By - January 1, 2019

Associate saves Publix thousands


Big, money-saving ideas can come from routine tasks. Scan Price Clerk Grace Walker, #1352, North Fort Myers, Florida, questioned why stores were receiving so many divider tags in their weekly trays of shelf tags. She reached out to Grocery Technical Specialist Lindsie McDonald to ask.

About 2,000 shelf tags for the entire store are sent in one box each week. Divider tags are intended to help identify transitions between areas of the store to make hanging tags easier. They include the aisle and planogram information to help scan price clerks know where to hang them. Once the tag is placed on the shelf, the divider tags are no longer needed. So, Grace submitted a photo to Lindsie of all the tags she was discarding.

“When she sent the photo, we realized it was a lot of waste and there might be a better alternative,” Lindsie said.

After determining some divider tags were unnecessary, we tested new logic to reduce the number of divider tags in the Lakeland Division. And late last year, it rolled out companywide.

In total, we managed to eliminate more than 3.8 million tags across all divisions — saving Publix more than $67,000 annually. Grace received a monetary reward for her cost-saving idea.

Store Manager Joe Faciane said he was proud of Grace’s efforts. Having worked in different areas of the grocery department, Grace is able to offer multiple insights and perspectives.

“When I first mentioned it, I wasn’t thinking about saving the company money,” Grace said. “I’m grateful I asked the right question that led us to reducing waste.”

Do you have the next great idea? Publix’s Continuous Improvement Program was created for associates to work together to reduce costs, make processes more efficient and create openness to change. If you have an idea on how to improve Publix processes, please share it with your retail improvement specialist.