New Tools for Retailers Help Them Meet the Moment

Author
Connor Smith

There was a time an Excel spread sheet was a cutting-edge tool for retailers to monitor security compliance issues.

Those days are long over, but some retailers have been slow to adopt new solutions that can save store associates and managers valuable time and assist in keeping information organized.

Until recently, one of my clients, a specialty clothing and gear retailer, used to mail spreadsheets as compliance reports to store managers to report on security compliance issues, particularly inventory security.

Their compliance reports are used for auditing the stores for theft protection. This includes ensuring that the store was locked at night; the windows intact; and that all the cabinets and bathrooms were locked. Store managers also had to go to certain areas of the store to spot check that tags were still on the merchandise.

Sometimes reports would be sent using Microsoft Teams. Other times, they would be sent by email. Text messages and WhatsApp were also used. That’s if the data was sent at all. Other times, the printed-out spreadsheets at in a drawer somewhere.

To report on these details, managers had to print out the spreadsheet and mark off the items with a pen or pencil. The manager then took a photo of the spreadsheet to send it back to the home office. That was completely unorganized, not to mention totally inefficient.

The good news for this retailer is that current technology exists that allow for the communication and execution of those tasks to be centralized in a single system – enabling efficiency, compliance, and saving valuable time across the entire communication chain. Audits are being sent, received, andstored in a single system. As soon as a negative trend is spotted, the home office has a direct line. The metaphor I use is everybody is now in the same swim lane, every store, every district manager, and the home office.

In addition to being able to address issues, the director of stores can now operate much more efficiently. The manager doesn’t have to spend time tracking down or comparing information in all the different systems she used to receive it.

The same tool is being used by another client, a middle market retailer with more than eighty stores, for security compliance reports.

As one specific example, it is being used around the point of sale, for the pin pad.

For the pin pad, this retailer needs a critical level of detail, from the brand to the structural integrity of the item to its electrical source. Managers must make sure the logo is displayed and that the pin pad is secured tightly to the base. Credit and gift cards must slide into the slot with ease. Of course, a photograph had to be taken of the pin pads to be included in the report.

This retailer, too, had an issue with the folders being tossed, and often misplaced, in the back office.

Now, all this reporting takes place on an app, and it makes everything so much more efficient. With a digital copy, paper usage is reduced, and the data is found easily and fast. Because everyone has access to the reports, follow-up communication is much improved. It also reduces the need fortravel. And they have never had a security breach.

The tool isn’t limited to prompting managers to report on pin pads. It has many other use cases for security compliance reporting. It prompts managers to inspect critical safety equipment, such as fire extinguishers and exit signs, automatic doors, and forklifts.

I’ve seen that the right tools can be valuable to retailers in efficiently realizing their security and other compliance issues.

To achieve higher standards of execution, our customers use Hilco Global’s ReStore for Retail solution. ReStore for Retail is a tech-enabled solution that empowers retailers to get back to the business of retailing - by simplifying daily store operations so staff can spend more time connecting with customers and improving their bottom line.

About the author.

Connor Smith is a Customer Success Manager at ReStore for Retail that focuses on North American coverage. He is also an Associate at Orchid Black, a growth services firm that provides expertise and execution for technology companies. Since joining the ReStore team last September, he has been primarily responsible for the implementation, rollout, and growth of ReStore in North America.

Contact him at cs@orchid.black to find out how ReStore for Retail can improve your store’s operations.

ReStore for Retail enables people in retail to get back to the business of retailing