Retail Audit Calibration – Purpose and Best Practices

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 … Continue reading Retail Audit Calibration – Purpose and Best Practices

10 Ways to Improve Store Execution

In-store execution is known to drive sales and cut costs.  But for these and other known merits of execution, how do you actually achieve it? 1. Seek clarity Define and describe standards clearly and unequivocally.  This point seems obvious but is often overlooked by overly succinct, sometime cryptic, copy used to define operational standards. The description … Continue reading 10 Ways to Improve Store Execution

Who Benefits from Retail Audits?

On this blog, we often argue that 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, grouped by role. Head Office Lower total cost of ownership than Excel™ and paper-based visits. … 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?

Great Sandwich. Lousy Washrooms.

I have a bone to pick with some of my favorite QSR brands.  It’s not the menu.  It’s not the service.  It’s not the seating, the parking lot nor the drive-thru.  Quick service restaurants have obviously poured money, systems and processes in key areas and it shows.  But when nature calls, or when I want … Continue reading Great Sandwich. Lousy Washrooms.

When Brand Ambassadors Hurt the Brand

At a recent focus group, a participant's comments really caught our attention. The participant, a professional woman in her late 30's, told us she stopped going to Brand "X" restaurants (we never disclose customer or brand names) because her local Brand "X" location was under new management and standards had gone down. From a brand … Continue reading When Brand Ambassadors Hurt the Brand

Killer Bees, Beer and Break-ins: The District Manager Diaries

Being a service provider to the retail industry, servicing primarily district managers and operations executives, we make it our business to know our users, understand how they work and what they go through everyday. Here is what we have learned: being a proficient district or regional manager is no easy feat, it requires multi-disciplinary skills and … Continue reading Killer Bees, Beer and Break-ins: The District Manager Diaries

Why do Quick Service Restaurants Need Retail Audits?

A retail audit system helps multi-unit retailers achieve store-level compliance with operational, service and merchandising standards. We couldn't think of one reason why the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) industry needs retail audits, we thought of ten. 1. Health and safety When preparing and serving food, compliance with standards and regulations is not simply a matter of … Continue reading Why do Quick Service Restaurants Need Retail Audits?

Are you Still Doing Retail Audits on Paper?

Paper is arguably an easy target. We are still waiting for the paper-less office that was promised decades ago. In the last 20 years, technology has enabled an exponential growth in communications and with it, the amount of information that eventually gets printed. Realizing it's an easy target, we do not want to attack paper … Continue reading Are you Still Doing Retail Audits on Paper?

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