5 Reasons You Need a Retail Multi-store Management Solution
Operating and managing multiple sores is complex and challenging. While the operational aspects of these businesses may not seem so different from a single store’s operations when examined individually, but when observed as a whole, their scale and variability require a unique management approach.
Retail chain store management software links your remote locations to your headquarters and allows for operations to be centrally managed for consistency and better visibility across your chain. Unified, detailed reporting gives access to comprehensive data for better forecasting and management of all locations rather than each individual store, providing more growth opportunities and a better ROI.
Managing sales, promotions, inventory, labor, and keeping operations running smoothly for all stores can be demanding. Managers must also find solutions to keep operating costs low and customers satisfied. Proper multi-store management offers many business benefits that improve efficiency and consistency across all store locations without needing to spend valuable time and resources, manually updating each store.
We have compiled the top five reasons to link your retail chain under one management solution to ensure your chain is achieves optimal performance.
Establish Standard Operating Procedures
One of the main benefits a multi-store solution can provide is establishing a standard across all store locations. When standard operating procedures are established across all sites, stores become more productive as a whole.
For instance, when enterprises use a multi-store management system to dictate how employees work, either by establishing a standard protocol for stores or establishing a training program, they ensure customers can expect the same experience no matter which location they visit. A uniform training program also ensures that every employee knows proper business and safety procedures and decreases workplace injuries.
When employees are trained with the same plan consistently, they can work together more efficiently and boost company performance.
Another significant aspect of utilizing a multi-store management system collecting employee data that can be used to optimize job roles so managers can focus on talent management. Identifying the strengths and weaknesses of each branch to optimize human resources and ensure operations are efficient. Utilizing this employee data allows enterprises to keep staff motivated and engaged by using that data to provide raises and promotions.
An enterprise can also ensure customers receive the same experience no matter the location by linking their chain store management solution through their POS software and establishing which types of payments the store accepts and standard policies for returns. When the rules are clear and laid out to customers without exceptions, customers can make better purchasing decisions; and enterprises can avoid getting stuck with unusable returns.
In addition to standard procedures like payments and returns, customers will expect their loyalty programs and promotions to be uniform across stores. Allowing customers to use and access their loyalty program at any location will create a better overall customer experience and increase ROI.
Lastly, when all practices are uniform across a chain, it is easier for supervisors to work together and manage inventory. Transferring inventory between stores to keep supplies available for customers is just another way of establishing standard operating procedures that can benefit a business.
Streamline Communication Across the Enterprise
Another benefit of using a multi-store management system is streamlining communications across an enterprise. When establishing a communication center, it is essential to select a headquarters. Choosing the right headquarters location can be tricky. It needs to be a location where managers and owners are centralized around chain locations—providing them with the ability to travel to different sites while still having a home base to answer for the whole enterprise.
When managers use a network-wide communication system, they can reach employees at every site—providing managers with valuable connections and reminding their whole staff that their work is vital to the company’s overall success. This can be done using the multi-store system as a hub for news and achievements for the business. This widespread communication can also help provide staff with frequent tips and reminders for everyday solutions, and any policy updates, providing teams with the tools they need for optimal performance.
When enterprises utilize a multi-store management system and its communication platform, it allows remote sites to stay involved and engaged with the rest of the business. This is vital to creating standardized operations and keeping businesses running efficiently, especially when the communication platform announces changes in products, services, and procedures. Ensuring the news gets out quickly mitigates potential downtimes, loss, and dissatisfied customers.
Optimize Inventory Management
Multi-store management systems can also aid enterprises in optimizing inventory management. Many enterprises struggle with managing inventory at multiple locations. As stores experience fluctuations in product popularity, many regional managers find that what sells at one store may not be as popular at another.
A multi-store management system makes it easy to facilitate inter-store transfers. Shifting inventory from one place to another or allowing managers to split inventory between a fully stocked store and an additional location may experience low inventory levels awaiting a new order from suppliers. Linking chain stores through a POS system effectively optimizes inventory management, opening opportunities to increase revenue streams.
Just as data from employees can be collected and analyzed, so can inventory data. Using the POS system to access sales reports and data for the entire chain allows managers to optimize pricing at different locations based on demographics and product demand.
In addition to managing pricing reports of consolidated sales, tracking can make it easier to manage stock levels and forecast sales and revenue across the entire business efficiently and quickly.
Deliver Consistent Customer Service and Loyalty Programs
When enterprises link multiple stores through their POS system, they standardize operations, as explained earlier in this article. One of the benefits of standardizing practices across numerous stores is implementing a loyalty program and consistent customer service practices.
When enterprises utilize a loyalty program over multiple stores, they can analyze data to understand better what products and services are needed in specific locations. As customers sign up for rewards and loyalty programs and utilize the service, their purchases can be tracked at any store and managed through the company’s headquarters.
Suppose gift cards and loyalty points are accessible through every location and online for eCommerce, customers enjoy their shopping experience more, and there are more sales opportunities for your store. In that case, businesses can gain better insights into consumer behaviors to better market their client base for future campaigns.
As a result, customers are encouraged to shop at any of your brand’s locations, not just their local store or online. Because of this company’s experience:
- An increase in brand loyalty
- Better customer service ratings
- Repeat business from customers
Grow Profits with Unified Reporting and Analytics
Each region managed by an integrated multi-store POS system can generate multiple reports based on collected analytics. These reports help enterprise managers make better-informed business decisions, providing greater financial control.
Reports also provide managers with more accurate information to help with company forecasting and planning, creating more opportunities for managers to find ways to cut costs and reduce downtime.
With the option to view overall company statistics and compare each location accordingly, managers can identify issues such as bottlenecks at specific sites and adjust their strategies accordingly.
Reports provide enterprises with valuable insights on customers’ demographics, geographical locations, and psychographics. Because this information is collected, managers can make better business decisions when adjusting marketing, pricing, and procedures—all of this data, when leveraged, creates greater operational efficiency and better opportunities to gain profit.
Linking chain stores through one management system can help retail enterprises establish operating procedures, streamline communication, manage inventory, provide consistent customer service, and leverage reports and analytics.
The General Store’s multi-store management solution allows enterprises to integrate directly with their General Store POS system keeping all locations connected while managing several operations from one central headquarters. Central management reduces stress on internal IT teams, conserving resources, time, and cost. Using one comprehensive system gives retailers a better ROI on their technology investments while increasing efficiency and boosting sales and revenue opportunities.
To learn more about multi-store management solutions from The General Store and how to improve your business management, contact us today.