28 June 2022
Demonstrate control and consistency for retail leaders, and deliver a solid ROI
“Profit is paramount” is the sixth part of our eBook RETAIL THRIVES AGAIN. Click here to download the book.
Before COVID-19 closed stores all over the world, companies sometimes told us they found it hard to make a business case for investing in technology to support retail operations. While it has always been clear that streamlined communications and better in-store execution improves both the store team and customer experience, some companies felt they could continue with their existing processes.
This has changed.
Three things are have become critically important to retailers as they get their business back on their feet in a post-COVID high street. These are:
Improved retail execution drives sales and margin benefits, as “time to compliance” is shortened; rework is reduced and full price sell through rates are improved. Here we will focus on these three critical areas where retail operations software adds quantifiable value.
Agile communication and real-time compliance records
It’s never been more important for your store teams to know exactly what they have to do.
If the teams are using email, social channels and an intranet, store teams will waste time searching for information and finding what is relevant for them. They will be asking questions (sometimes repeatedly) on social platforms, which will often be answered incorrectly. They will waste time reworking things that have already been actioned.
At a conservative estimate, a company with 250 stores will waste 3,700 labour hours a week. This is not affordable in the current climate.
It’s bad enough when store teams waste time. But with the increased responsibility and visibility to keep staff and customers safe post-Covid means that leaders need to know that new procedures are implemented correctly and on time. Digital checklists, in-app photo uploads and task completion reports means that you can monitor the situation across stores up and down the country or the world. Of course, it’s possible without retail operations software, but new compliance regimes are driving thousands of hours of work for store teams and management teams.
Retail operations software means you can meet new compliance requirements with minimal additional hours.
Retail operations software saves time.
Time savings are conservatively estimated at 1 – 4 hours / week for each store manager, district manager and head office user. For 250 store this could add up to around 50,000 hours each year, three quarters of which are in stores
Examples of activities that are faster with retail operations software are:
Staff shortages are forcing retailers to rethink ways of working so the new, learner team can still deliver business goals.
Area Managers can manage more stores if they have the right tools; meaning that a store portfolio can be supported with fewer Area Managers.
Just a 10% increase in productivity means 1 – 2 fewer Area Managers are required for a typical 250 store estate
Increasingly, Store Managers are managing more than one estate. Whilst this used to be the exception – to manage vacancies, or to leverage particularly talented managers – staff turnover rates have seen it become the norm post pandemic. These multi-site managers will need to be properly supported to be successful – with significant savings possible with just 10% of store managers running more than one store, it’s an option few can ignore.
Operating cost reductions
Some companies terminate contracts with other suppliers and shift the activity to their retail ops platform, where it is supported within their subscription. Examples of this are internal audit programmes (Health & Safety, Compliance) or third-party-supported compliance programmes (fixture & fittings audits, execution audit, etc.). Other companies terminate contracts with intranet providers, employee engagement applications or learning management platforms.
These savings can often total £50 – 100K.
Going digital reduces the amount of paper (forms, checklists, policies, VM guidelines etc.) used in store. Having an accurate view of each store’s POS and display requirements means that marketing and VM collateral wastage can be minimised.
At an estimated print saving of £200 / store / year, this ads up to £50K for 250 stores.
We wouldn’t suggest field teams spend less time with their store teams, but now hybrid working has become the norm, it’s clearly possible to leverage software to reduce the number of routine visits to stores. Not to mention a proportion of visits moving online – with the associated savings in travel costs.
It’s not uncommon for retail operations platforms to be a retailer’s first investment in third party software in an area which has previously been supported by in-house development.
Many companies find that third party platforms, because of their access to best in class technology and regular releases deliver exceptional value for money compared to the cost of an in-house development team. Especially when the full costs of employment are considered.
This is just a taste of StorIQ’s RETAIL THRIVES AGAIN which is designed to help retail teams:
1. Re-evaluate their retail operations
2. Assess the impact of their current store tech
3. Identify the changes required to support their store teams in the future
Download a digital copy here.
Request a hard copy by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to know more about how StorIQ works, or the companies we work with? Or just to have a quick chat? Then please get in touch – we’ll be happy to help!