6 Ways to Save Time During Site Visits and Inspections

It’s no secret that site visits are incredibly important to your retail operations. Store audits and inspections enable you to evaluate programs and initiatives, ensure compliance, and even connect with teams on the ground.  However, they can also take time. Between audit preparations, travel time, inspecting stores, and following up, site visits can take anywhere … Continue reading 6 Ways to Save Time During Site Visits and Inspections

6 Store Inspection Mistakes District Managers Make When Auditing Retail Stores

Having high standards and a strong plan of action is great, but even the best strategies will fall flat if they aren’t carried out properly.  As Larry Bossidy, former AlliedSignal CEO wrote in the bestselling book, Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done, “Strategies most often fail because they aren’t well executed.” This lesson rings … Continue reading 6 Store Inspection Mistakes District Managers Make When Auditing Retail Stores

4 Types of Inspections that Protect Store Operations

Conducting store inspections (also called retail audits, store visits, or store walks) should be on every retailer’s agenda to protect store operations. Why? Store inspections promote higher overall compliance with brand standards, shrink the gap between stores and head office, and improve customer experience by ensuring merchandising, service, and safety standards are executed consistently. So … Continue reading 4 Types of Inspections that Protect Store Operations

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Calibrating Checklists and Teams

In a retail and hospitality environment, a checklist is a collection of brand standards and best practices. What goes on the checklist reflects what matters to the brand (strategic initiatives, seasonal programs, etc…), what the brand is required to do (laws and regulations, health and safety, etc…) and what it aspires to be, operationally and … Continue reading Calibrating Checklists and Teams

Don’t Sweat the Score, Seize the Opportunity

Scoring a store against brand standards can elicit emotionally-charged reactions by the franchisee or store manager. Most operators/franchisees take pride in their work and can struggle with a disappointing visit score and district manager guidance. Was the district manager too harsh or unfair? Is my store really lacking in certain areas as the visit's score, … Continue reading Don’t Sweat the Score, Seize the Opportunity

Misconceptions about Brand Standards

Let's be completely honest. Are your franchisees, stores and locations really on top of brand standards? A survey by the In-Store Implementation Network sought to quantify a facet of this issue, specifically merchandising, and asked retail professionals how they measure performance of in-store merchandising. Twenty-eight percent of those surveyed responded that they "make the assumption … Continue reading Misconceptions about Brand Standards

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6 Reasons to Measure Brand Standards

Brand standards span broad areas of the operations of a franchise network, including customer service, product preparation, merchandising, cleanliness, human resources, security, loss prevention and fire prevention. They govern how specific tasks should be completed and what a successful implementation outcome entails. Most customer-facing franchise-based groups, especially in industries such as hospitality, food service and … Continue reading 6 Reasons to Measure Brand Standards

The Bindy Workflow

Bindy implements an end-to-end, closed-loop store execution workflow. It you want to validate brand standards or "make it happen" at store level, Bindy is for you. Let's dive in on key steps of of a common workflow for a retail organization. Step 1: Build checklist(s) at head-office Build forms using the system's web-based Form Builder … Continue reading The Bindy Workflow

The Cost of Merchandising Non-Compliance

It is often said that success in retail boils down to execution. How well do retailers execute today and what is the cost of merchandising execution non-compliance? We had the opportunity to discuss the current state of in-store execution with James Tenser, Director at the In-Store Implementation Network. Below are some of the key findings … Continue reading The Cost of Merchandising Non-Compliance

Mystery Shoppers vs. District Manager-Led Audits

District manager-led audits focus on the process A mystery shopping program and district manager audits ultimately address different needs and have vastly different outcomes. A district manager audit essentially amounts to “quality assurance”. Using retail audit software, the district manager follows a process that is regular and actionable. The visit is meant to be educational … Continue reading Mystery Shoppers vs. District Manager-Led Audits

It is Time to Abandon Excel for Brand Standards

When we went paper less, we all assumed we'd magically become more efficient. Whiz-bang, look at us saving data! However, you can be just as inefficient with technology as you can without. Capturing data electronically does not, in and of itself, make it efficient. To make matters worse, multi-unit operators now collect more data about … Continue reading It is Time to Abandon Excel for Brand Standards

Why do Quick Service Restaurants Need Retail Audits?

A retail audit system helps multi-unit retailers achieve store-level compliance with brand standards such as operations, service and merchandising standards. How can retail audits help Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) and why do QSRs need retail audits? Here are 10 reasons why the QSR industry needs retail audits. Health and safety When preparing and serving food, … Continue reading Why do Quick Service Restaurants Need Retail Audits?

Do You Need Retail Audit Software?

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 … Continue reading Do You Need Retail Audit Software?

How Much do Retail Audits Cost?

There are now mature, highly efficient, largely automated systems for conducting retail audits. Some organizations devise their own system, one or more "checklists", usually with Excel and email. Is this approach practical and cost-effective? In this post, we compare how much retail audits cost, with and without retail audit software. Let's get started. Excel and … Continue reading How Much do Retail Audits Cost?

Who Benefits from Retail Audits?

Retail audits and store visits are proven to drive brand standards, increase customer satisfaction and mitigate risks in multi-unit retail. How exactly do retail audits benefit you? Here are some of the benefits you can expect from retail audits. Head Office Lower total cost of ownership than Excel™ and paper-based visits. Home-grown solutions are often … Continue reading Who Benefits from Retail Audits?

10 Ways to Improve Store Execution

In-store execution is known to drive sales and cut costs.  But for these and other known merits of execution, how do you actually achieve it? Below, 10 tips to help you improve program execution across your locations. 1. Seek clarity First, define and describe standards clearly and unequivocally. This point seems obvious but is often overlooked … Continue reading 10 Ways to Improve Store Execution

District Managers or Checklists?

Let's say you need to check brand standards across your business, for all franchisees and locations. How do you do that? Do you rely on district managers, their experience and personal touch or do you deploy checklists for all to fill-out? Checklists largely consist of yes/no answers to standard questions. When a district manager fill-out … Continue reading District Managers or Checklists?