When we were first developing Taskle, we tried to figure out how we should brand the software. In order to help the software fit how it was already being used, we decided to label Taskle as a store audit software. However, is this the best terminology to be using for your audits of your various locations? Whether or not you use a mobile device managing software or simple paper checklists to create retail solutions and complete those audits, you might want to think about referring to them as store walks as opposed to store audits.
“Audit” has a negative connotation.
Take a second to think about the word “audit”. If someone told you that you were going to be audited, it would have a negative connotation. It makes you feel like you are doing something wrong. Auditing is about finding mistakes, which gets away from the idea of seeing the successes in your stores.
“Store walk” sounds more like a routine check up.
The term “store walk” can be a great rebrand for the same process as a store audit, only it sounds like it focuses on discovering what is happening in the store, both good and bad. It also makes the process more about improvements than scolding the errors. After all, we know that a store walk is going to result in finding things that need to be corrected. If they didn’t, we would not be doing store walks as a part of our business.
Creating a culture of continuous improvement:
In any business, creating a culture of continuous improvement is key. Whether you are conducting “store audits” or “store walks,” we always recommend bringing store staff with you. Not only for the inevitable moments where you find things that can be improved upon so store employees can see them firsthand, but also so you can find out the things that are helping to make that particular store successful. What if you find a display that looks better in this store than any other? Now you can ask the employee accompanying you on the store walk how his/her store did the display so you can help other stores reach that level.
In the end, the practice of doing a store audit or walk is essential to a successful business, which is why so many companies choose to do them. However, a “store walk” can help improve the results and also improve productivity by making your employees take more ownership in the process instead of feeling like it exists to find every error they make and degrade their performance. You should even use store walks to praise your stores for the successes you find. By making your employees more comfortable with the process, they will be more willing to work towards the overall goal of continuous improvement.
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