Beyond Working Last Year Harder and With Fewer Resources

Anthony Henry
Senior Industrial Engineer and Project Manager

Is your retail company beset by competition on all fronts? Do the demands to succeed require something more than working last year’s plan harder and with fewer resources?

While there are few magic formulas to outrun your competition, there are a few basic areas of focus that seem key for revitalization.

Detail and Differentiate

Define who you want to be in the market and detail that vision from the unique product assortment you choose to carry to the design of your facility to the shopping experience and your service offering – all points of differentiation between you and your competition.

Then, define your standards of operation and develop your best practices to support the business proposition you are committed to deliver. Look carefully at what you deliver and how you deliver it. Are there ways to add value or to eliminate waste? Focus on your target customer and ask yourself: what is that customer willing and excited to pay for? What will make your business stand apart from all those competitors?

Deliver Your Value Proposition Through Effective Merchandising and Operations

Effective merchandising can have a clear and positive effect on retail sales and the bottom line, which is, after all, the goal of any for-profit business. Pricing, displays, product packaging and arrangement, sale signs and promotional marketing can all drive sales upward while improving the shopping experience for customers. Good merchandising can help get more out of a new retail space without expansion or renovations. Your customers will begin to associate your attractive merchandising with your store and it may also impact where they go to shop on a regular basis.

Prepare Your People to Deliver Consistently

Whether it is the preparation of your goods or the delivery of your services, your people are a key part of how customers will define their experience with your business and decide whether you will earn their business on future shopping trips. Remember, options abound for those consumer dollars. Will your people make a difference in securing your piece of the business pie?

The delivery of your strategies will always demand the right skills, the best practices, and the routines and work plans to consistently deliver your products and service offerings. You need to develop and direct your personnel to fulfill your vision. Define, document, and review those standards of operations and merchandising and prepare your workforce in training, forecasting, effective scheduling and real- time performance management to deliver your differentiation and value proposition on a consistent basis.

By deploying these business strategies, organizations can gain competitive advantages, not only by running true to their own differentiation strategies but to drive overall efficiencies, reduce waste, optimize sales, and build customer loyalty for a stronger future. Yes, competition abounds. But with a strong sense of who you choose to be in the market, a commitment to define and deliver a unique value proposition, and the effective use of your trained and motivated workforce – your prospects for success are a lot greater than just working last year harder and with fewer resources.