Retail audits provide a review of an organization’s systems, validating their methods & processes. Through audit findings, organizations are able to fix problems and drive performance improvement, and ideally, not make the same mistakes again. An audit is not a passive activity. It actively engages the store owner or franchisee to continually improve the store according to best practices.
Many organizations are in an endless loop of fail, audit, correct and repeat. This is mainly due to the fact that the old approach to the audit process doesn’t drill down through the symptoms to get to the underlying cause. The good news is that auditing methods have evolved and supports an organization’s ability to constantly change and improve as well as raises the awareness and commitment of personnel to fix the root cause of each problem. Below are the steps to track and drive improvements post audits:
- Accountability: The eventual success of any audit lies in making improvements post audit and the same is only possible when people are held accountable for implementing improvements. As a part of every Retail Audit deliverable, Channelplay sends automated escalation mailers to the people responsible for driving action at store level – Store managers for store-related issues, route trainers for in-store promoter hygiene and product knowledge and visual merchandising point-of-contact for POSM/Branding related improvements.
- Action Plan: A well defined action plan is an opportunity to apply corrective actions to problem areas in a sequential manner. This helps a manager to prioritize the improvements and monitor the progress and take each task step-by-step, therefore allowing them to drive improvements efficiently.
- Participation: Get the entire store operations team to participate in the audit review. Take their feedback and inputs to find out what staff think could be done more effectively. Use these inputs to make improvements to operations.
- Validation: Post the improvements/action, a revisit must be conducted to validate the action/work done. This assures sustainable and long lasting improvements and also keeps the operations team always on their feet.
To conclude, conducting audit is not sufficient unless action is driven post audit through people responsible for the same, leading to consistent maintenance of retail hygiene.