In recent weeks, many retailers have had to quickly close stores in response to government recommendations and orders related to COVID-19. This means once busy plazas and shopping centers are now full of empty stores, often full of merchandise. In some areas, commercial break-ins are up by 45%. Here’s how one retailer is using Compliant IA to keep closed stores secure during COVID-19.
National furniture chain with 165+ stores in the United States and Canada.
The retailer needs to ensure closed stores are secure and that no property damage occurs. Using email or Excel for this type of initiative would be too slow and labor intensive. Head office would need to wait for district managers to send answers instead of having instant access to inspection results and photos.
With email and Excel, head office has no way of enforcing mandatory photos. Additionally, with district managers visiting stores regularly, Head office would need to compile answers and build trends across hundreds of inspections, which is time-consuming and error-prone.
If theft, damage or environmental issues (like flooding or an alarm malfunction) are reported, the retailer needs to be able to respond quickly to resolve the issue and mitigate financial impact.
Issues need to be reported in a way that can be tracked so they are resolved in a timely manner. In a time when employees are working remotely, email and phone calls do not provide trackable verification across all locations.
Instead the retailer used Compliant IA.
The retailer quickly created a new, customizable form using Compliant IA’s form builder. Mandatory photos are required for key risk areas (doors, plumbing, merchandise storage, etc…) to provide visual date-stamped evidence of the state of each store.
The checklist was deployed to the auditors’ mobile, tablet and PC apps in real time. Auditors utilized the checklist to visit stores, attached photos to verify store security or record property damage. When damage is present, auditors assign action plans to the appropriate departments with due dates to ensure resolution.
With Compliant IA, the checklist can be regularly updated and instantly redeployed as the situation changes. Because Compliant IA has a built in “made for retail” hierarchy, store data is siloed to protect confidentiality and visibility.
Head office can run reports in real time to track trends and see the state of all stores. They are able to see instantly when damage or security breaches are reported as well as track follow-up measures to verify resolution.
For example, head office can see whether or not toilets are leaking, doors have evidence of attempted break-in, pests are present, and merchandise storage areas are dry and at the appropriate temperature to prevent damage.
The retailer is able to proactively monitor stores. This means when government restrictions are lifted and stores are able to reopen, this retailer will not be overwhelmed by unreported damage, theft or other delay-causing issues.
How inspection software helps
The ability to collect and respond to issues quickly is key for facing a crisis. With Compliant IA, franchisors, Operations and District Managers can create or upload customized forms and checklists to check on closed stores and proactively respond to issues. This helps minimize costs and supports reopening stores faster. Below, several features that can help retailers keep closed stores secure during COVID-19.
See the state of stores remotely. Require auditors to capture photos for key risk areas like entrances, exits, loading docs, security cameras, plumbing, storage areas and inventory rooms.
Request an inspection
With Compliant IA retailers can use the task module to send a request for an inspection to ensure stores are secure. Set a due date and send the request instantly. See the completion rate and inspection results in real time across all locations.
With Compliant IA retailers can apply geofencing to forms. Geofencing requires the user starting an inspection to be at or in close proximity to the location. This ensures the data collected is accurately tied to a location.
Time to completion is recorded so head office can see if auditors spent enough time in the store to be thorough.
Retailers can create as many forms as they need to monitor the safety and security of stores. If there are different types of stores, head office can use location tags to limit form sections or items (questions) to relevant locations.
As needs change, redeploy forms instantly so auditors are always working with the most up to date information.
When issues like faulty alarms, broken cameras, or water damage are identified, assign an action plan to ensure resolution. Attach photos to illustrate non-compliance. When resolved, end users can also attach photos to demonstrate resolution.
Quickly run reports from anywhere, on any device to track resolution in real time.
Use Compliant IA to keep closed stores secure. When it is time to reopen, Compliant IA can help get stores ready. Here is a sample Store Reopening Checklist to get help retailers get started.