Frontline workers are the foundation of your business’s success. Most retail businesses find it challenging to maintain engagement and productivity of their frontline workforce to improve retail operations — especially given they work in shifts, maybe working just part-time, or are distributed at different locations.
But what happens on the ground, in front of your customers, is arguably the most important factor in your success. And the people who do this critical work are often the most ignored when it comes to technology adoption. Even in 2022, their jobs, as a result, have not benefitted from the massive leaps that other industry jobs have taken because of the power of digital technology.
When you help make their jobs easier, everyone wins. And it doesn’t have to be daunting or require “rocket science” technology. Let’s show you how.
Make Technology Accessible
To enable frontline employees with the right tools to be more productive, clunky manual or paper-based processes have to be replaced. You need to digitize communication and operational processes, from the top-floor to the shop-floor.
But here’s the catch: how do you digitize your operations when frontline workers who constitute a huge majority of the workforce don’t even have access to a computer or even a company email address?
The solution is simple – smartphones! Today, nearly everyone has access to a smartphone, and a simple yet effective mobile productivity platform can give frontline employees access to the right tools they need to improve productivity.
Digitize & Automate Repetitive Processes
One of the fastest ways to increase productivity is to reduce the amount of time taken to accomplish a set of tasks.
In frontline work, a lot of work activity is repetitive and manual in nature — duty rosters, checklists, audits, tasks, daily paperwork, etc.
Reducing the amount of time spent completing these tasks by automating and digitizing workflows will increase productivity and boost overall engagement at work.
Most of the communication between frontline employees and their managers happens in an unstructured manner over text messages, phone calls, or in person. This causes a lot of chaos in the work environment and leads to improper reporting, lack of transparency, leakage of confidential information, lower productivity, etc.
Streamline communication and increase engagement by providing a platform where your staff can go for specific needs — a chat function for peer-to-peer communication, a separate area for each issue that is raised, or even a page just for important announcements.
Keeping communications clear and specific also helps to remove stress and alleviates the mental load on your staff.
Enable Mobile SOPs & Learning
Many businesses have started to adopt a digital learning model to provide employees with essential training. The best way to transition from training room sessions and on-site demonstrations to online training is to switch to mobile learning.
With mobile-friendly training material, you can ensure your workforce learns anytime and anywhere. You can use bite-sized training material to upskill your employees and prepare them for the new work environment. Make sure your training material is short, relevant, and engaging.
You can even codify your best practices and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) into short videos and guides for employees to use as a handy pocket reference whenever they need them.
Adopting the Right Digital Tools to Improve Retail Operations
When choosing the right tool to improve frontline productivity, opt for an enterprise-grade solution that is built for retail businesses and is highly focused on frontline workers — it should enable you to streamline your processes and daily operations, eliminate miscommunication and delayed responses, organize all your information and generate instant reports with analytics.
KNOW, a lightweight mobile platform solves all of this and much more. Ready to get started? Try KNOW for free today!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is retail operations?
Retail operations refer to the processes and activities involved in operating a retail business, including managing inventory, setting prices, marketing products, and interacting with customers. Retail operations also involve managing the physical aspects of a retail business, such as maintaining a clean and organized store, displaying products attractively, and providing good customer service. Retail operations can include both online and brick-and-mortar stores, and can encompass a wide range of products, from clothing and electronics to food and household goods.
Effective retail operations are essential for the success of a retail business. They help ensure that the business is well-stocked with the products customers want, that prices are competitive, and that the store is well-maintained and provides a pleasant shopping experience for customers. By managing retail operations effectively, businesses can attract and retain customers, increase sales, and improve profitability.
How to improve retail operations?
To improve operational efficiency in retail, businesses can automate routine tasks, use technology to streamline processes, optimize inventory management, train and empower employees, and regularly analyze and improve processes. Implementing these strategies can help retailers reduce costs, improve productivity, and increase profitability.
How to operate a retail store?
To operate a retail store effectively, retailers should focus on managing inventory, providing excellent customer service, tracking key performance indicators, maintaining store appearance, managing financial transactions, handling returns and exchanges, tracking inventory, and managing employee schedules.
By effectively managing these and other aspects of daily operations, retailers can ensure that the store is well-stocked, customers are satisfied, and the business is operating efficiently.
How to reduce operating expenses in retail?
Reducing operating expenses in retail involves identifying and addressing areas of the business where costs can be reduced or eliminated. This can involve implementing an effective inventory management system to reduce the costs associated with excess or outdated inventory, streamlining processes to reduce the need for manual labor and increase efficiency, negotiating better terms with suppliers, such as lower prices or longer payment terms, implementing energy-efficient practices and technologies to reduce energy costs, and implementing waste reduction strategies, such as recycling or reusing materials.
By implementing these and other strategies, retailers can reduce operating expenses and improve the profitability of their business.
What does an operations manager do in retail?
An operations manager in retail is responsible for overseeing the various processes and activities involved in operating a retail business. This can include tasks such as managing inventory, coordinating with suppliers, setting and monitoring budgets, analyzing data to identify areas for improvement, managing and training employees, and implementing systems and processes to increase efficiency.
The specific responsibilities of an operations manager in retail may vary depending on the size and type of the business, but their overall goal is to ensure that the store is running smoothly and effectively.