At Logile, we work with a lot of retailers that run really great stores. Every project we engage in, benefits us and more importantly our customers. Its imperative for retail operations to have alignment concerning “Are your goals, their goals too?” What do I mean by that question? This question can be applied to all levels of an organization. Goals set by the highest level of the organization should be supported throughout the organization and all the way down to associates making your stores clean, organized, full, profitable and making your store a designated place to shop for your customers. But if the goals arent clearly defined and a strategy to execute those goals arent well communicated and understood, then youre gambling on desirable outcomes.
A real-life example comes to mind that Ill use to make my point
I remember a store that I managed and a department that was struggling even though they had all the tools available for a well-organized workplace, clearly written process documents for getting the work done and enough employees on-hand to do the work but was still unable to get the department ready for business in a timely manner. I was recently new to the store and had never worked with the department manager to ensure that his/her goals were the department's goals too. The goal? To provide a well-stocked, fresh and organized assortment of products by 10 am, in a clean environment that customers would find appealing and entice them to make a purchase.
All the employees in the department were busy doing things but not necessarily the right things. While key items remained low or empty and ad items were wiped out, employees were filling items that already had sufficient quantity for the demand. Others were refilling product that certainly could have been done at a later in the day. The department conditions were a culmination of several days of poor planning and execution. Additionally, the morning crew was even more behind because the evening crew, from the previous night, didnt close the department “Strong”. (Strong Close, Strong Open). A strong close would have certainly helped the situation in the morning but wouldnt have fixed everything.
There were a lot of points of failure but much of it could have been mitigated by me getting directly involved to teach and coach the department manager and making sure that his/her goals were the goals of the department staff too. And thats exactly what I did. Speaking from experience, store managers need to take the time to have them understand the tools that they have been given. They need to clearly convey goals and expectations that they have for department conditions. They need to get directly involved and work in departments to ensure goals are met in a timely manner by executing on planful worklists that make sense. Planful worklists is an essential key.
Applying this to all types of retail
Although most of my experience has been in grocery retailing, I see that this can be applied to really any retail business, whether its a super center, home improvement outlet, restaurant and so on. Have you ever been out to eat, and youve seen dirt on the light shades, foggy windows or been told you cant order something because they ran out of that item? Think about your experience, the next time you enter a place of business that is wanting you to spend your money at their establishment. Do you think they are ready for business? Do you think the manager has worked to clearly convey what the goals are, and do you think those associates have the same goals as you would expect the manager to have?
I believe that most businesses have the tools available for a well-organized workplace, some will have clearly written process documents for getting the work done and most will provide enough employees to do the work, but if your people dont have a clear understanding of your goals and dont embrace them as their goals too, thats where you need to start. And dont forget that planful worklist.
At Logile, we work with a lot of different types of retailers and our experience is vast but ultimately “Your Goals, Are Our Goals Too!”
Senior Manager, Product Management
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