For the various stakeholders throughout the process, best-in-class retail execution will look different along the way, depending on where they’re situated in the customer’s journey. There are many considerations as to what makes something best in class but, in this context, let’s agree that success looks like: a happy customer quickly and easily finding exactly what they want to buy, when they want to buy it. They’re able to make that purchase without any friction, then get on with their day feeling accomplished and satisfied.
Different Stakeholders, Different Perspectives
So how do manufacturers, retailers and labor providers all work together in a collaboration that will ensure this vision comes to life every time? Let’s break that down by each different type of stakeholder involved:
Consumer packaged goods companies are challenged with making sure they are able to meet demand for their products. So they use forecasting to try and predict how much of an item they need to have on-hand at any given time, as well as knowing what customers will be shopping for seasonally, to ship additional product needed to account for peak buying times – making sure their items are in-stock at the shelf, readily available for customers.
Some large brands have a dedicated workforce of direct-to-store distributors, who help to ensure their company’s products and placement are done to exactly to the letter of their strategy planning and corporate brand guidelines. You may have seen soda companies, chip manufacturers or bread companies with dedicated workers stocking shelves at your local supermarket – facing products, setting up displays, rotating stock - returning any items that go unsold past their expiration dates.
Once the retailer receives the product that’s shipped from the manufacturer, it’s time to reference any planograms or instructions for construction of any displays that need to be assembled. The home office directs what items are scheduled for promotions or endcap features, so that the brand manufacturers get special placement and the dedicated space for which they paid. When followed to plan, the shelves are fully stocked, easy to shop and customers are able to quickly find what they’re shopping for.
If a retail location is audited by 3rd parties or brand representatives and merchandise isn’t displayed as agreed - that potentially results in money lost. The company may have to return at least a percentage of the amount invested in the promotion back to the manufacturer, plus the cost of any “make good” allowances offered.
3rd Party Labor Providers & Service Teams
Some companies invest in the services of 3rd party labor providers to help cover all the retail locations where their products are carried, as an extension of their own workforce. These providers may manage the interests of multiple brands, making sure their clients’ products are stocked and easy to locate in each store.
Occasionally, retailers or manufacturers invest in staff to assemble items in the store, so that customers can leave with a ready to use product – like bicycles, grills, lawnmowers, etc. This helps with ensuring customers can see the product in person to make their selections – as well as providing a time-saving convenience of being able to take something home to use immediately, with no sifting through instruction manuals or piles of nuts and bolts.
Overall, best-in-class retail execution comes from enabling your teams to get more done, more smoothly, and by providing them with tools like the software service offered by Movista. We are able to provide managers with real-time reporting. In addition to the visibility, accountability and compliance offered by our platform – our mobile-first solution also gives your team an all-in-one place to access everything they need to perform their jobs.