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

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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

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?

Who Benefits from Retail Audits?

Sure, retail audits drive sales, increase customer satisfaction and mitigate risks in multi-unit retail. But how exactly will retail audits benefit you? Here are some of the benefits you might expect from retail audits. Head Office Lower total cost of ownership than Excel™ and paper-based visits. Home-grown solutions are often lacking and needlessly expensive to … Continue reading Who Benefits from Retail Audits?

How Much do Retail Audits Cost?

Did you know there are highly efficient, largely automated systems for conducting retail audits today?  Some organizations devise their own system, one or more "checklists", usually in Excel. Is it cost-effective?  Let us compare how much retail audits cost, with and without retail audit software. Excel and Paper Audits Audit Preparation Audit preparation consists of scheduling the … Continue reading How Much do Retail Audits Cost?

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?

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?

Still Using Excel for Brand Standards? (Ouch)

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 Still Using Excel for Brand Standards? (Ouch)

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

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

The Compliant IA Workflow

Compliant IA implements an end-to-end, closed-loop store execution workflow. It you want to validate brand standards or "make it happen" at store level, Compliant IA 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 … Continue reading The Compliant IA Workflow

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6 Reasons to Measure Brand Standards

Most customer-facing franchise-based groups, especially in industries such as hospitality, food service and retail, publish and distribute brand standards to their franchisees and operators. Brand standards govern broad areas of the operations of a franchise, including customer service, product preparation, merchandising, cleanliness, human resources, security, loss prevention and fire prevention. Brand standards are what makes … Continue reading 6 Reasons to Measure Brand Standards

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