You have arrived at this page because you want to know more about the back story of Sheds4Less and how we deliver superior customer value relative to our competitors.
If you just want to look at our range of sheds simply click on the button below.
Now on with the back story.
In the latter part of my corporate retail career I became very much involved in developing online channels into existing bricks and mortar retailer's business models. In the early days it was difficult to garner corporate attention or resources that the true potential of online retailing really deserved.
Online was seen as merely an annoyance and the vast majority of Australian retailers dismissed the opportunity as not relevant to the retail landscape in this country. If I had a dollar for every time I heard,” Australia never adopted the mail order culture, why should online be any different, we have bigger fish to fry.” I would be a very wealthy man.
Fast forward 5 years and those same retailers are either dead, or scrambling to re-align their businesses to the brave new world of global retailing. Sad to say that for many it will be too little too late.
Technology today has reduced to dust, many of the barriers to entry that stifled innovation in Australian retail and has passed the “baton of power” from the retailer to the consumer. At no time in history has the cliché “The customer is king” been truer. Today’s consumer can look forward to obtaining goods faster, cheaper and better from a wider variety of players and sources.
The Sheds4Less Project
Since becoming disillusioned and leaving the corporate retail world I have been searching for a showcase project where I can demonstrate that using tools and resources available to today’s man in the street, you can build a business, from scratch, that can compete and in fact beat the existing major players and deliver superior value to the customer while still maintaining a fair return on investment. You might argue that in 30 years of retail management, I have learned where the majors are vulnerable in today’s new retail world. This is true, and what’s more I make no apology for using this inside information to deliver to the consumer, faster, better cheaper. Big retail had it’s chance.
Garden sheds are an ugly product. They are big, dirty and hard to handle. And what’s more most people will only ever buy one or two sheds in their lifetime. They are really a low involvement purchase, and they are certainly not sexy. Handling garden sheds through the traditional retail channel is a story of compromise.
A Story of Compromise
And the list goes on; what better product could there be to reengineer the entire factory to consumer retail experience.
What Matters is what Matters.
The first step in the re-engineering process was to determine what our prospective customer valued in the transaction. Research revealed that the customer valued:
So using these as our objectives we set about building a model that delivered.
A Soup to Nuts Approach
It was no good just looking at a part of the retail process. We needed to question and evaluate every part of the retail chain to extract unnecessary cost and deliver on what mattered. The first thing was to look at the product source. Now I am all for supporting Australian industry and I really believe that Australia leads the way certain industries. Shed manufacture is not one of them. Sheds consist of hundreds of individual parts, now while the making of these parts is capital intensive, collecting, picking and packing of these parts into DIY shed kit is labour intensive. There is no way that Australian labour can compete in this process. What we save in getting sheds manufactured in low wage countries we can reinvest in better product and better prices.
Serving One Master – the Customer
If we focused on a pure online distribution model we could configure our products to optimize efficiency within that channel. This way we can deliver more value at the end of the chain, the customer.
To get a garden shed into your letterbox it must be able to be delivered by one man. This way you can get a garden shed to every letterbox in Australia. Breaking a shed down so that it can be easily delivered by one man is difficult, but not impossible. We have done that.
Presenting information that a customer needs prior to purchase to is relatively simple in a web enabled world. We have done that.
Reducing the number of times a shed is handled is a key to minimizing cost and reducing picking and delivery errors. Once your shed has been packed at the factory it is only handled once before it reaches the customers door.
Clear Concise Instructions
Every customer receives the instructions on how to build their shed before they receive their shed. This gives them a chance to review what is required prior to embarking on the project. This significantly reduces the instances of confusion during a build which means less customer aggravation.
As a Sheds4less shed is never on retail display we do not have to provide retail friendly packaging which can add to the cost of the product.
Putting it All together – A better price.
When you re-engineer the retail distribution process with a focus on one channel, not multi channels you can drive down cost and drive up efficiency. This results in a better cost to the customer while maintaining a fair return on investment for the stakeholders.
This is a win-win situation where the customer get a better product faster and cheaper simply because of the adoption of new technology and understanding that in today’s retail world the customer is truly king.
P.S. If you have got this far please indulge me and have a look at our offer and tell your friends