Lush fostering healthy staff competition with data tool

UK-based cosmetics company Lush has said that the use of data intelligence technology across its business is helping motivate store staff to provide better performances, as well as providing in-depth insight into stock management and overall productivity.

Accessible to staff at all levels of the business on a daily basis, the new retail system generates live sales and stock information – and is apparently promoting a healthy sense of competition across the company's 900 retail sites worldwide.

The QlikView Business Discovery platform works with various datasets, including retail data within electronic point of sale technology, supply chain and stock management tools, and payroll and timesheet systems for staff management.

Scott Silverthorn, head of data services at Lush, said: "Our colleagues are naturally very inquisitive people and giving them access to data means they can find ways to improve performance to do a better job.

"I personally live in QlikView. The reporting function is so natural and intuitive that it's easy to share with your colleagues so everyone gets the same experience."

Silverthorn added that some Lush shop managers have reported their most profitable year ever due to using the new QlikView system, which is deployed across back office, in-store and manufacturing facilities at the company.

"Our next goal will be to give our senior managers access to the technology, via tablets and mobile devices, where they can see at a glance how Lush is performing," he noted.

Lush has been implementing a number of technological changes to its business in recent months, including introducing Google Apps across its operations.

Commenting on the Google Enterprise blog recently, Lush IT manager Cee Chan said that before moving to the search engine company's managed IT service, the retailer was losing around eight hours a week dealing with IT problems.

"Now, we can lean on Google to deal with the technology side of our business and we no longer have to worry about things like disk space or email outages – everything just works," he explained.

"The switch to Google Apps is a huge boost to productivity and time savings, which in turn saves us a lot of money."