The Top Five Above-Store Tasks that Cry Out for Automation
No doubt about it, retailers have a lot on their plate: from juggling the day-to-day challenges of running stores to developing their brand, coaching and retaining employees, and ensuring compliance with federal, state and local requirements. And it all must be done well, at the same time, like a well-oiled machine.
Fueling the machine are the district managers and other above-store operators who are routinely called upon to walk the stores and report back on their findings. Their tool: Email, to send notes to themselves and others, or to send photos from the field. The results: A messy inbox, as well as a lot of time spent organizing notes, then transferring the information into numerous spreadsheets and reports.
Can you say that your above-store operators are equally effective in supporting each and every store? Stores vary widely in terms of execution requirements, due to product offering mixes, geography and demographics. Making distinctions between which tasks need to be completed at which stores is both critical and time-sensitive.
It’s time to automate the machine. Online workforce management tools can easily identify store-level needs and save countless man-hours of follow-up work. Task progress becomes easy to track and, as it’s completed, real-time data is sent back to the home office. The whole process becomes seamless.
Here are five tasks that can be made easier by automation:
1. Customer Experience Audit: Customers have been posting comments on social media about nasty bathrooms. You could spend the next month touring the restrooms, or push out a quick task notification to all stores to send photo assurance. Then send follow-up tasks to those stores that need to clean up their act.
2. Planogram Audit: Corporate has spent a lot of time (and money) on research, advertising and POP to put together the latest promotion. Are the stores set up correctly and ready to go? Only an online survey with photos would deliver the kind of quick, accurate results you need to resolve issues immediately – and let the Marketing VP sleep better tonight. (P.S. Read more about using online audits to close the execution gap here.)
3. Validate stock levels for merchandise displays: You send a message to 250 stores to ask how the new product is doing – and get back 100 emails, 20 spreadsheets, 30 calls, plus a notice that your inbox memory cache is full. A better solution? Getting the information you need in one format, automatically populated in the database, so you can generate a report in seconds.
4. Safety audits: These audits often results in District Managers e-mailing photos of issues to themselves and others, but the photos are seldom organized or stored in a database for future access. Using a mobile capture tool that enable them to record photos in an online database would be far easier.
5. ADA Compliance: A can’t miss procedure that we make easy to miss for managers when we ask them to track by e-mail requests. A mobile survey app would streamline data capture and automate notifications of completion.
Automation tools like AccuStore’s mobile app can handle all of the above and more. Contact us for a free demo.