The APQC Blog

Using the New Retail PCF

APQC released the retail process classification framework (PCF) this past fall. Over the years, the APQC cross-industry PCF has proven a valuable and useful tool for a variety of organizations in multiple industries. This new version allows retail organizations to benefit from the same types of processes, structures, and terminology with a specific focus on this unique industry’s practices.

There are several items to note in this version. First, this version was created in conjunction with Microsoft in an effort to offer a framework that focused less on manufacturing practices and more on retailers’ needs. It still offers same flexibility that the cross-industry version does, but it tailors new processes to incorporate:

  •    managing the customer experience,
  •    marketing,
  •    merchandizing, and
  •    delivering products.

The Microsoft and APQC team included omni-channel concepts when designing these process elements. Omni-channel concepts guide retailers to serve customers with the same experience regardless of how they interact with the organization: online, in person, or at an outlet.

There are so many benefits to using a framework such as the PCF, but retail organizations in particular can benefit tremendously. Retail is a tough business with stiff competition and tight margins. Frameworks are especially valuable because they reduce the time and effort that organizations have to spend to understand their current state. Everyone benefits from the standardized language present in the PCF.

Another advantage of the framework is its customer focus. The new framework includes elements that customers have come to expect from their retailers. These new elements make it easier for process owners to see how process changes and improvements will ultimately impact how the customer experiences the products and services offered.

Are you implementing the PCF in your retail organization? If so, we would love to hear from you about your experience. What is working well? Are there any aspects that need to be added? Leave a comment here or send an email to PCF_feedback @apqc.org.