5 Lessons for Retailers from Formula One

Retail and Formula One may seem miles away from one another, but they may be much closer than some may think. With data, technology and collaboration becoming central to retail and consumer, there are some things this industry can learn from Formula One.

Harness data to inform decisions: Live analytics during a race is very beneficial, allowing teams to track information from tyre temperatures to engine performance. Over a 20-race season, each team will generate around 2 terabytes of this detailed analysis. How does this translate to retail and consumer? Many retailers already monitor analytics to measure the productivity of their warehouses. Morrisons, a TrueStart Strategic Partner, has also introduced automated ordering systems to reduce gaps on shelves and improve availability.

Adapt strategies quickly – or get left behind: Formula One racing teams in Formula One are constantly looking for ways to improve and innovate to keep ahead of the competition. Every year, almost all teams completely replace the 20,000 parts required to make their cars every year. Just as teams need to keep up with the other racers, retailers who fail to change quickly get left behind. Retailers work with TrueStart to ensure they are ahead of the competition by ensuring they have a view on the innovation that can benefit their business.

Encourage collaboration: Success for teams in Formula One comes from the collaboration between team divisions (product design, research and development, sales, finance, etc). All divisions of a team must work together to achieve their goals. In a similar way, John Lewis, a TrueStart Strategic Partner, and Waitrose collaborate to benefit each other. Both businesses work together through their click-and-collect propositions and operating Waitrose stores inside some John Lewis locations.

Create a culture of internal competition: Friendly rivalry within a team or business can help bring out the best in employees. A Formula One example would be former Mercedes team-mates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg who traded first and second places in the final Championship standings in 2015 and 2016. On the retailer and consumer side, Majestic Wine promotes friendly rivalry between its employees through its internal rising stars programme. Both the Mercedes team-mates and employees in Majestic Wine push each other to do their best through friendly competition.

Establish open lines of communication: Formula One teams put a large emphasis on top-to-bottom communication to ensure external and internal partners are clear on what needs to and what has been done. Open communication is key within retail and consumer businesses as well.

To learn more about how retail and consumer can learn from Formula One, read the full article here.