by Pam McPherson

Challenge

With 100 million members, our client, a nationwide drugstore chain has one of the largest loyalty programs in the retail world. Through its overall digital wallet and rewards program, our client is introducing a steady stream of new features to make its program even more convenient and personalized. One such feature, digital coupons, lets members log onto their balance rewards accounts, browse an array of coupons, and digitally “clip” coupons to their accounts for quick savings when they shop. Our client engaged Point B to manage this large, complex program from planning through launch across its global operations.

Leading 25 global teams

As program manager, we began by defining the roles of 25 teams, which included 300 people and ranged from point of sale and eComm/mobile to office automation, ad planning, data warehousing, corporate testing, store operations and more.

We quickly built a common vision by gathering key decision makers in one room, asking the right questions, and rolling up our sleeves to whiteboard a strategic plan and reasonable timeline that built buy-in from all stakeholders.

Like most large enterprises, our client has a mix of development methodologies. Its eComm teams follow agile releases, while others follow a waterfall methodology. The ability to align teams with different methodologies to meet program timelines was paramount to success.

Managing our client’s unique partnership with its vendor in order to meet critical program milestones and keep all teams accountable to the vendor-funded budget.

Muscle and velocity  

Beyond the best of plans, a program of this magnitude requires sheer muscle and velocity to drive it through. We took a highly regimented approach to program management that included detailed project plans, weekly status meetings, daily stand-up meetings and active issue management.

At times, being champions of success meant creating ways to keep spirits high during challenging times. In addition, it meant massive documentation, intricate coordination, and clear progress reports tailored for effective presentations at the executive level.

Exceeding every goal

Within its first three days of the launch, digital coupons exceeded its goals for the entire month. Within its first three weeks, the program surpassed 1 million clips—nearly double the best-ever full month of the old coupon website. In this initial phase, all digital coupons are being sourced from the vendor. The next step: adding drugstore-sourced coupons to achieve new heights in loyalty engagement and sales.