Aimia’s Regional President EMEA Jan-Pieter Lips Talks About Oystercatchers

Jan-Pieter Lips Managing Director AimiaJan-Pieter Lips: We took an optimising evaluation of our relationship with Sainsbury’s because they are our biggest client we have sizeable teams working on both sides. And it is very strategic relationship and recently when we renewed our contract with them for seven years we decided to invest in a relationship and we also knew that some things weren’t going as well as they could, around communication and roles and responsibilities. So we did a questionnaire at the start of the process which gave us two things. One, a benchmark of where our relationship was at the time and it also gave us the key themes that we would like to work on. We then devised a programme which was what Oystercatchers did and we had a kick off with the team’s joined objectives, we had a number of workshops around those key themes. At the end of every workshop somebody from Sainsbury’s and somebody from Nectar get together and document the results which helped in terms of working together, but also helps continue the impact of this program.

Jan-Pieter Lips: The leadership check-ins were very useful because normally you would never get to talk about how the team works together, you always talk about issues, plans, etc. So this was dedicated time set aside to talk about what’s going well, what were the findings of the interviews, so it’s fact-based. And it created a platform for talking about how the relationship can be improved.

Jan-Pieter Lips: We did the measurement afterward so we know the facts tell us that it worked, but it is very clear in terms of the enjoyment of that the team has in the relationship, the way , the interaction between the two sides takes place, it is clearly visible and people are more comfortable with each other, they communicate better and they are getting more enjoyment out of the work.

Jan-Pieter Lips: We measured it effectively into ways. One was through the pre- and post- measurement questionnaire which gives us very clear data points and also has given us very clear guide for what we want to address during the process, and that was very positive. The other measurement is talking to the team and very asking them where things have changed and what they have learned in the process and whether they are now working together differently, which was definitely the case. So Oystercatchers was responsible for effectively the whole process, from I guess selling in the importance of investing in a relationship to doing the initial questionnaire and setting up the workshop so there was an external trainer involved in running those workshops and the leadership check ins were run by the Oystercatchers and at the end there was a measurement to look at progress that we had made, and afterwards we had a very good discussion around how we make sure that the impact lasts and that was also value that Oystercatchers brought.