Let us look at several scenarios involving the collection and dissemination of store-based data.

1. Merchandising and service standards.

A district manager visits her franchisees and uses her tablet or smartphone to run a quarterly audit on each store’s compliance with merchandising and service standards.

2. Work order forms.

A store manager fills out a work order form on the store’s back-office computer. The information is received and acknowledged by head office.

3. Seasonal merchandising.

A regional sales consultant visits his stores to help them prepare for the upcoming seasonal program. He ensures that signage, displays and in-store merchandising are executed in time and in full and that the staff is trained to answer customers’ questions and to upsell where appropriate.

4. Loss prevention.

A loss-prevention auditor visits stores to review the physical security, cash-handling and HR practices at the store that are conducive to lower shrinkage. She creates an action plan to assign deficiencies to specific individuals.

5. New construction and store openings.

A cluster manager comes in to visit a newly constructed store to ensure the store is ready for opening. He notes deficiencies so they can be remedied.  He schedules a follow-up visit one week later.

6. Identifying and helping under-performing stores.

A regional manager visits one of her under-performing stores. She reviews previous visits to this store.  She conducts a number of audits, records operations and sales data, to better understand the store’s current performance.   She creates an action plan and also takes the sales data back to head office for discussion with her regional director.

7. Product recalls.

Head office issues a product recall at 9AM. Due to possible contamination, all SKUs of product “X” must be pulled off the shelf by end of day.  The task goes out to all stores in the chain and store managers are asked to fill out the form by end of day, answer questions and provide photographic evidence that the SKUs have indeed been removed.  A report is run at 6PM to track all who has or hasn’t removed the product.

In-store data collection take many forms (and has many benefits).

All the scenarios above are different, they involve different users collecting different data for different reasons at different times.  Yet all the scenarios above have one thing in common: they require in-store data to be collected, actioned, shared and reported against.  All of them can be handled by a single in-store execution software package.

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