Retail Audit Best Practice #8: Start Small, Calibrate, Scale Fast

At the heart of any successful retail audit program lies a well thought-out, field-tested form.  A form is a collection of operating standards and best practices.  What goes on the form is a reflection of what matters to the brand at a given point in time (strategic initiatives, seasonal programs, etc…), what it is required to do (laws and regulations, health and safety, etc…) and what it aspires to be, operationally and in the eyes of its customers.   It is no wonder then that retail organizations are unwilling to take chances on forms.  Multi-unit retailers often carefully build, vet and “calibrate” forms with a sample group of users and stores prior to general launch.

What are some best  practices for calibration?

  1. Start with a small group of users and stores.  The idea is to get feedback early and often before you deploy to a larger group.
  2. Test-drive the form in the field!  A form may look fine at head office but may prove to have some severe shortcomings when you actually conduct a store visit.  An inefficient form may cause the district manager to have to step back or repeatedly jump around the store to complete the visit.
  3. Narrowcast.  A Compliantia form can be narrowcasted (restricted) to certain stores and/or individuals.  Don’t bet the farm on an unproven form, run a small pilot and calibrate it until you are satisfied with the outcome.

This post is part of the “Retail Audit Best Practice” series.

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