The Art of Value Engineering in Retail Display

Retail Display

As a full-service retail display manufacturer, we understand the importance of getting your project right first time – and by right, we mean it meets and exceeds every element of the brief. Yes, your retail display should showcase your brand at its best, attracting customers and increasing sales, but it also needs to be efficient, durable and cost-effective. 


Well designed and manufactured retail display requires a carefully balanced combination of artistic creativity and strategic thinking, optimising your budget without compromising on quality or impact. This is where value engineering comes in, or in other words, the art of improving the form and function of a display while simultaneously minimising costs. 


At Fathom, we’re highly versed in value engineering and can step into your project at any stage of the journey. Whether you’re in the ideation phase, or you have an existing design that needs the experienced eye of our in-house team, we’ll bring unrivalled knowledge and proficiency to the table. In this blog, we’ll explore some of the key strategies for value engineering, showcased in our recent full-service retail display project with B&Q. 


Defining clear objectives 

The first crucial stage before diving into any design process is to establish clear objectives for the retail display. We work in close collaboration with clients to gain a comprehensive understanding of the design requirements from the perspectives of the brand, the retailer and the consumers. There are often complex layers to a brief, so agreeing the goals from the outset streamlines the process and avoids unnecessary revisions at a later date. 


In the case of our recent project with B&Q, the DIY giant had previously enlisted the services of a larger retail display manufacturer to design a customer collection point for roll out across its retail estate. Unfortunately, the B&Q team were dissatisfied not only with the design of the display and its adherence to the budget, but also the level of service they had received in terms of communication and support. 


As a smaller company with decades of expertise under its belt, Fathom was able to dedicate time and attention to the client and the requirements of the brief. We established a clear plan for taking over the project from the get-go, which involved reviewing the design and implementing changes to improve ease-of-use, while recommending how to keep the project within B&Q’s cost saving targets.  


Refining the design 

Value engineering retail displays and manufacturing

With the project objectives firmly in place, the design studio can get to work. While aesthetics are important, functionality should always take precedence to ensure a smooth and frictionless customer experience. The display must effectively fulfil its intended purpose without creating any pain points, and the design should be streamlined by eliminating unnecessary elements, reducing manufacturing costs and improving usability. 


B&Q’s brief was to review and develop the existing design, value engineering a similar freestanding customer collection point but with greater emphasis on the simplifying the customer journey. It also had to be easily delivered and installed across B&Q’s retail estate with minimal disruption to stores and to a very tight timescale, keeping shipping and installation costs to a minimum. 


The Fathom team created a user-friendly collection point that’s simple yet impactful. A customer assistance button was mounted on an angled base at average hand height with a clear call-to-action, making it easily accessible for all shoppers. The intelligent design enabled the stands to be predominantly assembled in our UK manufacturing facility, then delivered to store for quick and easy installation even during trading hours. 


Development and prototyping

Value engineering retail displays and manufacturing

With the initial design complete, we move into the development and testing phase, which is imperative for value engineering. Prototyping plays a crucial role in enabling the team to test different materials and manufacturing techniques and identify the most cost-effective and impactful solutions. It also allows us to validate the concept, prove the functionality and identify any areas for improvement before the manufacturing stage.


At Fathom, we have the capability to manufacture prototypes in our in-house facility, which reduces costs and ensures a smooth and timely process when it comes to presenting the proposed design to clients and stakeholders. We can swiftly identify any changes required, making incremental adjustments to enhance performance and value for money. When the project timeline is tight, as it was with B&Q, this is a significant advantage. 


The B&Q customer collection point was developed to ensure it worked in conjunction with the retailer’s existing VoCoVo internal communications. Our long-standing partnership with VoCoVo, including our previous work incorporating the technology into a similar project for Boots, meant we were able to seamlessly integrate the customer call button into the design and test it quickly and efficiently at prototype stage to avoid any issues upon installation. 


Streamlining manufacturing 

Value engineering retail displays and manufacturing

Efficiency is key when it comes to manufacturing retail displays. By analysing every step of the production process, we’re able to identify where time and resources can be saved without compromising on quality. This may involve optimising assembly techniques, adjusting materials or streamlining the supply chain to reduce manufacturing lead times and minimise labour and production costs.


As a company with a UK manufacturing capability, Fathom offers an unrivalled level of efficiency when it comes to meeting and exceeding project deadlines. With a local base, we can mitigate potential disruptions and supply chain issues, ensuring smoother operations and swift turnaround times while still providing an extremely high standard of craftsmanship. 


The B&Q project was in line with a refit programme, necessitating bulk manufacturing of displays. They were almost fully assembled then stored in our factory facility, before being shipped to stores in sections as and when they were scheduled, ready for immediate implementation. This approach ensured on-time delivery and efficient on-site installation with minimal labour requirements, all while causing no disruption to the store. 


Client satisfaction 

The B&Q value engineering project was a resounding success, with the client stating that the redesign more than met the agreed objectives, enabling them to achieve their cost saving target while providing a highly functional, easily installed and aesthetically pleasing display. 


“We would highly recommend Fathom’s services to any brand or retailer looking for an excellent standard of design and craftsmanship that meets and exceeds project requirements without going over budget,” said B&Q’s Equipment Development Specialist, Spencer Garner. “Fathom’s input was exactly what we needed to get our project over the line successfully. The roll out has been incredibly easy thanks to their knowledge of retail, meticulous attention to detail and all-round excellent service.” 


Fathom’s commitment to excellence, coupled with our expertise in value engineering, retail environments and manufacturing processes, enables us to consistently exceed expectations. Our full-service offering delivers retail displays that not only enhance brand visibility but also drive sales and customer satisfaction, helping our clients achieve their project’s objectives with precision, creativity and cost-effectiveness.

Get in touch with our expert team today to transform your retail displays into valuable brand assets. 

Value engineering retail displays and manufacturing