Asking a retail audit software vendor whether you need retail audit software may be like asking a shoe salesperson whether you really need shoes. And yet the answer may surprise you.
The economics of automation hinge on your activity and the exposure, liability and costs that inconsistent or poor execution may have on the brand’s image and bottom line.
Through our many discussions with retailers, we have identified five supporting reasons for implementing retail audit software. Let’s dive in.
Your have more than 10 stores
Operations will become the Achilles’ heel of a growing retail business unless the operational apparatus can scale while still providing the guidance the stores require. Automation means better and faster tools. Automation tells you who and what is working (or not working), where and when. Automation saves more than it costs.
You have some “problem” stores.
A “problem” store is a store with one or more of the following problems: low profitability, high turnover, high customer complaints and a documented history of non-compliance with brand standards.
Documenting non-compliance, assigning issues to people, setting target dates are as much an “audit” as they are a training tool and an opportunity to turn things around. Software lets you track trends, repeat unacceptables, outstanding items and lets you compare the performance of a store with its peers. Automation helps you identify the problem areas and lets you address them.
You have franchisees.
Good people make all the difference in retail. But even the most motivated and experienced franchisees need guidance from time to time. Protecting the brand implies defining and communicating clear standards and measuring franchisees’ performance against these very same standards. A clear set of standards and a ubiquitous performance platform is like the proverbial rising tide: it lifts all boats.
Seasonal programs are critical to your business.
Seasonal programs need to be executed at precisely the right time, in precisely the right way to have the most impact. Signage, displays, training must all be coordinated for each store to maximize profits during the seasonal program. Funds spent on programs that are not executed in full, 100% of the time at 100% of your stores, are funds wasted.
Hygiene and store cleanliness are critical to your success.
This is generally the case in the food service industry for obvious health and safety reasons. As customers, we do not ingest that which we do not trust and the restaurant’s cleanliness and general condition are the foundations of this trust.
Why you need to automate: prevent issues before they happen, identify and remedy problem areas quickly, protect the customer and employees’ health and safety, protect the brand.
OTHER RETAIL AUDIT AND INSPECTION RESOURCES
Refer to the Retail Audits and Inspections category for how-tos and best practices for retail audits and inspections.