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Retail Greatness Blog

Identifying the Root Causes of OSA


An item not being on the appropriate shelf is perhaps one of the most irritating and avoidable pratfalls that can befall a retailer. There's nothing like knowing that you could have increased your sales and perhaps even kept your customers had the item that they were looking for been on the in its proper place on the right shelf at the right time.

Topics: product placement suppliers osa

Using a Mobile Retail Audit Solution to Improve Your Shelf Performance


Manual methods of entering data, such as paper, clipboards, spreadsheets, and laptops, tend to be the dominating force when conducting audits in the retail market. The problem with this is that there is a significant gap in time between when the audits are conducted and when management finally gets those manually entered reports and can respond to any issues that are discovered during the audit. Accuracy can also be an issue during any process that involves the manual transference of data.

Topics: brand metrics kpis mobile solution shelf performance

Which Version of the Truth are Your Audits Reflecting?


When it comes to OSA reporting, there are several sources of data that can be provided, whether it's from an external agency or supplier, a report generated by the store, or records provided by the system. The thing is, not one of these sources provides a complete and comprehensive picture. Why is that?

Topics: retail audit field audit retail shelf audit OSA reporting

Our Secret to the Perfect Store: Every Store Perfect


There are a host of mobile solutions currently on the market that can help your store improve its merchandising operations, but only Every Store Perfect can help foster perfect execution of your company's retail merchandising strategy via the transfer of information between your team of field reps and your home office -- even when your mobile workers are working offline.

Topics: retail merchandising strategies mobile solution planograms

How to Increase Your Confidence in Your Store


So here's something disheartening. In a recent report entitled "Revealing Causes of Omnichannel Failure," none of the retailers surveyed believed that their stores provided efficient and satisfying omnichannel shopping experiences to their customers. Bummer. 

Topics: omnichannel processes customer satisfaction

Customized or Cloud-Based Apps: Which Option is Right for Your Business?


When it comes to mobile technology, which option is better: a customized, end-to-end mobile platform, or cloud-based apps that have already been configured?

Topics: end-to-end cloud-based apps customized apps enterprise apps

The Importance of Ensuring that Your Field Force Team Always Has Access to Accurate and Up-to-Date Information


It's every retailer's nightmare: their field reps go out into the field with promotional materials for a hot product that appears to be on sale. The product sells like hot cakes, only for the reps to find out later on -- much to their horror -- that the promotional information they had at their disposal was outdated, and that not only was the product sold out, but even if it wasn't, they wouldn't be able to honor the lower price. No one wants this to happen to them, so how do you make sure that it doesn't?

Topics: Smartphones Field Rep Greatness promotions promotional materials

The Difference that Mobile Technology Can Make


You've no doubt heard a lot about mobile technology being used in the field -- particularly if you keep up with this blog. But how much of a benefit can it be to your team really?

Topics: tablet mobile technology mobile device smartphone

Why Most Field Service Executives Don't Create a Culture Plan


If you were to ask your team of Field Service Executives if they believed that culture is important to a business, nine times out of ten, the majority would agree that yes, culture is absolutely important, and that it affects every aspect of the business and its relationships. However, if you were to ask that same team if they were actively working on a plan to improve the company's approach to that culture, how many executives do you think would be able to confirm that they were, in fact, doing just that? 

Topics: improving company culture building company culture Field Executive Greatness company culture business culture

5 Tactics to Help You Formulate a Dynamic Sales Team


There is a right way and a wrong way to sell. Yes, that's right -- even if you make the sale in the end, you may still have gone about things in the wrong way, whether it was how you approached the customer or the decisions you made with regard to everything after your initial welcoming of said customer.

Topics: improving communication sales team customer relationship sales floor

No, There is No Universal Mobile Technology in Retail Execution


One big mistake that many retailers make is thinking that one size fits all when it comes to mobile technology and the benefits it can offer their business. This could not be further from the truth.

Topics: RAO retail execution mobile technology

Understanding, and Becoming Sold on, Your Merchandising Services Organization (MSO)


Never forget that when you’re in a store, you have more than one type of customer.  The retailer is your customer, and the consumer is the retailer’s customer.  This entire concept of being sold on your products and services has really focused on the consumer, but you must remember to never ignore your customer: the retailer.  Being sold on your company (whether manufacturer or MSO) means believing in your company enough to best represent, talk up, edify, and re-sell the retailer on your products, your services, and yourself.  You can do this by doing the best job possible within the store, being helpful, and always having a positive attitude about your company and its products.  Selling store managers on your company’s ability to deliver consistently great service to both them and their customers can only lead to great things (like incremental space) where sales opportunities exist, and cushioned landings when mistakes and failures occur.

Topics: product merchandising services organization manufacturer

How to Care More About Your Industry so as to Better Understand Your Company


I hope by now you’re convinced about how and why getting so completely sold on your company and its products and services is so incredibly essential.  The big question now is: “So, how do I do that?”  Maybe your company sells salt, or rocks?  You now realize that you have to go from, “I don’t really care about this stuff, and if somebody needs a bag of rocks, any bag will do,” to “My goal in life is to get as many of our bags of rocks into the hands of as many consumers as possible because they need these rocks/shouldn’t live without these rocks/must have these rocks or bad things will happen to them/will have such a better life if they have these rocks! Because…”

Topics: product competitor replenishment

How to Get "Sold" on Your Company so as to Help Sell It to Your Customers


When you’re in a store, for better or worse, you’re the face of your company and its products and services.  I say “for better or worse” because if you’re completely sold on your company and its products or services and act in ways that edify them and (re)sell everyone you’re speaking with, that’s great!  However, if you’re not completely sold, and/or are not motivated to sell or re-sell everyone possible, then you have no business being in that store.

Topics: product sales mso

The ABC's of Sales Coaching


Next, let’s discuss sales coaching.  Any “perfect store” should be staffed with a team of sales people.  Each and every person in the store should have some level of responsibility for sales, be trained in the art and science of selling, and receive continual sales training and motivation.  When I mention sales here, I’m really speaking current-day selling – in other words, stuff the shoppers’ baskets with things they want, need, can use, and are happy to purchase.  Never push products on people just for the sake of a short-term ticket.  It will cost the store in the long run if people are duped into buying items they don’t want and can’t use.  The idea here is to create a KPI for sales training, as well as other KPIs for product knowledge training, and monitor those KPIs to ensure ongoing sales training.

Topics: leadership sales sales coaching kpis

The Ingredients that Make a "Perfect" Store "Perfect"


Maintaining a perfect store requires a systematic and relentless focus.  It requires constant measurement, bench-marking and careful thought as to where to invest.  Perfect stores have the most timely and accurate data – and make the best use of it.

Topics: measurement shelf execution benchmarking

Understanding the Concept of "Perfect Execution at the Shelf"


The next process required to be included in the definition of any “perfect store” is perfect execution at the shelf.  Like everything else in the consumer goods business, there is not one all-encompassing, answer.  Perfect shelf execution is different for different stores and categories.  For example: a low cost store’s customers are only looking for the lowest price and would rather go somewhere else than pay more to ensure a product is in stock, vs. a high-end customer may abandon an entire cart if just the size of their favorite brand is not on the shelf.  Additionally, some products tolerate there being just one or two items left on a shelf just fine (think a bag of charcoal), but others (think beef, chicken, or fresh veggies) do not sell well if it appears that consumers are taking the last one off the shelf.

Topics: selling at the shelf shelf execution compliance

Setting Clear Objectives for, and Meeting, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)


With the leadership teams of both retailer and supplier – working together as one team – setting clear objectives for KPIs and having real-time visibility to progress against them, the store perfection team can measure and manage progress towards “perfect stores.”  Oftentimes the collection of “perfect store” KPIs is called the “Perfect Store Scorecard,” and a common KPI across all stores is the percentage of perfect stores.  Clearly, the ideal is to have 100% perfect stores at all times, which is not physically possible.  What is possible, however, is to have a very high percentage of perfect stores most of the time.  How is that, you might wonder?

Topics: kpis key performance indicators reports

7 Ways to Improve Your Relationship with Your Customer


Sure, bringing in new customers is essential to a business' lifeblood, but so is keeping happy the customers you currently have. For one thing, it is certainly less costly to maintain a customer base than it is to bring in new folks.

Topics: clear communication promotions customer service kpi

Turning the Supplier and Retailer's Collaborative Vision for the "Perfect" Store into a Reality


Now that we have our eyes wide open regarding the unfortunate fact that what retailers and manufacturers consider to be a “perfect store” are often quite different, as well as the need for both supplier and retailer to come to one collaborative agreement, vision, and plan where they have the most to gain, let’s turn our attention to how we go about creating that vision and ensuring that it becomes reality.

Topics: key performance indicator, onshelf availability supplier

Convincing Retailers and Manufacturers to "Play Nice" When It Comes to Creating the "Perfect" Store


A manufacturer’s goals of becoming a “category captain” -- influencing shelf layouts and plan-o-grams, increasing market share, increasing velocity, differentiating from competitors, creating premium brand standards, increasing shelf space, gaining incremental space, and increasing assortment and product placements -- can, and often are, at odds with retailers.

Topics: product placement manufacturer vision perfect store optimization shelf space retailer

Creating, and Maintaining, Perfect On-Shelf Availability (OSA)


Another area that suppliers and retailers are at odds with concerns creating and maintaining perfect on-shelf availability.  If the supplier is responsible (whether the supplier has its own field team or hires a third party), it’s nearly impossible to always have a supplier in every store, and OSA failures are certain to occur.  In this case, either the store fills the holes or complains to the supplier.  In all cases where the store is responsible for OSA, the supplier is limited by the store’s disciplines, controls, and its ability to execute – which has always been an uphill battle for suppliers.  So while all parties agree that the shelf (aka OSA) should always be perfect, retailers and suppliers often have very different ideas about how many resources to devote to that goal and where those resources should come from.  Given the above, manufacturers must be careful not to make things worse with erratic promotional and pricing policies, as they will only magnify poor store and shelf level execution. 

Topics: product placement product promotions onshelf availability

The 7 Important "P"s that Contribute to Store Perfection


Stores can only help themselves by becoming transparent to their suppliers and providing POS data that includes that date and price past the register.  These facts should also be agreed upon because the use of this data downstream will help the team establish facts such as facings, footage, and opportunities for both retailer and manufacturer to enjoy higher sales and profitability based upon decisions of store management regarding product placements, etc.

Topics: planning product retail pricing strategy promotions pipeline premises people perfect store

4 Common, Yet Avoidable, Mistakes that Field Reps Make


The job of a Field Rep is an important one, because it is through the Field Rep's eyes and ears that management can see what is going on in their stores without having to be physically present. It is for this reason that you want your Field Reps to succeed, because if they don't do a good job, then management will not have an accurate representation of what is going on in the field.

Topics: Smartphones Field Rep Greatness promotions discounts

5 Reasons Why Mobile Application Management (MAM) is Integral to Sales Operations


Field Managers incorporate Mobile Application Management (MAM) into their business stratagem in order to manage Field Reps' mobile devices, including their laptops, mobile phones, and tablets, as well as their PCs. Field Managers also use MAM to secure e-mails and other documents, as well as to enforce corporate policies.

Topics: byod sales operations cope mobile device mobile application management

Arm Your Field Reps with the Right Tablet for Your Business

When you think "tablet," you probably think iPad, but the market now contains more mobile devices and solutions than you may even know to exist.  There are more possibilities than ever before, but how do you know which one would best suit your needs as a business?

Topics: tablet ipad mobile device Android Apple