Retail Innovation: the RFP Process and the Big Picture

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Nice Process

It’s been a great week for us at The Industrious — we had an opportunity to close the windows, lock the doors, and collaborate on an RFP for a major retailer who thinks outside the box.

The RFP process can seem daunting and frustrating, but having been on both sides of the process, I’m extremely grateful for it. It’s a time-honored tradition that has evolved productively into what it is today: a way to a strip away responding agencies’ personalization and culture and get down to the specifics of delivery details and cost.

And going through that process this past week has been a healthy reminder of our priorities.

Back in March when the pandemic first hit, The Industrious saw two major contracts canceled as retailers hunkered down and focused on immediate needs like PPE, supply chain management and salesperson training. In response, we gathered as a team and put together a white paper exploring how best to handle the realities of this new normal.

As the disruption in March expanded to weeks and then months, I’ve used this series of blog posts to challenge all of us in retail to focus on the big picture — can the global pandemic be an opportunity to rethink how we approach our promise to shoppers? Will shoppers return, and will their requirements for brand connection be different when they do? Have time and operational requirements driven us to ignore the critical voice of the salesperson?

In the 20 blog posts I’ve written over the past several months, we’ve kept our focus on that big picture, covering everything from new ways to leverage technology to respond immediately in retail, to quick ways to amplify safety in retail, to rock and roll hall-of-famers getting into retail, to enhancing convenience for the retail shopper.

And the RFP process we completed this week gave me another opportunity to remind everyone at The Industrious of what really matters. Throughout this crisis, we’ve been able to stick together, our communication has remained strong, and our families have remained safe. And now a respected retail brand has given us an opportunity to demonstrate how we can solve a key business problem for them. For all of that, we’re very grateful.

Through late night writing sessions, early morning conference calls, and glaring at process flow charts that certainly caused permanent vision damage, we remained excited because a retailer is still trying something new.

So thank you, unnamed retailer, for the RFP — it was a pleasure to work on, and it made us feel good (I’m avoiding the obvious Giuliani reference here).

We are hugely encouraged to see retail continuing its drive forward.

How are you evolving your Hi-Touch retail presence? Please reach out to me directly here with any questions or thoughts, or click here to download our white paper on responding to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A geek with a retail operations and customer experience background

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