each site through to closure
  • Operational improvements implemented through to closure
  • Maintain great service through to stores
  • Retain supervisors as key resource

The Solution

A change management programme for 210 Distribution Centre Managers and Supervisors designed to deliver results in four areas:

  1. Personal effectiveness – developing solution focused thinking to equip people for life outside Boots
  2. Managing others – helping people through psychological transition issues
  3. At a team level – creating a common language and toolkit for all to use
  4. At an organisational level – keeping the business running smoothly

This was implemented as an intensive programme of workshops and review days. Individual 90-day challenges were introduced. Change Champions were appointed to facilitate further reviews and 90-day challenges. Participants were encouraged to take BTEC Level 3 Qualifications linked to the business differences being made. Quarterly activities were planned thereafter.

Differences made

The initial programme objectives have been met. Also many operational improvements have been implemented and great results have been achieved in line with the following KPIs:

  • Improved engagement scores at each site
  • Improved service delivery through to stores
  • Improved retention figures of supervisors as key resource