The final stage of any store operations assessment is to review the methods currently being utilized to execute specific tasks. If standards have not been put in place, retailers will likely find that processes and productivity vary significantly across locations. Even if specific best practices have been developed and implemented, employee turnover, transfers, and promotions may have diluted their efficacy over time.
At a minimum, retailers should invest in developing a set of standard practices for their most common operational tasks. These can range from something as simple as shortcuts recommended by long-tenured associates to as complex as highly engineered labor standards. Either way, these practices should be fully documented, complete with written instructions, diagrams, and photos.
After training the field on the new standard practices, advanced retailers implement a certification program and require store associates to be regularly re-certified. They also re-evaluate their standards on a consistent basis according to a pre-determined schedule with varying intervals based on each process’s relative impact on the store labor budget.