FONTÃO, Henio; LOPES, Eloisa de Moura. A study on the influence of socioeconomic factors in the perception of the quality of the services offered by the Paraíba Valley mini-markets. Multidisciplinary Core scientific journal of knowledge. 03 year, Ed. 06, vol. 01, pp. 81-97, June 2018. ISSN:2448-0959
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Theoretical Foundation
- 2.1 the Supermarket Sector
- 2.2 places of study: the municipalities of Lorraine, Taubaté and São José dos Campos
- 3. Methods
- 3.1 selection of independent variables (factors) and the dependent variable (response)
- 3.2 selection of social subjects and profile of respondents
- 3.3 experimental array selection
- 3.4 data collection
- 3.5 analysis of data
- 4. Results
- Final considerations
This research focused on the assumption that socioeconomic factors can affect directly the perception of the value of the quality of the services offered by retail grocery stores. The overall objective was to analyze the significance of socio-economic factors to the processes aimed at the quality of the services offered by regional retail grocery stores installed in the cities of Lorraine, Taubaté and São José dos Campos, in the Paraíba Valley Paulista. The method employed was the applied nature, with experimental procedures, exploration objectives and quantitative approach. Put into practice the method by means of factorial analysis techniques saturated. The results proved that in the city of Taubaté, the most significant variables are the age and location of residence. On the other hand, in the municipalities of Lorraine and São José dos Campos, the most significant variables are related to the fact that the customers have car and have a professional activity, respectively. From the results and discussions, we have come to the conclusion that the scientific method applied in this research allows mini-markets managers direct their quality processes for profiles of customers who really understand the value of services offered. In this way, small business owners are more assertive in their decision-making and, consequently, reduce costs and lead their companies to be more competitive.
Keywords: Minimarkets, Factorial analysis, decision-making.
In markets of high competitiveness, such as the retail sector, small operational benefits can generate great competitive advantages. In this sector, the rates of loss are a constant concern on the part of managers and entrepreneurs. The losses are an intrinsic challenge supermarket activities and it is necessary a management directed to identifies them, measure them and combat them.
In the year 2016 Brazilian supermarket sector losses reached absolute values of R $7.11 billion. This context, comprises 39% of small establishments of up to 500 m2. Perhaps motivated by their respective competitive weaknesses against the big corporations, this slice of stores presented greater effectiveness, with regard to the prevention of losses. (Brazilian Association of Supermarkets, 2018).
In this context, the waste and mitigation costs of production processes or services can be the differentiator for companies to remain competitive. In this sense, the area offers various quality management systems and techniques to assist managers in improving the productivity and quality, customer retention, cost reduction etc. However, due to the high investment, these systems are not economically viable for small businesses.
The small shops of the supermarket sector entered into this high market rivalry between competitors, require access to such systems and techniques, because their modest capital structures already put them in unfavorable conditions competition. The Brazilian Association of Supermarkets (2009) suggests that small supermarket practice management techniques in order to improve the efficiency of the management processes and operating processes of your services in order to compete with large groups supermarket.
The general objective of this research is to present modern solutions and low investment and operating cost, towards supporting the management of loss and improvement of quality in small businesses. Specifically, the application of the method of analysis of multifactorial fractionated through Plackett-Burman techniques. These techniques are included in the foundations and concepts of design of experiments.
The design of experiments is a method of analysis widely used in Lean Six Sigma projects, which, for your time, proposes the maximisation of shareholder value, by applying speed and quality to business processes as a way to increase the rate of customer satisfaction and the capital employed in the business. (GEORGE, 2002, 2003 and 2004).
Lean Six Sigma is based on models and systemic and cyclical patterns: the DMAIC (Define, measure, analyze, Improve and Control) and the DMEDI (Define, Measure, Explore, Develop and Implement). The design of experiments is a method for decision making support in improving the DMAIC cycle "and" Develop "the DMEDI cycle. (GEORGE, 2004).
The chance to be proven is that socio-economic factors can affect directly the perception of the value of the quality of the services offered by retail grocery stores. In addition, argued that the concepts of design of experiments can be applied separately, through free software and/or within easy reach, such as the spreadsheet Excel data, computational package Microsoft Office. It was believed that Excel is an economically viable alternative to small supermarkets, as the Lean Six Sigma projects require technical personnel, processes and systems with high investments and expensive maintenance costs.
From the above-mentioned districts, developed the survey question: the design of experiments, perceived as a technique to support decision making, as well as Excel, perceived as a computer spreadsheet of easy access, can help small retailers to reduce their costs and improve the quality of its services, as a way to be more competitive?
2. Theoretical Foundation
This research proposes to advance the knowledge of the subject, from two general methodological steps, namely: (1) conducting experimental research in the cities of Taubaté and São José dos Campos and (2) comparative study with preliminary research entitled: " Plackett-Burman Saturated planning for analysis of Opportunities and improvements in Supermarkets Retailers ", authored by Fontão and Lee (2018), performed with data collected in the municipality of Lorraine. For this reason, the theoretical foundation focused on relevant information from the municipalities, where the objects of study.
2.1 the Supermarket Sector
To Sen and Lespsch 1997 (apud Wilder, 2003), the supermarkets are stores that resell General products to consumers through self-service system, that is, enable their consumers use with the help of carts and shopping baskets. Another feature of the supermarkets is the existence of cash registers or some check-out system.
The diversity of products offered, sizes of establishments, among other features create a major obstacle to set the supermarket sector, Silveira and Lespsch 1997 (apud Wilder, 2003). Brazilian Association of Supermarkets (2015) and the Ascar & Associates (2013) are classified self-service stores supermarket sector, based on the physical space of establishments, the amount of products offered and check out Table 01.
Table 01 – self-service Classification in Brazil.
|Designation.||Physical space area (m2).||Quantity of products Offered.||Amount of Check-out.||Departments.|
|Convenience store||From 50 to 200||1,000||From 1 to 2||Grocery store; Cold cuts and dairy; Bazar.|
|Limited assortment store||From 200 to 400||900||From 2 to 4||Grocery store; Fruits and vegetables; Cold cuts and dairy; Bazar.|
|Supermarket outreach||From 150 to 400||4,000||From 2 to 4||Grocery store; Meat and poultry; Fruits and vegetables; Cold cuts and dairy; Bazar.|
|Compact supermarket||From 300 to 800||6,000||From 2 to 7||Grocery store; Meat and poultry; Fruits and vegetables; Cold cuts and dairy; Bazar.|
|Traditional supermarket||From 800 to 2,500||12,000||From 6 to 16||Grocery store; Meat and poultry; Fruits and vegetables; Cold cuts and dairy; Bazar; Fish market; Bakery; Deli.|
|Specialized gourmet supermarket||Of 1,000 to 1,900||16,000||From 5 to 12||Grocery store; Meat and poultry; Fruits and vegetables; Cold cuts and dairy; Bazar; Fish market; Bakery; Deli.|
|Superstore||From 2,500 to 4,500||24,000||From 16 to 30||Grocery store; Meat and poultry; Fruits and vegetables; Cold cuts and dairy; Bazar; Fish market; Bakery; Deli; Textile; Electronics.|
|Hypermarket||Of 6,000 to 10,000||50,000||From 30 till 60||Grocery store; Meat and poultry; Fruits and vegetables; Cold cuts and dairy; Bazar; Fish market; Bakery; Deli; Textile; Electronics.|
|Super center||From 8,000 to 12,000||60,000||From 30 till 60||Grocery store; Meat and poultry; Fruits and vegetables; Cold cuts and dairy; Bazar; Fish market; Bakery; Deli; Textile; Electronics.|
|Warehouse store||Of 3,500 to 5,000||7,000||From 20 till 30||. Grocery store; Meat and poultry; Fruits and vegetables; Cold cuts and dairy; Bazar; Fish market; Bakery; Deli; Textile; Electronics.|
|Wholesale Club||From 5,000 to 10,000||6,000||Of 14 to 25||Grocery store; Meat and poultry; Fruits and vegetables; Cold cuts and dairy; Bazar; Fish market; Textile; Electronics.|
|Wholesale mixed autosserviços||From 2,500 to 6,000||9,000||From 20 till 28||Grocery store; Meat and poultry; Fruits and vegetables; Cold cuts and dairy; Bazar; Fish market;. Bakery; Deli; Textile; Electronics.|
Source: adapted from Ascar & Associates (2013); Brazilian Association of Supermarkets (2015).
The small objects of this study, are defined by the possession of up to four check-outs and annual turnover of up to £ $4 million. Therefore, the supermarkets be equipped with mini compact, as for your classification. (SERVIÇO BRASILEIRO DE APOIO ÀS MICRO E PEQUENAS EMPRESAS, 2015).
According to the Federation of trade in goods, services and tourism of the State of São Paulo (2018), the mini markets generate more jobs than the super and hypermarkets. In times of crisis, it is common that the mini markets indicate growth in job creation, while the large feature lock sector jobs. Facilities for maintenance of more compact structures cause there is a tendency for smaller stores. The supermarket chains have betted on that trend, because you get a certain consumer preference for this kind of business, especially due to the proximity between the houses and the shops and the offers and promotions focused on local consumption.
In Brazil, the supermarket industry's potential as a generator of income and employment is evident. In 2017 the supermarket sector revenues reached R $353.2 billion. There was a small improvement in business that led to weak investment, which, however, represented an increase of 1% of GDP, generating about of 76000 new jobs in the year. (Brazilian Association of Supermarkets, 2018).
According to the magazine SuperVarejo (2017), currently there are approximately 89000 supermarkets in Brazil, responsible for marketing of 83.7% of products classified as necessities. In August 2017, the supermarket sector came to be recognized, based on Decree No. 27,048 of 1949, as an essential activity of the brazilian economy. With this, the sector is operating autonomy of its stores on Sundays and holidays.
With more than 415,000 establishments and accounting for approximately 6% of the country's GDP, the mini markets are the second largest small business segment of Brazil. Accounting for 35% of the sales of the supermarket sector, the mini markets are significant to the national economy, due to your importance in the generation of employment and income. (SERVIÇO BRASILEIRO DE APOIO ÀS MICRO E PEQUENAS EMPRESAS, 2015).
2.2 places of study: the municipalities of Lorraine, Taubaté and São José dos Campos
The municipalities of Lorraine, Taubaté and São José dos Campos, objects of this research, are located in southeastern Brazil, in the Paraíba Valley. Have estimated populations of 87,980; 307,953 and 703,219 inhabitants, respectively. Are distributed in areas of 414.160; 625.003 and 1,009.409 Km2, in that order. (Brazilian Institute of geography and statistics-IBGE, 2018).
The vast territorial extension fades into brazilian investments by large supermarket networks, especially in regions with low rates and low population density. In this context, the small supermarkets are lower barriers to entry in less concentrated and competitive markets. (Wilder, 2003).
Table 02-Table based on the data of the last IBGE senses.
|Municipality||Estimated population-2017||Municipal human development index (IDHM) 2010||GDP per capita-2015
|São José dos Campos||703,219||0.807||52,858.35|
Source: adapted from IBGE – Brazilian Institute of geography and statistics (2017).
02 table shows data on estimated population, municipal human development index and GDP per capita.
03 table – Table based on the data of the last IBGE senses.
|Municipality||GDP at current market price-2015 (x 1,000) R$||Gross value added in the industry – 2015
(x 1,000) R$
|Percentage of value added in industry GDP (%)||Value added service-2015
(x 1,000) R$
|Percentage of value added in service on GDP (%)|
|São José dos Campos||36,398,100.25||13,517,172.25||37.13||15,273,198.61||41.96|
Source: adapted from IBGE – Brazilian Institute of geography and statistics (2017).
Already, 03 table presents data related to the values added in industry and services/GDP. The logic in the presentation of this data is to show relevance of the objects of study, as well as, establishing a conceptual basis for discussion of the results raised in field research. The relevance of the services to the region's economy. One can see that the services, regardless of the industry impact on GDP, maintains an average percentage of impact on the economy of cities. Yes, even the municipalities with the lowest and highest percentage of value added in industry GDP, still have a percentage of value added in service on GDP of 42.82%, without hire.
As to the methods, the research was applied in nature. Methodological objectives led to exploration resources, with statistical techniques inferenciais.
In relation to the purpose of the research, and experimental procedures were defined. And, finally, the approach was quantitative. Figure 01 outlines the methodological organization of the survey.
3.1 selection of independent variables (factors) and the dependent variable (response)
It used factor analysis of thirteen independent variables in order to study their respective influences, alone (main effects) on a dependent variable. Due to the fact that the primary source of data collection be set by humans (consumers of products and services of mini-markets), so we have selected socioeconomic factors related to customer profile and consumption habits, as recommended by Gil (1996). After all, the products and services add value only for those specific people that understand. (Churchill, 2005).
As allows the factorial analysis, we used saturated inert columns, called factors "ghosts". These empty columns enabled the calculation of the experimental error to contrasts. As suggests Montgomery (2009) and Barros Neto, Scarmínio and Bruns (2007) also assigned two levels of control for the independent variables, with exception to ghosts. This permititu procedure the adequacy of the system to verify the submission of dependent variable independent variable influences.
From this point of view were determined independent variables and the dependent variable. These factors were essential to set the alignment of the system studied experimental structure, as shown in Table 04.
The selection of search factors justified through the literature review, once, through the point of view of contingency approach, the external environment offers the information for the managers to take the important decisions for the business, and so , companies must identify the wishes and needs of its customers, Churchill (2005). In this logic, the Lean Six Sigma projects process customer information for decision-making. (George, 2004).
Table 04-independent variables, with levels of control and dependent variable.
|Independent variables and inert columns||Levels||Dependent Variable|
|High (+)||Low (-)|
|1||The||Genus.||Male.||Female.||Perception of the value of the quality of the services offered by retail grocery stores.
|2||(B)||Age group.||Above 40 years.||Up to 40 years.|
|5||And||Family income level.||05 above wages.||Until 05 wages.|
|8||H||Residence||In the city.||Others.|
|9||(I)||Got a car?||Yes.||No.|
|11||K||How often uses the minirmercado?||+ 01 time per month.||Until 01 time per month.|
|12||L||How many people are in your family?||+ 05 people.||Until 05 people.|
|13||M||Prefer frequent supermarket||Days of the week.||Weekends.|
Source: prepared by the authors.
The alternation between the levels of control of the factors studied determines the profile of informants, while serving to organization of the experiments.
First, preliminary questionnaires were applied in order to identify between customers of small cities bounded by research, those who had regular profiles with the Plackett-Burman, N = 20.
Once identified customers who were interested in the research, these were invited to answered questionnaires, through which gave their opinions (as clients) about their perceptions about the quality of the services provided by the local mini-markets. Those answers served to value of the dependent variable.
Therefore, the responses were used to assess the dependent variable were conditioned to a set of combinations defined by socio-economic characteristics of the customers. These combinations were afiguradas in experimental array, via the control levels of factors: high (+) or down (-). Research factors were under control of the researchers, because only customers with specific profiles and consistent with the applied statistical techniques were selected as social subjects respondents.
3.3 experimental array selection
The rationale adopted for experimental array selection was to find techniques that would allow exploratory surveys and optimized. So, have chosen the Plackett-Burman, techniques such as Barros Neto, Scarmínio and Bruns (2007) recommend for this type of research. By using an array N = 20, the data were processed and factors were related to the response variable.
05 table shows the fractional factorial array Plackett-Burman saturated N = 20; where horizontal lines characterize twenty experiments, alternating levels: high (+) and down (-) for each factor studied. Already, the columns (vertical) would be equivalent to the factors controlled by researchers, that is, are the socieconômicos profiles and consumption habits of customers of minimarkets.
3.4 data collection
The data collection instruments were closed and structured questionnaires. From a selection of social subjects (preliminary questionnaires: socio-economic profiles and consumption habits), questionnaires (table 06) were submitted, collecting the opinions of those in relation to their perceptions about the quality of the services provided by small retailers.
The measurement of the response variable corresponds to the simple arithmetic average of the values provided by the respondents for each row (experiment) of the questionnaire. The measurement of the response followed a range of levels of opinion, on which: (0 to 2.0 = Bad); (2.1 to 4.0 = bad); (4.1 to 6.0 = reasonable); (6.1 to 8.0 = good) and (8.1 to 10.0 = Great). As presented in table 06, the set of elements that constitute the value of the response variable encompassed departmental, economic aspects and of the internal environment of the minimarkets, i.e. parking lots, butcher, bakery, price, payment, lighting, among others.
3.5 analysis of data
The sample data were processed, fulfilling the concepts and techniques of Plackett-Burman and the logic of an array N20. Soon, the data were treated quantitatively, through statistical procedures, inferenciais (ROSS, 1991; Barros Neto; Scarmínio; Bruns, 2007).
As a complementary technique, using analysis of variance (ANOVA) to verify the existence of significant differences between the averages and to assess whether the independent variables have significance on the dependent variable. The processing of sampling data was through the Statistic software for Windows, version 5.1 and calculations-Excel spreadsheet for Windows XP computer package from Microsoft.
The interpretation of the results was carried out about the factors that exposed significance levels less than or equal to 5% (0.05). This procedure was paramount to ensure the assertiveness and quality of responses, with 95% confidence level.
The inferenciais statistical techniques directed the calculations required to perform the tests of significance and proposals for adjustments of levels and factors as string that presents itself:
- (1) Calculation of the effects of factors on averages of answers: served to measure the size of the influence of factors on the responses.
- (2) Calculation of the effects of the factors ghosts squared: served to calculate the variance.
- (3) Global: variance is a measure of statistical dispersion pattern, namely, served to check how scattered values are the statistical expected value.
- (4) Experimental error: served to measure the difference between the values of the sample in relation to the real value.
- (5) Analysis of variance (ANOVA) on the average of the responses/significance test: to assess the quality of the fit of the model and to quantify the significant factors for the maximization of the dependent variable.
- (6) Proposal for better adjustment of the levels of observation of the significant factors for the maximization of the dependent variable: served to propose a combination of significant risk factors and their respective levels of control that leads to maximizing dependent variable.
In the table of calculations are presented 07 effects of factors on the average of the responses; calculation of the effects of the factors ghosts; global variance and experimental error.
As a result, identified the "t critical value" on Critical Values table of Student's t, from the amount of "ghosts", that is, six (6) and degree of freedom in 5%.
Table 1-definition of the significance test.
|tcalc (≥) = SIGNIFICANT tcrítico|
|tcrítico = tcalc (<) NOT SIGNIFICANT|
Source: prepared by the authors, from Montgomery information (2004).
Later, he compared the value of "t" "t values calculated", which is the product of the absolute values of the effects of the factors by experimental error.
With these procedures made possible the realization of tests of significance, that is, the factors which have significance on the dependent variable, have the "t calculated" greater than or equal to "t critical", (table 01 and 08 Table).
08-table Test of significance of the effects studied in the municipalities of Lorraine, Taubaté and São José dos Campos
|t Calculated||t Critic|
Source: prepared by the authors.
Subsequently, the ANOVA was applied to verify the existence of significant differences between the averages and to assess whether the independent variables have significance on the dependent variable.
09, 10 tables and 11apresentam the ANOVA on the averages of the responses to the three municipalities studied: Lorena, Taubaté and São José dos Campos, respectively. Where:
- GL (degrees of freedom) = no note – 1 levels;
- SMQ (sum of squares of the factors) = 2 (MX1-Y) 2 + 2 (MX2-Y) 2;
- Sq = SMQ/gl;
- F = SMQFator/SMQError;
- p = significance level of the factors about the answer.
09 table shows the ANOVA for the data relating to the object of study bounded by the municipality of Lorraine.
Table 9 – ANOVA (Lorraine).
|How often uses small supermarket?||0.050000||1||0.050000||0.285714||0.612197|
|How many people are in your family?||0.050000||1||0.050000||0.285714||0.612197|
|Prefer frequent supermarket?||0.200000||1||0.200000||1.142857||0.326160|
|Got a car?||0.200000||1||0.200000||1.142857||0.326160|
|Family income level.||0.050000||1||0.050000||0.285714||0.612197|
Source: prepared by the authors.
Table 10 shows the ANOVA for the data relating to the object of study defined by the city of Taubaté.
Table 10 – ANOVA (Taubaté).
|How often uses small supermarket?||0.16928||1||0.169280||0.165108||0.698592|
|How many people are in your family?||2.19122||1||2.191220||2.137220||0.194077|
|Prefer frequent supermarket?||0.02738||1||0.027380||0.026705||0.875555|
|Got a car?||0.16200||1||0.162000||0.158008||0.704753|
|Family income level.||0.68450||1||0.684500||0.667631||0.445103|
Source: prepared by the authors.
Table 11 shows the ANOVA for the data relating to the object of study bounded by the municipality of São José dos Campos.
Table 11 – ANOVA (São José dos Campos).
|How often uses small supermarket?||0.04324||1||0.043245||0.084632||0.780910|
|How many people are in your family?||1.49604||1||1.496045||2.927805||0.137913|
|Prefer frequent supermarket?||0.30505||1||0.305045||0.596982||0.469065|
|Got a car?||3.75845||1||3.758445||7.355390||0.035009|
|Family income level.||1.09045||1||1.090445||2.134034||0.194364|
Source: prepared by the authors.
As the goal of the mini-markets is to maximize your results with regard to the quality of the services provided, then, from the statistical techniques used in this research, it is suggested that the process is adjusted to the level of high control (+), as Table 12, table 13, table 14.
In the city of Lorena, has significant factors/control levels:
- Factor "B" (age), i.e. customers over the age of 40 years.
- "H" factor (residence), i.e. customers who reside in the city of Lorena.
Table 12 – adjust the isolated process for study (Lorraine).
|Above 40 years||Lorena|
Source: prepared by the authors.
In the city of Taubaté, has significant factors/control levels:
- Factor "D" (works?), i.e. customers, which, at the time of application of the questionnaires, were not unemployed.
Table 13 – adjust the isolated process for study (Taubaté).
Source: prepared by the authors.
In the municipality of São José dos Campos, has been the significant factors/control levels:
- "I" factor (have a car?), i.e. customers that have autoveículo.
Table 14 – adjustment of the isolated process for study (São José dos Campos)
|The||(B)||(C)||(D)||And||(F)||G||H||Got a car?||J||K||L||M||N||The||P||Q||R||S|
Source: prepared by the authors.
The main results obtained are discussed below:
- In the city of Lorena: customers over the age of 40 years and residents in the city, that is, customers in this age group exhibited a significant level of perception about the quality of minimarkets. In this case, one has to consider that Lorena is a small town, i.e. have population less than 100,000 inhabitants, therefore, there is the tendency of a less competitive level concentration of supermarkets larger ports. Second Churchill (2005), typically, investments in Marketing are made from an actual percentage on sales. In this view, the structures of the mini markets tend to be modest in relation to the supermarkets with high revenues. Therefore, it is believed that the small Marketing processes of Lorraine, from the constituencies based by locale, population number and modest financial structures, yet reach a certain degree of effectiveness. However, apart from the possible shortage of comparative parameters to understand the quality of services, it is also believed that the group that realizes value is more concentrated, because, according to the Brazilian Institute of geography and statistics (2018), Lorena presents, among the cities studied, the largest group of people in the age group over 60 years.
- In the city of Taubaté: the occurrence of customers who work perform significance regarding the perception of the quality of the mini markets can be subject to the condition of low availability of those social subjects to perform their shopping in supermarkets. Thus, the local mini-markets can be an alternative to purchasing more agile. According to the Union of the retail trade of Foodstuff in the State of São Paulo (2018), the mini-markets are efficient for consumers who need to make small purchases and have limited time availability. The small retailers have the possibility to invest in Marketing and maintenance of the structure of the stores to meet the needs of quick shopping. Churchill (2005) certain categories of consumers perceive value and make purchases of singular way, therefore, it is important that the decision-making aimed at investment in Marketing and structure are based on the information of the customers. In this sense, retailers have to promote the quality of its services, should seek ways to ensure that their customers are happy and understand that quality. According to the Brazilian Association of Supermarkets (2017) more than 55% of supermarkets a run for their money in the investment in Marketing and promotions to boost your business.
- In the municipality of São José dos Campos: customers who have car were significant in relation to the perception of the quality of minimarkets. In this case, two aspects should be taken into consideration: (1) Unlike the municipalities of Lorraine and Taubaté, which are classified as small and medium-sized cities, respectively; São José dos Campos is a large city, with area greater than 1000 Km2. With that, the distance between residences and retail stores are more extensive and, often, even the nearest mini-market can be far enough for consumers to opt for locomotion with own vehicle. (2) in addition, among the cities studied, São José dos Campos has the highest population density. Therefore, in this municipality there is a higher concentration of large supermarket chains. It influences directly on "mortality" of mini-markets, since the capital structures of large supermarkets and the power of monopoly, put them in competitive advantage vis-à-vis the small retailers. For your time, mortality influences the amount of small enterprises and, consequently, there may be a more longitudinal arrangement between residence and mini markets. Considering the results of significance, the mini-markets that have safe and comfortable places for parking of cars may have a competitive advantage.
By means of scientific methods and techniques applied research hypothesis was proven, i.e. socioeconomic factors affect the perception of the value of the quality of the services offered by retail grocery stores. In addition, although research has been used in a manner complementary to, software with license of rights, on the other hand, the concepts of design of experiments have been applied in isolation, through free software and/or easy access, such as the worksheet Excel data, computational package Microsoft Office. Therefore, Excel was an economically viable alternative to research and can also be used by small and micro empressários, do not require high investments and expensive maintenance costs.
Thus, the research confirmed that the design of experiments, perceived as a technique to support decision-making; as well as Excel, perceived as a computer spreadsheet of easy access, can help small retailers to reduce their costs and improve the quality of its services, as a way to be more competitive.
More specifically, the results showed significant causes, directing and possible actions to be taken. For small retailers, the managerial contribution is to present an effective alternative for decision-making with high level of assertiveness
However, for a more general perspective and considering the limitations of this research, it is suggested that future work can aggregate knowledge from this research, as for example:
- Study the implementation Lean Six Sigma techniques in other steps of cycles quality standards (DMEID and DMAIC), bordering other processes.
- Studies of cases and minimarkets, to enlarge the possibility of collecting relevant data and information, thus aligning the strategic needs of these small shops with the objectives of the research.
- Study the application of techniques in industries and internal departments of small retailers.
- Enlarge this exploratory research through methods for the optimization of the process studied.
- To reduce the costs of research, you can perform data collection, sampling from computerized systems for customer relationship management. The internet allows companies to achieve, by means of Digital Marketing, a huge amount of people. Therefore, this kind of promotion can be viable coadunado methods of this research.
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 Faculty of Technology of Pindamonhangaba; Centre for research in economic and Sociology of organizations, Lisbon, Portugal
 Faculty of Technology of Pindamonhangaba