BJ’s Wholesale Club – Training
Clarity enabled BJ’s employees to get up to speed with an SAP project
Headquartered in Westborough, MA, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Inc. is New England’s leading membership warehouse club, and America’s third-largest (behind leaders Costco and SAM’S CLUB), with over 200 locations to date in 16 states. The focus is on individual retail customers. More than 8.5 million members go to BJs for one-stop bargain shopping on over 7,000 products, including groceries, general merchandise, clothing, housewares, office equipment, small appliances, and gas, as well as for BJ’s members’ savings on vacations, new and rental cars, insurance, and home improvement. BJ’s employs over 25,000 team members. Founded in 1984, the company was acquired in 2011 by Beacon Holding Inc., an affiliate of Leonard Green & Partners, L.P., and funds advised by CVC Capital Partners.
As a complex, growing, service-driven business, BJ’s must be able to utilize every insight it can get from new technology in order to stay ahead of the needs and expectations of its growing membership. Its recent initiatives include implementing enterprise-wide resource planning application and management software systems to permit better operations in its stores. When one of their full-time trainers took a medical leave, they asked Clarity for a trainer who could meet with the Functional Teams to assess responsibilities; create and update course outlines; coordinate reviews and approvals; and make sure that the organizational roles were in line with security business roles. BJ’s specified that the consultant needed to be collaborative, personable, and capable of fast-paced, spirited teamwork with strong personalities. Role mapping and course outline preparation were must-haves. What wasn’t specified was an intangible measure of seasoning and wisdom to understand the cultural side of technology change.
Clarity’s consultant brought 28 years’ experience in business with an additional 15 years in training and development consulting for government, institutional and private-sector clients. Therefore, BJ’s scenario was a familiar one for him. He worked at the company’s Massachusetts headquarters with BJ’s team members and their management consultants to develop curricula for purchasing and finance, and to train the trainers who delivered the training materials via classroom sessions and online media.
Results: The Outcomes
The consultant’s assignment was extended from three weeks to six months as the training was planned and rolled out. BJ’s implementation of enterprise reporting capabilities entailed more than a technical change; the consultant’s sensitivity to cultural changes at the company was invaluable to BJ’s as well. His understanding that in an uncertain economy any change is greeted with apprehension helped BJ’s create training that was accepted enthusiastically.
Clarity enabled the company to:
- Get employees up to speed with a SAP enterprise reporting project
- Support employee involvement and promote new thinking