How quality management and MVP-lean six sigma fueled a start up’s growth story in II Tier city- Vizag
When we were trying to order some groceries and vegetables online for our elderly parents staying in Vizag, we could find only big players with minimum order amount of ₹1000(approx.)+ ₹25 delivery charges(approx.).This was on a high side for the general requirement of a common man in a II tier city like Visakhapatnam, AP India.
Generally, people order groceries on a monthly basis but for fresh vegetables and fruits, stocking period would be maximum 1 Week. Ordering for ₹1000 every time may not be a preferred option for everyone. We zeroed down on this particular topic for several days and it took more than six months of quality time to churn our idea into a startup Groceries and Veggies- Online Groceries and Vegetables.
Groceries and Veggies-A Division of SAS Merchandise used the concept of (Build-Measure-Learn) MVP and Lean six sigma to enter into the online retail space in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
What is MVP?
Minimum Viable Product for Startups is the key strategy for fast and quantitative market testing.
For Example: In Visakhapatnam, before launching imported vegetables like broccoli, avocado etc. we collected voice of customer and understood the ground reality that people were well aware of the benefits of cruciferous vegetable like broccoli which helped in fighting Cancer. We conducted polls and surveys to understand the spread of our customers across Vizag who were interested in these kind of vegetables. Initially we introduced only broccoli and then when we gained the confidence of our customers we slowly introduced other imported fresh vegetables and fruits like avocado, dragon fruit etc.at fair prices than the big players. This concept helped us save lot of time and effort.
I, founder Sriramya, Software engineer with an experience of 4 years in Quality Assurance in Top MNCs had least thought of a startup in my life. The actual idea rooted into my mind when I was just in the verge of closing of my maternity leave and didn’t want to leave my 4-month-old kid all alone in the hands of strangers to go back to join back in an MNC. Coming from a middle-class family background, I left no stone unturned in making them believe the positive side of entrepreneurship.
Rightly Said by a great women entrepreneur of the world-
“At the end of the day, don’t forget that you’re a person, don’t forget you’re a mother, don’t forget you’re a wife, don’t forget you’re a daughter” – Indra Nooyi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, PepsiCo.
Holding all the responsibilities tight in my hand, I started with a white board, put all my Quality concepts in front and started doing some homework to understand retail industry. Started reaching wholesalers and retailers to understand their knowledge levels in ecommerce and automation. Helped them understand the potential of Visakhapatnam - Smart city in E commerce industry.
Initially, retailers and wholesalers were skeptical of the enormous competition from the big players in ground and Online. It took some time to win their confidence and support to make things happen.
Groceries and Veggies combined the small structure and lively nature of a startup with the resources of the most experienced retailers and wholesalers in Visakhapatnam. Delivery of fresh green imported Vegetables and fruits like broccoli, avocado, lettuce iceberg etc. for a minimum delivery amount of Rs.200 all over Vizag is the distinctive feature of Groceries and Veggies.
We started delivering for minimum order amount of ₹200 in a single area and used the concept of MVP. We gained positive response and with word of mouth as the strongest tool of marketing, slowly and steadily expanded across all areas in Vizag. Continuous improvement has always been our driving strategy. We started adding Vegetable subscriptions within the minimum delivery amount.
Quality Management practices at Groceries and veggies –
Quality Gate check- Quality gate check is a checklist of all the major checks to be done before delivering the goods to the end customer. Delivery manager performs the quality gate check and raises a flag and gives a “NO GO” if any of the checks are missing. After closing all the action items and receiving a ‘GO’ the delivery boy starts for delivery with the order. Entire process should happen within the delivery slot assigned to the customer.
Customer feedback survey-A survey has been started for the customers to obtain their feedback regarding availability of products, pricing and user experience which helps to improve the service and stock the products which are in demand and are not readily available in the website.
Execution excellence index-An overall metrics report on metrics related to ONTIME delivery, response time, resolution time, first time right, customer satisfaction and customer retention.
Supplier maturity Index- Calculated based on the product quality, optimum pricing, response time and first time right metrics of the individual suppliers.
The versatility and convenience of digital technology has been harnessed to help Vizagites use Online Groceries and Vegetables for having fresh vegetables and fruits and live a healthier life.