Retail Operations
In a competitive market such as retail, advancements in technology and the shifting economy make it important to maintain a high level of efficiency at multiple levels of management. Because staying ahead of the curve can be key to the success of your store or chain of stores, here are seven ways you can streamline operations for 2020 and into the future.

1. Set Standards for Operation

For as many store operations as possible, create a set of procedures that is detailed and standardized to optimize efficiency. When managers and employees are able to fully understand what is expected of them, their work is often less stressful and more fulfilling. On the other hand, inconsistencies of expectation can often lead to friction and slow down important processes.

2. Invest in Technology

New technology is constantly being invented to help increase production and streamline business operations. One such technology is the kiosk wireless, an automated sort of “mini-store” that can be set up in a public area and sell merchandise quite efficiently. Consider the costs and benefits of investing in any new technology that might bring in extra income or assist with store operations. If the benefits outweigh the costs, don’t be afraid to invest!

3. Make Delegation a Priority

One of the most common failures in retail management is a lack of delegation – whether that means managers failing to delegate to employees or employees failing to delegate to other employees. Having an assigned set of tasks for every worker to complete will help everyone to be more satisfied and more productive. When one worker ends up doing more than his or her fair share of work, there will often be tasks that are either forgotten or not completed properly.

4. Update the POS System

You should always strive to develop the most efficient POS system possible. This can take a lot of time, effort, and creativity, but it is often worth it due to the increase in speed of service it produces. Is there a more innovative way for cashiers to input sales? Updating the system, even if it only saves a few seconds of time on every transaction, can have a huge impact on the amount of net revenue your company is able to bring in.

5. Automate When Possible

One of your goals in retail should be to reduce the amount of “busy-work” or work that can be completed by automation. If the task is overly repetitive or more time-consuming than anything else, chances are that some programming can speed up the process. Although cashiers and salespeople are still necessary in most settings, kiosks can be one way to increase sales without hiring additional employees. Automating some clerical work or organizational work might also be a possibility.

6. Keep the Store Organized

Customers will be more satisfied and more likely to come back to a store that was clean, organized and easy to navigate. Make it a priority to use proper cleaning and stocking procedures so that items are always in their place. That way, employees won’t have to spend valuable time walking to the back room or searching for an item that was not on the shelf.

7. Digitize When Possible

Nothing hurts efficiency more than poor organization, and one way to improve organization is by reducing the paperwork involved in your procedures. Consider converting files to digital files that can be organized much more easily. This will save the time and effort of digging through years of files to find the right one, only to realize that the paper has been lost or damaged.

Through proper training of employees, organization, and investing in technology, you can set a high standard for your stores to operate smoothly. Having a plan in place will make things easier for everyone involved and ultimately maximize revenue. All of these methods of streamlining operations can be what sets your company apart in the world of retail.