Let’s face it, technology – smart technology – is everywherein our lives…Our phones, TVs, cars, watches – heck, even our coffee makers arenow “smart” and connected to the internet. We’ve all completely embraced thisinflux of technology, as consumers and in our homes. It makes our lives easier, allows us to be more productive, plus, it’s just downright cool!  However,why have so many retailers not carried over this technology-loving mindset fromtheir personal lives into their businesses and stores?

Over the coming months, I’ll review and discuss a variety of technologies – both software and hardware – that are redefining how some retailers operate their stores and yield tremendous improvements to their profitability, while others have not.    In this blog series, I’ll first examine what I consider to be foundational technologies – those solutions that are mature and proven – then transition to more cutting & bleeding edge solutions.

Task Management is…

A technology I believe to be one of the most fundamentally basic and necessary retail solutions, right after point-of-sale and inventory management systems.  My years as a retail operator taught me this firsthand and the success, I’ve seen so many of our customers have with Task Management has only strengthened my belief in the technology.  However, I still work with many retailers who have yet to adopt Task Management, despite its success rate and technological maturity…

Reflexis Systems first developed the concept of Task Management in the early 2000’s and continues to lead the retail space today with hundreds of customers. As a result, several other software vendors have caught on to the importance of task management and have developed solutions.

For those of you who are regular readers of the Connors Group blog or have partnered with us, you’ll know that our belief is that success in retail operations begins with a well-organized store and properly defined work expectations.  Simply put – you can’t be a great retail operator if your Team Members don’t know what to do, how to do it or when to do it.

As the labor cost crunch continues to thin out in-store staff levels, many retailers are asking their Team Members to do more with less…The result? Without technology to help retail Team Members spin all these plates, execution and experience across the entire store is going to fall.

Store Team Members simply cannot physically and mentally orchestrate all these priorities (aka – spin all those plates) without the assistance of technology.  And let’s face it, retailers are not going to take away any of these “plates” – rather we can expect more plates to be added as brick-and-mortar retailers add new in-store programs to compete against the online giants…

The solution?

Help retail Team Members spin more plates through Task Management – let the technology work on behalf of the Team Members and spin a few plates for them.

The beauty of Task Management is the instant, positive impact it has on Store Team Members.  A properly implemented Task Management system immediately filters out all the execution “noise” and allows Team Members to focus exclusively on the most important activities.  No longer do Team Members have to read through 100’s of emails or sort out communications that don’t apply to their stores.  The Task Manager presents to the Team Member the handful of most important “plates” and keeps the remaining “plates” spinning behind the scenes until it’s time for action.  The result is greatly improved in-store execution, a reduction of time spent on non-value-added activities and more importantly, a stress reduction for the Team Members.

If your retail Team Members are having trouble spinning all their plates, I’d strongly suggest exploring the use of Task Management.  I truly believe it’s a fundamental retail technology that should be deployed by all retailers, given its proven track record of success and ease of implementation.

If you’d like to discuss Task Management and store execution further, join the conversation below or come visit us at NRF in January (booth #924).  In my next blog post within this series, I will be exploring the use of mobile devices within retail.  Until then, happy holidays and see you at NRF!

The following two tabs change content below.
Chris Kelly, industry thought-leader and Director at Connors Group, leverages his deep experience both in retailing and consulting to craft innovative workforce management and store execution solutions for clients. He can be reached at [email protected]