Hardware Retailing

SEP 2016

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

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HARDWARE RETAILING | September 2016 66 Operations One of the best ways to ensure an operation runs smoothly and employees manage their time efficiently is through good communication. And using smart technology can help. Again, apps are an easy way to use technology to quickly and efficiently accomplish a specific task. There are plenty of apps available that help employees communicate and share information. Slack and Trello are two examples of apps with this function. If you're looking for an app to use, look for one that allows employees to communicate well (even across locations) and coordinate to-do lists. You can also look for apps that offer more specialized functions. For example, the Shyft app allows employees to swap work shifts as needed. Want to make it easier to receive inventory each week when your truck arrives? Some brands have begun labeling merchandise with HFID tags, which works with sensors you can install in your warehouse, Koenig says. The two work together to automatically scan product as it is physically moved into your warehouse or back room, saving your employees the time of manually scanning everything. The catch? You must have the sensors installed in your store, and your vendors must have the compatible tags. Check with some of your popular brands and see if they offer this technology. "Some brands have started using this technology as they work with big-box stores, and would most likely be able to use the same technology with independent retailers," Koenig says. There are also many ways to use technology to monitor and enhance the performance of your business. Miller relies on a Compass dashboard, which is a function of his POS system and allows him to track key performance indicators all in one place. He has the dashboard on his phone so he can quickly see what's happening at any of his stores. "My manager dashboard has 30 different KPIs (key performance indicator) that we track," says Miller. "These are easy to read and have those key indicators that we preset and easily show where a store needs work." Many POS systems can perform functions like these. Talk with your POS provider and see if they have a setup that meets your needs. Magnets attract profits. Increase impulse sales with the industry's top-selling magnet product line for home, office, garage and jobsite. Learn more about the advantages of being a Magnet Source ® Retailer at magnetsource.com/hr

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