If you have a location that does not meet your standards there can be an infinite number of reasons why. You can boil it down to the number of seconds your employees take on their breaks, but there are other activities you have control of that you could change to improve store efficiency. If you’re a business manager or owner with one or more locations, you are probably looking for better task management methods that will help eliminate store inefficiencies. Here are three reasons your store is running inefficiently:
You use email for task management.
While you may think this is a better method of process management than pen and paper checklists, email is only slightly more effective and doesn’t solve an inefficiency problem. Pen and paper checklists get stuffed into filing cabinets and email checklists get lost in massive strings of communication (although one benefit is you can search for older emails by keywords). The point is email is not a great management tool. It is not organized by task and communication can be fuzzy. You may want to invest in a software application specifically meant for managing tasks to improve communication and success rates of task completion.
You have no way of avoiding rework.
It would be worth your time to have a system in place in which you can work collaboratively with your employees. The reason is that if multiple employees are working off one checklist there needs to be a way for everyone to know that a task has been completed. Sure, you could just have employees cross the task off or put their initials next to the tasks they completed. But what if before an employee was able to mark the task complete, she started helping customers and forgets to ever mark the task as done? Another employee may think the task still needs to be done and goes off to complete it himself only to realize he could have started something else. Long story short, without collaboration you could be wasting a lot of time.
If you invest in a software application make sure it is collaborative. The nice thing about this, besides your employees being able to me more efficient, is that you will be able to instantly verify task completion without having to check for yourself each time.
You don’t audit enough.
Even if you have a solid system in place for task management you should be doing some sort of weekly store audit. Each week you could focus on a different department or area of your store, or you could do a full audit. It’s important to do these audits so you can see a full picture of what happens when all of your tasks come together. If you only focus on the individual tasks within a location you could end up spending your time on the wrong activities. Doing store audits will allow you to see if there are other activities you could improve on beyond what you’re currently doing. You can also use this time to talk to employees and customers to see if they have any suggestions.
You will be the best person to make the final diagnosis on what is inefficient in your store. By doing more audits and streamlining your task management process though, you will eliminate the inefficiencies of wasted time and poor communication. This will lead to more time and focus on important tasks and initiatives to help your business continue to grow.