Author: Poornima Mohandas

Time to read: 2 minutes

 

We often hear customers struggle with real-time visibility into their store operations. A CEO of a popular nation-wide shoe store chain said, “I’m always travelling and I want to know what is happening in my store in Dibrugarh.”

 

Another Vice President of Business Development of a well-known women’s inner-wear brand said, “I don’t know what is happening in my stores.” He was referring to things like:

  • What time do my stores open?
  • Are the products displayed properly on the window panel?
  • What are the sales from each store for the previous day?

 

Right now, how is such information collected? Most retailers collect this information in a disorganized fashion through a series of phone calls, WhatsApp messages, emails, and follow up phone calls. Information, ranging from the mundane to the crucial, is delayed, scattered across various formats and is often incomplete. Errors can also easily creep in when you manually enter and re-enter data from Whatsapp messages to emails to spreadsheets. You get the picture!

 

So, what is a better way? An operations app that can integrate into your Point of Sales or POS system. It will automatically pull the key metrics and sales KPIs that matter to you and display it on mobile-based dashboards. You can easily monitor:

  • Total sales, Conversions, Sell through, Average bill value
  • Customer NPS
  • Training completion across stores
  • Adherence to SOP checklists across your network and more.

 

A systematic data collection and monitoring process can deliver multiple benefits such as:

 
1. Faster Decision Making

The real-time visibility of sales and store operations will allow you to make business decisions faster. For instance, say you notice that the sales numbers from your store in store counter at 1 MG mall in Bangalore is down 50% today on your mobile app. You can immediately task the area manager on the job. Get to the bottom of the problem. Whether it is a stock availability problem or a staff attendance problem, you can swiftly address it and ensure that business picks up. Without the app, you would get the sales data two days later and still not know what happened.

 
2. Reduction in Errors

Errors in sales numbers is a problem that often goes unnoticed. It typically tends to creep in when people enter sales numbers manually from Whatsapp messages to emails to spreadsheets. To make matters worse, there are multiple versions of the same spreadsheet. The average benchmark error rate for data entry is 1%. This can be totally done away with by automating the data compilation process.

 
3. Do Away with Follow ups

How long does it take for your national head to get the daily sales numbers? In most organizations with dispersed operations like retail and quick service restaurants, it takes 1-2 days of emails, phone calls, Whatsapp messages, and follow up phone calls to line up the daily sales numbers for the North, South, East, and West regions. If your central POS server is hooked up to an mobile-based, operations app you can do away with manual follow ups. Besides, who likes to follow up anyway?

 

If you think you need to know more about what is happening in your stores faster, be it sales KPIs or operational metrics, it may be time to invest in a technology that can give you the visibility you need in the palm of your hands. With this improved visibility you can make better business decisions faster, reduce errors in your data, and do away with follow ups.

 

Advanced retail operations technologies