The brain behind our coin-changing station and seafood bay paging token system!
“Can we do better?”
Ron Tan, store manager at FairPrice Xtra Parkway Parade, asks this all the time. He knows making your shopping experience easier and safer isn’t easy, requiring quick problem solving and a fervent passion for service.
One big challenge he sought to solve is the constant crowding around the popular seafood bay at his store. Despite safe distancing measures, customers would bunch up around the bay while their seafood orders are being prepared. Inspired by food centre table paging systems, Ron adapted a similar system for his store’s seafood prep service, so shoppers could keep shopping and the crowd could be unintrusively dispersed, too. He recounts, “There were challenges to ensure the system works particularly well at the seafood bay. It has to be waterproof, so we spent more time sourcing for the right equipment to build the best system.”
Ron also looked to automation to solve another common problem, this time at the start of our customers’ grocery shopping journey: finding the right coin to unlock shopping trolleys. “Even when customers go to the cashiers, they can’t open the cashier box while scanning items,” he says. “It’s disruptive.” Ron’s solution was simple but game-changing: he installed a coin-changing station at the store entrance, instantly solving an otherwise small yet time-consuming problem that our customers constantly face.
“I guess what excites me about this store planning was it happened during the circuit breaker period. We were given a huge opportunity to improve the shopping journey in this ‘new normal’, and that gave me a lot to think about. In leading this store setup, we always ask ourselves: Can we be better? Can we make it easier for our shoppers?”
You can now spot Ron’s coin changing station idea at the entrances across all our FairPrice Xtra stores. And if you’re ever visiting Parkway Parade, you can pop into our FairPrice Xtra store to see Ron’s paging token system in action, too!