Turnover and profit are not the only gauges of your business' achievements.
As consumers no longer differentiate between online and offline channels, businesses need to follow suit and provide a seamless experience – no matter how or where the purchase originates from.
To ensure that brand consistency is upheld, CEOs and head office need a single, overall view of their real estate. At present, this is typically measured via financial and footfall metrics, but as retailers look to optimise, innovate and save money, they need to utilise the untapped wealth of operational data available within their stores and from employees.
This sounds good, but how exactly can operational data transform business decision making processes with more meaningful insights?
Benchmark operations against financials
Reviewing a company estate’s performance solely via its financial statistics has its place, but to truly understand what is driving sales, it is necessary to see the wider picture.
In a competitive market the margins on price are incredibly tight, so businesses must look at the details to identify where operational opportunities are perhaps currently being overlooked.
For retailers, benchmarking financial performance against area manager store visit reports, task completion metrics, frequency of AM visits, VM compliance and staffing can reveal insightful new learnings.
For example, a successful store with relatively few staff and a small footprint may not be highlighted in the overall estate financials, but proportionally it could be outperforming larger sites.
Benchmark across locations
It is important to ensure the brand is being delivered consistently across the physical estate, which may span numerous geographical regions. Equipping staff with in-store technology that uses a single platform to manage tasks, share insights and imagery in real time allows businesses to vastly improve communication across territories – and job roles.
This ability for instant communication between staff and head office enables real time monitoring of brand consistency, best practices and compliance, while allowing the C-Suite to be able to communicate with country managers instantly to improve overall profitability and prevent any isolated issues from escalating.
Use your findings to boost performance
Ideally all businesses – especially in retail – would have operations communication systems that support management to enable the C-Suite to make well-informed decisions which indirectly improve the customer’s experience. But in reality these systems are ad-hoc at best.
In an effort to manage information across the store network, most business have set up their own systems and processes for managing this. However, the vast majority of this is done in an inefficient, unstructured way, such as emailing photos as attachments or using manual spreadsheets, which can become time consuming when trying to aggregate data.
Only with an effective communication tool can the physical estate be optimised, empowering CEOs to make informed decisions, as well as gathering and sharing useful metrics to drive up overall standards across all sites.
Peter Wake is CEO and founder of StorIQ.
3 Data Sets That Describe Your Business' Performance