Posts Tagged 'retail management'

DMSRetail Press Release – Singapore

DMSRetail brings 4 Top Performing Retail Management Workshops to Singapore – For the First Time! October , 2016 – Sheraton Towers, Singapore

Toronto, ON September 22, 2016 — DMSRetail, a leading Consulting, Training and Services company for progressive retailers, brings leading edge retail management techniques to Singapore for the First time.

Senior Consultant and EVP for DMSRetail, Matt Parmaks says “Over the past two or three years we have seen huge growth in our business coming from the South East Asian Market.

We decided it is the right time to offer our premium Retail Management training programs over there where people could attend without incurring the huge cost of travel that is usually associated with getting the benefits of leading edge retail management training.

From sophisticated retail business success methodologies and analytics to good, old fashioned customer experience strategies as well as performance management techniques that are so crucial for these tough times, DMSRetail brings it all together in a fast paced workshops designed for retail managers and retail business owners alike.

Another Senior Consultant with DMSRetail, John Callaghan says “Doing well in a retail business is not as straight forward as it used to be.

There are so many fascinating ideas and new techniques that retail managers and business owners need to be aware of in order to really excel in retail these days and we want to share all of this with our fast growing customer base in South East Asia.”

With the overall economical conditions the way they are, South Eastern Retailers are buying in to the fact that they must do more about investing in their knowledge, leading edge techniques and their people.

DMSRetail is seeing a sharp increase in interest in their retail management training programs. Details of the programs can be found at

RETAIL SALES/OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP (October 17-18-19, 2016): http://www.dmsretail.com/retailtraining.htm

RETAIL BRAND & CATEGORY MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP (October 24-25-26, 2016): http://www.dmsretail.com/brandcatman.htm

RETAIL DESIGN & VISUAL MERCHANDISING WORKSHOP: (October 20-21, 2016): http://www.dmsretail.com/retaildesignworkshop.htm

RETAIL STANDARDS, COMPLIANCE & EXECUTION SEMINAR (October 27-28, 2016): http://www.dmsretail.com/retailstandards.htm

Don’t Miss These Game Changing Workshops!

To Your Success!

DMSRetail

www.dmsretail.com

You and Retail Management Resources

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” Peter Drucker

Create It Using Exceptional Resources!

You’ll likely agree that there are resources, in this world, that we really wouldn’t want to do without.

A dictionary, for example.

Imagine how frustrating it would be to hear a word that you didn’t recognize which, possibly renders a whole sentence or paragraph unintelligible to you, and not have a way to get the definition and understand the word and context.

How would you proceed? How would you take action if it was required of you?

You may find you could not do it.

We have to understand if we are to act appropriately.

Another well used resource is a medical text. Doctors have to learn as much as possible about the human body and how it works; about symptoms of every disease, condition, therapy, etc. They must have a reliable resource to consult when necessary.

How would the Doctor ever graduate from Medical School without using all of the resource materials at his disposal?

Accountants and Legal Professionals all consult volumes of texts and reports and case studies in order to gain their degrees and go on to do their jobs properly.

Skilled Tradespeople learn through books, apprenticeship programs and other resource materials in order to become licensed in their field.

Every profession needs resources available to them for study, and for future reference, regardless of what stage they are at.

Retail Managers are no different.

Trying to function well in their positions without resources is bound to be frustrating and not terribly productive.

Colleagues and Superiors are certainly excellent resources but they do not stay put and cannot be relied upon absolutely every time they may be needed. They have their jobs to do, too so as much as they may want to help….they just can’t always be there.

Perhaps you didn’t need any additional resources when you started out. You knew everything and did everything your way, right or wrong.

But, when you are in growth mode, you definitely need more sophisticated help.

Growth requires that certain systems, processes and procedures are in place and working well.

We’re not talking about red-tape and bureaucratic hold ups. There is no room for any of that in a fast moving, successful retail operation.

We’re talking about the disciplines, the principles, the consistency, the fairness and reward systems. We’re talking about performance management that works instead of fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants coaching and employee evaluations.

What resources will you provide to the people working in the stores, the districts, the Head Office?

How will they function at the top of their game?

And, your high performing individuals will need reliable resources to help them get the knowledge and skills they need to move them to the next level in the organization.

A super Sales Associate will need help and training to move to Department Supervisor, or whatever that next level is in your organization.

An Assistant Manager will need resources to learn from so that s/he can take the helm of a store.

You won’t be able to avoid the pitfalls of growth without the required preparation. And, for that, you need to get hold of serious retail management resources.

Increase your chances for positive outcomes…

Become a member of the Retail Business Academy. Below, we spell out the products, services, systems and advice you get access to for just $97/month.

You have access 24/7…at your leisure.

And, of course, you can cancel your membership in the Retail Business Academy at any time.

For those of you who want to share information and offer the very best chance of growth and development to your people, get them their own membership in the Retail Business Academy.

Volume Discounts on Memberships

Invest in their future to give them the skills to invest in yours. We offer volume discounts on our memberships so it’s easy and painless to upgrade the skills and capabilities of your entire workforce.

First, let us tell you that absolutely everything that DMSRetail offers for sale, is included in the Retail Business Academy.

Plus, there are many more products included that are not available for sale anywhere.

And, we’re growing it every day making your Platinum Membership more and more valuable. We’re working day and night to get new stuff uploaded for you.

This membership will offer new and different things to you all the time.

You’re going to have access to a wealth of different things, such as…

  • Success Guides
  • Tools
  • Study Courses
  • Performance Solutions
  • Information
  • Tips
  • Advice
  • World Retail News
  • Gems
  • How-To’s
  • DVD’s
  • PowerPoint Presentations
  • Pearls of Wisdom
  • Forms
  • Checklists
  • Videos
  • Consultants
  • Instructors
  • Motivational Quotes
  • and other seriously good stuff

Special Platinum Membership Benefits

Discounts on Workshop Attendance

  • The Retail Operations Management Workshop
  • Retail Category Management Workshop
  • Retail District Management Workshop
  • Retail Math, Metrics & KPI’s Workshop
  • Store Management for Maximum Success Workshop
  • Retail Design & Visual Merchandising Workshop
  • Retail Marketing & Brand Management Workshop
  • Cashier Etiquette & Performance Workshop

Access to Consultants and Instructors at DMSRetail via email

Scheduled telephone conversations with DMSRetail Consultants and Instructors

All of this is being brought to you by DMSRetail – a company that has been in business since 1991; on the web since 2003.

So, check out this link to the Retail Business Academy. You won’t regret having your own Platinum Membership.

It’s the best $97/month investment you’ll ever make. If you’re in retail, you really have to have this.

All the Success!

Director

Retail Business Academy, Membership

DMSRetail

PS: We sincerely look forward to counting you as one of our Retail Business Academy members. Join now.

Conversion – May the Sales Force be With You

You may remember the phrase in the subject line – even though we took some liberty with it to suit our purposes. 

Luke Skywalker and the Jedi Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi of Star Wars fame used the positive phrase “May the Force be With You” to wish someone good luck and hope for victory, before a battle. 

Your sales force must be with you if you are to reach any level of success in retail. Retailer’s battle to hit their targets every day, while struggling with tons of detail – big and small – everything from the effects of the changing economy to the show rooming phenomenon; from hiring and training to current technology. As a retail business owner, or high level management in a chain, you know it’s a battle! 

Truth be known, it is your sales force that actually does the battling for you on the front lines, day in and day out. Unfortunately, they are the ones who are often – not always, of course – the least informed, least empowered and, subsequently and not surprisingly, least engaged people in the organization.

 
More and more we hear about brick and mortar retailers losing sales – due to losing traffic – because of online competition. Yes, indeed, online retail is alive, well and growing and there is no expectation that it’s going to go away!
 
But, if you listen to a lot of so-called experts,  they will tell you that you can compete so much better and win back that lost ‘traffic’ just by investing in marketing. While we agree it’s always a good thing to improve marketing, we think the deterioration of the in store experience is being overlooked.
 
Just driving customers into the store does not equal a significant increase in sales. You must have a capable, engaged sales force.
To find out whether your sales force is capable of converting shoppers, or not, start by watching what’s going on. The baseball great Yogi Berra, who was known to put things in interesting ways, said “You can observe a lot just by watching.” So simple and so true. 

Watch them, talk to them, ask and answer questions, and work with them. You’ll come away with a wealth of information to help you do what you need to do to engage your sales force.

 
It is a waste of money to drive people into your stores if you cannot convert them to buyers. 

One thing we know, with absolute certainty… if your sales force is not with you, everything will be harder than it needs to be. 

All the Success! 
DMSRetail 

PS: We have excellent resources for you. Check out: 

Ultimate Retail Success ToolKit  – a huge addition to your training library. 

Retail Selling Skills & Customer Service Fundamentals Self Study Course  – for your new and/or less experienced sales and service associates. 

PPS: Join our Facebook community. If you like us, please ‘Like’ us. Thanks!! 

Practical Solutions to Everyday Retail Management Challenges

In a nutshell, that’s what DMSRetail does. We provide practical solutions to your everyday retail management challenges.

Our Consultants, who have developed all of DMSRetail’s practical solutions, have all been in your shoes and we’ve figured it all out, many times, with great success.

Let us do the same for you.

Retail does not have to be difficult. Of course, it has it’s unique challenges. No one can claim it is simple but, certainly, the challenges are not insurmountable. In fact, it can be as easy as a walk in the park once the proper principles and systems are in place.

If your sales are down from last year…and way off target, and you need to figure out how to move them in the right direction, we tell you what steps you can take; we actually show you how to do it. We also advise you against taking steps that will lead to a downward spiral which many retailers are in the process of right now.

Maybe you realize that you don’t have the people in place who are able to drive your business to the heights you’re looking for. Well, we show you how to correct that situation. Or, perhaps you don’t even know that some of your people are causing your troubles…we’ll help you figure that out, too. We have a DMSRetail solution for you.

If your compensation plan isn’t working, we’ll tell you what kind of compensation plan you should have in place for maximum employee engagement and customer satisfaction. We’ll amaze you by running the numbers right in front of your eyes and you’ll have an aha! moment, for sure.

If your operation needs a complete overhaul and you have no idea where to start…we can do it for you. All you need to do is send us an email to get started…lift those burdens off your shoulders and look to us to help you solve your challenges.

There is no magic pill; no ‘one-size solution’ fits all; no quick and easy fix. What DMSRetail has for you is a wealth of experience spread throughout all of it’s Success Guides, Tools, DVD’s, Bundles, Study Courses, Ultimate Retail Success Program, Workshops and Consulting Engagements.

Get started with DMSRetail products and services and see what we’ve done to solve your most pressing issues. You really don’t have to reinvent to wheel.

Learn from experts and make it happen.

For starters, if any of your people – at any level – don’t understand the reason for Key Performance Indicators, or how the calculations are done and what action can be taken based on the results, then you need to get everyone a copy of Retail Math Made Simple, 3rd Edition. It’s only $14.95 and if you buy one for all of your staff, we”ll offer you a volume discount.

Your people must have this information or they can’t do the job properly. Without it, you’re just hoping for the best. And we all know that hope is not a strategy. This is a DMSRetail solution for you. Don’t wait another minute. Grab it.

Maybe your District Managers aren’t doing a great job as a leader; maybe they’re not getting consistently great results. The District Management YourTime Study Course needs to get into the hands of every single one of your District Managers, regardless of their tenure or ability. They will learn some new and different ways to build a cohesive team of Store Managers who execute properly and on time; a team of Store Managers who will do their very best for your company. The course is $247 for the digital version and, as I said, we offer volume discounts. This is a DMSRetail solution for you. Get this resource into their hands and watch things get better.

Why do some stores and some districts do so much better than others? After taking market conditions and location into account…the only answer is the people running them. You may want a +20% increase and your asking a -20% District Manager to give it to you.

What’s the sense in that?

First you have to elevate your -20% District Managers. If you don’t, don’t ever expect to get your +20%…it’s not going to happen unless you provide them with help. Not handholding or spoonfeeding. You don’t have time for that, nor should you. Try the DMSRetail solution.

If you want to guard yourself against disasters on your sales floor – meaning customer/associate interactions that go bad – then give your associates the Retail Selling Skills and Customer Service Fundamentals YourTime Study Course. Get one digital copy (at just $97) for each associate – and we’ll send it straight to their inbox.

You will only benefit, and you will never lose control because this course is designed to teach fundamentals and, during every step of the way, we instruct the associate to bring questions to their Manager to find out how they would like certain situations handled. We make them understand that their Manager will give them final answers but that the course is providing the groundwork so your Store Managers don’t have to go back to retail 101.

If you find that your challenges reach farther and wider than just specific issues, then you will want to get the Ultimate Retail Success Program. Naturally, it’s more expensive because of its rich and varied content, spread throughout a huge package  and because of the additional support we give you when you are an Ultimate Retail Success Program purchaser.  The ROI on this package is immediate.  This is a DMSRetail solution for you.Take advantage of the consulting call with one of our retail experts when you purchase this Program

We recommend purchasing an Ultimate Retail Success Program for each of your Field Management people, just to ensure they have the resources at their fingertips whenever they need it and, also, to ensure strategic alignment within the organization. Again, send an email to inquire about volume discounts.

So, you can see that we have practical solutions for your everyday retail management challenges and, also, we have practical solutions for your ‘not so common’ problems or challenges.

We want to help you as we’ve been helping retailers since 1991. We’d like you to feel that you can count on us to be your ‘go to’ retail management resource. But we know you have to have faith in us in order to do that.

We invite you to check out the many, many testimonials all over our website for social proof that we are what we claim to be. We welcome your comments and questions at anytime. We love to receive feedback from our subscribers, customers and Facebook friends.

All the Success!

DMSRetail Team

PS: Place your order for a DMSRetail practical solution to your everyday retail management challenges. And help will be on the way…today!!

PPS: For a list of all of our practical solutions, here is our Catalog for your review.

Join our Facebook community and if you like us, please ‘Like’ us. Thanks!

Time to Lift the Spirits of Your Store Staff

This time of year is many different things to many different people. Your ability to understand what this time of year means to your people in the field, and your ability to tune in and give them what they need, is critical to the success of your operation during this holiday season.

Retail people know that this season is huge for them. There is a better than average chance of them meeting and/or exceeding their sales budgets. To many, that means a better than average chance of earning commissions or bonuses. They know that they will see increased customer traffic. They probably have lots of inventory – great new novelty items in addition to increased quantities of other merchandise. They understand that this is an immense opportunity to contribute to the annual sales results for their store and their company. And they are looking forward to all of this.

Here are some of the things that they are not looking forward to:

  • Staff shortages due to insufficient hiring and illness, real or fabricated
  • Stock rooms bulging at the seams; aisles that cannot be used
  • Employee lunchrooms, and possibly even washrooms, taken over by excess inventory, bags and other supplies
  • Cranky shoppers
  • Extended hours of operation
  • Missing their family functions because they have to work
  • Emergency markdowns on top of emergency markdowns
  • Excessive Head Office requirements for reporting and visual presentation changes
  • Short breaks and long line-ups at the food court
  • Aching bones and muscles…particularly in their feet
  • Overwhelming fatigue day after day
  • The Boxing Day (Week) set-up that has to be finished on Christmas Eve
  • The H.O. visits that always finish with what has to be done/changed/improved instead of a pat on the back and a show of appreciation
  • Constant schedule changes because someone at H.O. (most probably someone who has not worked in that store) decided that they are under scheduled here and over scheduled there
  • Parking so far away from the mall entrance that they wish there was a bus available because their feet are sore

The list could go on and on, but you get the picture. If you have ever worked in a store during this time of year you may have some understanding of what the field staff are going through. If you haven’’t, …maybe it’s time you did just to gain the very valuable experience.

Disasters and Happy Endings in Retail: Two Stories

Throughout history, there have been many, many examples of people who have succeeded in a given field, or discipline, through the application of common sense, hard work, firm principles and, above all, great leadership skills.

In retail, this combination is rarely found. That’s not to say that there aren’t many exceptional people in retail – only that the particular combination mentioned isn’t seen very often. Great leaders apply the above, and much more. To lead a retail company, region, district or store is no small task. Many would argue that, because specialized degrees or formal education is not necessarily required, or indeed, even sought out when recruiting someone to run a store, district or retail organization, that anybody can do the job. I once met a person, who was searching for employment, who said  “Job hunting is so difficult. I can’t even get a job as a Store Manager, even with my qualifications.”

The individual who spoke those words had a college education, but had never held a leadership position in any job and had absolutely no retail experience whatsoever. That person, and many others, don’t think leadership skills play an important part in managing in a retail environment. They think pretty much anyone at all can successfully manage a store. I apologize if that comment offends, but, really, if you ask people that’s pretty much what you’re going to hear.

We, at DMSRetail, disagree whole heartedly, of course, and here’s why…

The retail business is all about people; people dealing with people. Though the hardships are many – long hours standing and walking around, schedules conflicting with family members’ schedules, sometimes getting too few hours to earn a decent living, or too many hours, often no benefits etc. – retail employees must soldier on. Or they leave.

The retail story is actually very big and quite complicated. While the process of selling products to customers is simple, the back story is fraught with problems that need to be solved. How a particular retailer solves those problems, day in and day out, will determine the level of success achieved.

To achieve at the highest levels, great leadership is required.

Let’s look at where it starts; let’s just take a single store owned by a single person. The person secures a location, finds a supplier for a product or many different products, gets the inside of the store all decked out with the latest and greatest fixtures and POS equipment, has a logo designed and gets a great sign outside, and the various other things that need to be done to get a store open for business.

On opening day, s/he is worn out but excited because the dream has come true – they took an idea and saw it all the way through to fruition. Often, the store owner works in the store and welcomes the customers; and does everything else too. In a short time, though, the owner realizes s/he can’t possibly handle everything, and can’t work 75+ hours a week. So, they start hiring. They hire one, or more, people to work in their store. And that is where their problems often begin.

Without really knowing how to recruit, hire and train, the store owner finds that the new hires really aren’t doing things the way they would do it themselves. The new store owner expects, and naively assumes, that the new hires will have the same common sense, direction and level of concern that they, themselves, have. Not so. And how could they? They weren’t part of the dream and they didn’t travel the long road of seeing it materialize. And they didn’t invest all of their money and time and effort into the creation of the dream. They have simply applied for, and landed, a retail job – probably at minimum wage.

Now, if we take this small scale example and blow it up to look at a retail chain, of course everything gets blown up. More stores, no passionate owners in the stores, lots more money invested, more policies and procedures to follow, perhaps an established reputation to protect,  and the list goes on.

So, although we can expect that more people know what has to be done, we also have much less control. We are managing remotely which is not easy. We simply cannot rely on every person in the organization to always do the right thing. That is, unless we have great leaders who have instilled a performance culture in the organization.

Of course, that’s no small task. A performance culture is painstakingly difficult to build, it must be nurtured, requiring constant attention to detail and it’s very easily destroyed.

Here’s a couple of stories about two different retailers whose experiences can teach us all…

The year was 1997 and this retailer had a chain of 50 stores. While sales had been fairly consistent for many years, things were going downhill. There was no particular culture and the brand wasn’t particularly strong. The company was faltering and bankruptcy was unsettlingly close on the horizon.

When the first store had been opened the owner had a success on his hands. Everything was right. Great product, great looking store and a great manager.  Building on that success a second store was opened, and then a third and so on. All the while, the owner was oblivious to what was actually going on in the stores. Sales didn’t suffer immediately, of course. Often that is the case.

If only we could point to a single decision; one particular thing that was done wrong to cause the downturn. But that rarely happens. Usually, it is difficult to connect those dots and, therefore, difficult to take corrective action. Sometimes one bad decision leads to another and another. By the time the downfall happens, no one has any idea whatsoever as to what really happened. The ‘root cause’ may never be identified.

Anyway, this particular owner had a lot at stake. His family had been supported by the small chain of stores for a few years and bankruptcy would take a heavy toll and destroy their lifestyle and any hope of a bright future. So, before it was too late, he set about figuring out what went wrong so he could a) stop it; and b) start moving in the right direction.

To find out what was wrong and how to correct and go forward, he had to do a lot of travelling, talking, listening and soul searching. This man had great leadership skills in him…but hadn’t, as yet, put them to work. Busy running around attending to details all these years, he forgot that people need great leaders.

*****
“A herd of sheep led by a lion will beat a herd of lions led by a sheep.”
Author Unknown
*****  

He attended many executive leadership training retreats, read every management book he could get his hands on, spoke to every single associate and manager in each and every one of his 50 stores. He asked quality questions and took note of every answer.

Before long, he had the company back from the edge of the cliff, and extinction. With a crystal clear view of what had gone wrong and what needed to be done to go forward successfully, he set sail on implementing his plan: to build and maintain a performance culture. This, and this alone, was the only clear path to success.

Not so fast, though. And not at all simple.  As mentioned above, building and maintaining a performance culture is not something that is easy to do or to maintain. Perhaps that is why so many companies – not just retail organizations – don’t do it.

So here’s what took place:

  • He communicated all of his findings, and lessons learned, to his existing executive team, and to every level of management, and to all associates at store level – even  part timers working a few hours a week.
  • He introduced new ways of doing  things and new ways of ‘being’ – basically, he introduced new standards of behavior and new standards of performance in every area.
  • Accountability for performance became the new, and very important, operational guidepost.
  • He discussed every single detail of the new way of doing things with everyone in the organization.
  • He communicated his vision over and over again.
  • With the help of his team members – and that meant everyone in the organization – he developed the vision/mission/purpose statements and code of conduct for the company.
  • He was relentless in following up to ensure that every level of the organization was on board and following the new way.

And he spent a lot of time and energy on all of the above. In fact, he lived it. The company went on to new heights; it became very successful.

Some may ask “Does an owner or CEO really have the time to do all of that, and should they do it?” Many, in fact, will dismiss this as a waste of the owner or CEO’s time.

So, how would you answer the question?

If you answered yes, then you have the right mindset and can very likely do it and, if you do, you will undoubtedly reap rewards.

If you answered no, then you don’t stand much of a chance of getting a performance culture working in your organization. It simply can’t be done half- heartedly. To try, without putting everything you have into it, is a waste of time and will probably create more confusion than anything else.

The correct answer is yes, definitely take the time and make it happen. Here are just a few of the benefits of doing so:

1)      Your executive team will have a renewed sense of direction and a thorough appreciation for the workings in every department in the organization

2)      Your head office support people will be on a mission to help your stores be as successful as they can possibly be

3)      Your store managers and staff will feel pride of ownership. Yes, even without profit sharing or anything similar, they will work as if they owned the company

4)      Because of the first three benefits, your customers will feel the positive vibe. They’ll know they are special and they will reward you with loyalty. They’ll keep coming back, they’ll refer you to their friends and family and they will become ambassadors of your company

5)      Everyone involved with your business, including your suppliers, will want to do their very best for your company

6)      Everyone wins

There is plenty of compelling evidence of success when a retail organization operates within a performance culture. In fact, anyone reading this can likely think of at least two or three retail operations that they are loyal to.  And, given enough thought, you’ll probably come up with the reasons why you’re loyal and you’ll likely see a lot of similarities to the company mentioned above.

You know, we talk about the funnel effect often in our workshops. There’s a good reason for that. Every single word spoken by your store managers, district and region managers and your executive team members will have an impact on someone, somewhere in the organization and/or the customers. Every decision, good or bad, will affect the results you get. Every policy, procedure or new rule, well thought out or not, will affect the results you get.  

That’s the whole idea of the funnel effect – everything that goes in, whether good or bad, positive or negative, right or wrong, impulsive or well thought out will, undoubtedly, affect the results you get.

At The Retail Operations Management Workshop we show you and/or your teams how to manage so that only the right stuff gets into your funnel.

Join us for The Retail Operations Management Workshop in San Diego, California on September 19-20-21, 2012, and get started on creating your performance culture.

Learn how to get consistently great results and how to take your retail business to the next level.

Attend this workshop and get started on your very own amazing retail success story.

For further information, go to: http://www.dmsretail.com/retailoperationsmanagement.htm

Or send an email to training@dmsretail.com 

In addition to The Retail Operations Management Workshop, we are offering four more of our popular workshops in San Diego, CA. Here’s the complete line up. Choose the ones that are right for the people in your organization.

Store Management for Maximum Success – September 17, 2012 http://www.dmsretail.com/retailoperationstraining.htm

Retail Math, Metrics and KPI’s – September 18, 2012
http://www.dmsretail.com/retailmathworkshop.htm

The Retail Operations Management Workshop – September 19-20-21, 2012
http://www.dmsretail.com/retailoperationsmanagement.htm

Retail Brand & Category Management – September 24-25-26, 2012
http://www.dmsretail.com/brandcatman.htm

District Management – September 27-28, 2012
http://www.dmsretail.com/districtworkshop.htm
Not so long ago, a survey (Bain & Co.) of several CEO’s concluded that 80% of them believed that their company delivered excellent customer service. When customers were asked to rate the level of service delivered in those same companies, only 8% gave them high marks. Hmmm. Something’s obviously not right.

But we are encouraged by the results of the survey.

Every CEO and every Retail Manager, at every level should be delighted with the results of this survey. It clearly points out that we may be out of touch. It shows us what’s wrong. When a CEO is out of touch with what is going on in his organization, isn’t it wonderful that s/he finds out about it?

It’s nothing less than a gift.  

S/he may have been so consumed with other areas of the company, that s/he didn’t even realize what was going wrong at the customer level where it counts the most.

Whenever we can clearly identify a weak point in our organization – like the example above where the weak point is service delivery – we get an opportunity to work on specifics that will correct the situation. We can deploy resources with full confidence that what we are doing – what we are spending money and energy on – are, in fact, things that matter; things that will truly make a difference.

Without that knowledge, we can go on for long periods working on the wrong things which get us nowhere.

There is another company I want to tell you about to illustrate what happens when CEO’s and Executive Teams either don’t get the feedback they need, or don’t properly heed the warnings of feedback from customers and store personnel.

The company was doing very well. They had about 1,000 stores in North America. They did an amazing job serving a niche that was barely, and badly, served by other retailers, and they’d been doing so for many years. They basically had that market wrapped up.

One day, a new President was given a mandate for change:  start enticing a new customer. She took the mandate, from the Board of Directors, very seriously but did not do her homework before starting out on, what turned out to be, the worst possible way to handle the change.

Armed with all of the resources and approval she needed, she began making huge investments in renovating stores and filling them with fixtures and merchandise that would, supposedly, attract the ‘new’ customer. Overnight, the chain changed its focus.

All of the signage and marketing campaigns were focused on a new customer.

Many of you are already seeing what’s coming, aren’t you? Yes, it was a colossal failure. 

Suddenly, they found themselves competing for the business of an already over served market. Far from the niche that they had so comfortably and effortlessly served for so many years, this new customer had dozens of choices and the company found it very difficult to keep up. All the while their store personnel and their customers were wondering what on earth was going on. Everyone was screaming ‘stop this nonsense’.

Loyal customers were alienated completely. They lost faith and stopped shopping at the stores. Many long term management and staff left the company as it had clearly gone off the rails. The big question, in everyone’s mind was “What are you doing, and why?” It just did not make sense from any perspective.

The chain experienced a very significant loss in business; so significant that, if things had stayed on course, it would have put them out of business altogether, within a few months. So what happened? 

The President was removed and the company, reeling from the disaster that had been created, changed direction. They still wanted to entice a new customer but, this time, they would do it very, very slowly and carefully. This time they would actually do some work to find out how to entice a new customer while maintaining their loyal customer base.

But, unfortunately, they had suffered losses to the point where over 90% of their stores were eventually closed. The company still exists today, but only as a small chain. It’s been bought and sold a few times to different investors. It continues to struggle along.

The moral of the story: Particularly if you are in a leadership role, never assume you know everything. Be smart. Listen to people and learn.  

At The Retail Operations Management Workshop we show you and/or your teams how to manage so that this kind of thing can’t happen.

By consistently applying the right principles, you’ll learn to manage any kind of change very effectively.

Join us for The Retail Operations Management Workshop in San Diego, California on September 19-20-21, 2012, and get started on creating your performance culture; a culture which will naturally prevent you from making big mistakes.

As we mentioned earlier, we can show you how to get consistently great results and how to take your retail business to the next level.

For further information, go to: http://www.dmsretail.com/retailoperationsmanagement.htm

Or send an email to training@dmsretail.com

We look forward to helping you create your very own amazing success story.

Here are the links we mentioned above. In addition to The Retail Operations Management Workshop, we are offering four more of our popular workshops in San Diego, CA. Here’s the complete line up. Choose the ones that are right for the people in your organization.

Store Management for Maximum Success – September 17, 2012 http://www.dmsretail.com/retailoperationstraining.htm 

Retail Math, Metrics and KPI’s – September 18, 2012 http://www.dmsretail.com/retailmathworkshop.htm 

The Retail Operations Management Workshop – September 19-20-21, 2012 http://www.dmsretail.com/retailoperationsmanagement.htm 

Retail Brand & Category Management – September 24-25-26, 2012 http://www.dmsretail.com/brandcatman.htm 

District Management – September 27-28, 2012  http://www.dmsretail.com/districtworkshop.htm 

For Program Outlines including topics covered, faculty, who should attend and fees, send an email to: training@dmsretail.com

We look forward to hearing from you, and to meeting you in San Diego.

All the Success!

DMSRetail

PS: Class size is strictly limited to 25 for quality purposes. Register now to avoid disappointment.

Pay More, Expect More, Get More

It’s time for more retailers to test the ‘pay more expect more, get more’ theory.

It seems that retailers have always argued against higher wages, benefits and full-time positions citing exorbitant wage costs as the reason.

While it is true that the expense, in dollars would increase it certainly does not follow that the actual wage percent would increase. And it is the percentage that is key.

Isn’t it true that people who value their position, their customers and their company can have a tremendous positive impact on the top line? And, conversely, isn’t it true that people who are unhappy, have no job satisfaction and a poor quality of life could have a very negative impact on the top line?

This is not an elaborate, complicated concept. Pay more – expect more – get more.

As we move further into the world of Internet retailing, or e-tailing, it will be absolutely critical that the stores still around to do business face to face with consumers will need to provide a much better shopping experience than what is common today. The unfortunate part is that retailers are probably already looking at this scenario and envisioning how they can keep their customers coming in but they are not considering the ‘people’ part of their operation. They are thinking about new and exciting selling space, great new products and creative marketing schemes. Customers do not feel abused by selling space, products and marketing campaigns. They feel abused by people.

Back to the Internet. When you think about it, who wouldn’t want the unparalleled convenience of shopping from the comfort of their home 24/7? Who wouldn’t want to have the massive selection from around the world? Who would mind using their credit card on the Internet once security systems eliminate fraud to a point where it is no longer a major issue? And who, in their right mind, wouldn’t choose to avoid the hassle and frustration of dealing with unfriendly and often uninformed retail store employees? (To those readers who are, in fact, good retail store associates – no offense intended and… thanks!)

So, why would people go out to shop?

Some might still do it for the entertainment value. And some might still want to shop in the traditional way because they don’t like change. But even for those the experience will have to be a lot more exciting and inviting than it is today or they, too, will convert.

The only surefire way to make, and keep, a business truly customer focused is through competition. Up until now most retailers have not reacted appropriately to poor service levels in their stores because most of their competitors provide the same, or worse, service than they do. They may not be aware of their losses but, most assuredly, those stores with nasty, miserable, moody or just generally indifferent employees are losing. How long can it go on?

Smart retailers will understand that paying more, which means a reasonable hourly wage or salary, full time status and benefits or even part time status that provides benefits of some description will help to attract and retain people whom they can expect more from because they are providing them with a decent living and allowing them to enjoy a decent quality of life. In short, the retailer is providing some job satisfaction. Employers will get more from these employees simply because the employees are receiving something in return. The retailer can expect these employees to help them grow and maintain a viable company.

Getting back to wage costs…all other things being equal, if you attract and hire the right people and provide them with some of the basics that they need to enjoy a decent quality of life, sales will go up. Wage cost problem solved.

Pay more – expect more – get more.

More articles like this can be found on the Retail Management Site.


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