When you’re doing a store audit it’s very easy to get a little sidetracked. You either want to stop and help customers, or you find yourself facing a couple things here and there. Before you know it an hour goes by and you still have a lot of audit left to complete. What do you do? Do you hastily check the remaining items on your list to save time? Call it quits for the day? Or, do you chalk this one up as another inevitably long store audit?
The reality is store audits will probably always take you longer than expected because you can’t avoid those important conversations with customers and employees. What you can do is optimize your time to increase efficiency. Here’s how:
Ask fewer questions.
By this I mean ask the right questions. You don’t need to include questions in the audit pertaining to employees’ uniforms because department managers should be routinely looking out for that. Also, use these questions to focus on major initiatives and products important to your customers. To read more about which questions to ask, read Make Your Questions Count During Store Audits.
Have a better system for preparing for store audits.
You need to have a good game plan for your store audits so when you get to the store you can dive right into your tasks. Before you leave your office, make sure to organize tasks into a logical sequence. Print out all of your lists and read them over. That way, you can map out your walk in your head and waste less time in the store. This will also help you spend time doing more productive activities in the store like capturing all of the information you want.
Use software instead of paper.
A store audit software solution can help you increase store audit efficiency by up to 61%. That percentage includes all the activities for preparing for store audits, as well as getting the results to corporate. But it’s not just about the timesavings! By using a software solution you are able to spend time, that was previously spent on administrative work, on dealing with issues that come up in your stores. That is a much more valuable use of time than typing up results into an email.
Additionally, by utilizing a collaborative platform, your entire team can work together to complete each audit and avoid any accidental rework. For more about paper versus software read Pen and Paper Checklists are Costing You Time and Money.
Although cutting down on time can be a positive thing, you don’t want to miss opportunities because of it. When you spend time optimizing your store audit processes you can use those audits to actually fix problems as opposed to just going through the motions of a store walk.