In the months leading up to the beginning of fiscal 2018, our leadership team focused on priorities to generate maximum value for the Warfighters and families we are honored to serve.
The resulting “Super Seven” strategic priorities are included below. From delivering improved customer experiences in our malls, restaurants and main stores to optimizing logistics, enhancing e-commerce, expanding the MILITARY STAR® card and reducing operating costs, each of us has a role in ensuring mission success in every area of focus.
Successful execution of the Super Seven will be critical to protecting and preserving the benefit we are honored to provide service members and their families. Please check future editions of The Exchange Post for more information and updates on the Super Seven.
1. Intensify MILITARY STAR
The recent expansion of MILITARY STAR card acceptance at all commissaries is off to a great start. In 2018, we will work to substantially increase its usage to a meaningful penetration of DeCA volume and drive increased usage at locations already accepting the MILITARY STAR card. In 2017, the MILITARY STAR card generated roughly $1.8 billion in sales at the Exchange, sister service locations and DeCA, which for us translates into to nearly 50 percent of overall Exchange earnings, emphasizing the importance of communicating the value of the MILITARY STAR card with each and every transaction.
2. Intensify VOSB and customer relationship management
On Veterans Day 2017, we welcomed home 18.5 million honorably discharged Veterans with a lifelong online military exchange benefit. We will continue to reach unregistered Veterans via marketing and public relations efforts that highlight value of the Exchange benefit (military-exclusive pricing and tax-free shopping) as well as the additional earnings and dividends Veterans can create for the military community. We will also intensify customer relationship management (CRM) efforts to provide more relevant communication to increase customer engagement.
3. Optimize concessions, food and main store businesses
In 2017, the Exchange began rolling out a Property Asset Management (PAM) tool. PAM offers Exchange managers instant visibility of per square foot sales and earnings from each concession, allowing valuable insights to optimize the portfolio. Continued rollout of PAM in 2018 will provide critical business information to enhance and grow the Exchange’s concession, food and main store businesses.
4. Intensify holistic BE FIT program
As a partner in the Healthy Army Community and Air Force Smart Fueling initiatives under the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Exchange offers Soldiers, Airmen and their families more healthy options than ever with brands such as Freshens, Muscle Maker Grill and Boston Market, reaffirming our commitment to readiness and resiliency. Marketing and communication efforts will highlight our BE FIT program while we intensify better-for-you options in Express and vending venues and expand Exchange BE FIT concept shops that support active lifestyles.
5. Invest in e-Commerce and technologies
With the implementation of Next Generation software in August, the Exchange gained a robust technology foundation. This platform can strengthen and enhance other critical business solutions to deliver an improved customer experience. In our food courts and restaurants, we will leverage technology to develop mobile ordering and delivery solutions.
6. Reduce operating costs
The Exchange successfully reduced operating cost over the past few years by optimizing the supply chain and reducing overhead expenses. As the nature of retail constantly changes, we will see a continued focus on rebalancing costs to focus on highest payback activities while reducing lower value added activities.
7. Optimize supply chain
Building upon improved e-Commerce fulfillment and distribution center capabilities, we will enhance inventory productivity and ultimately decrease costs. We will also continue the upgrade of the critical warehouse management and traffic management systems.
Thank you for all you do to serve our Nation’s heroes with unmatched passion and enthusiasm. Because of you, our main stores, malls and food courts offer military families what no other retailer can.
Our 2018 Super Seven priorities, along with teamwork and dedication, will ensure the Exchange remains a valued benefit for Soldiers, Airmen, and their families, retirees and honorably discharged Veterans for generations to come.
Deeds Not Words!