The retail functions never end. They run for each of the 365 days of the year . Precise task management is at the heart of a successful progression in retail operations. Even a small discrepancy may lead to grave consequences. Common instances about this may be faulty merchandise display, litter in the parking lot or multiple broken signage at the display counters. An effective coordination and communication must exist among the in-store, back office and the corporate entities. This involves prioritization of tasks, their scheduling & assignment to the workforce and finally the most important part- follow-up. Owing to the fact that it is a complex exercise to ascertain the paradigms that require follow-up, it is important to determine employee accountability. It has been commonly observed that tasks related to follow-up lead to unproductive time management on the part of the managers, ignorance or, neglect of issues that are important and lengthy duration in task completion. Traditionally, employees report problems to the managers who designate the concerned departments to implement corrective interventions. However, this takes time and in the process operation is bound to suffer.

Automated task management solution

The need of the hour is an automated task management solution that can facilitate real-time data to the corporate office and the store management as well as prompt follow-up and corrective tasks. Instead of tracking the workforce one-by-one to get updates on progress status, the management can simply access the dashboard of the software to get immediate and firsthand info on the work progress. There are also recurring benefits of employing automation in task management.

  • Proper organization- The automated task management software will separate the communication and tracking of the operational functions from customer incidents and requests. This will help in keeping a stringent attention on each of the issues and not let them go unnoticed while ensuring that the customers have an access to top-class service. This centralization of the tasks prompts the workforce to display exemplary professionalism and performance.

  • Systematic proficiency in daily operations- Automation will guarantee convenient creation and scheduling of daily operations. In turn, it will render effortless monitoring of the work status thereby lending minute-to-minute control on the chain of events unfolding in the operations. Any wavering from the prescribed standards can be detected instantly for necessary corrective action.

  • Execution of tasks based on criteria- Automation will also smoothen the task creation with the desired solution that is based on time, previous tasks and event marker. Time relates to events such as opening or, closing. The designated workforce will automatically receive alerts to process the opening or, closing checklists. Previous reminders can help the management to keep a tab on regular sales hotspots in-store within frequent intervals.The event marker implies prompt-signals by the software to help particular areas in the retail to brace-up for more business at a particular time of the day or, during special occasions. The whole idea is to lend a pro-active overtone in retail task management.

  • Timely implementation using reminders- Communication happens to be the backbone of a robust progression in retail operations. The corporate office often finds it difficult to communicate at the right time with the in-store, back office and the field workforce. These tasks are often time bound and fulfillment in a specific window is crucial to call it a success. Automated reminders can help keep such tasks at the top of the assignee’s mind.  An automation framework in this regard can help send reminders ensuring that nothing is left unattended.

  • Seamless monitoring- Follow-ups and corrective actions are clear specifications to attain successful performance. Automation can identify behavior or job performance that is not in tune with the laid-out standards and offer instant feedback. With reduced requirement for planning and enhanced simplicity, an automated corrective maintenance framework also reduces the capital expenditure. This is because it will prompt for upkeep only when it is required as opposed to the manual & elaborate performance management that retail companies undertake as a corrective action-plan.

With cost-cutting and competitive pricing becoming more and more prevalent in the retail domain, a simple automation to oversee follow-ups and corrective actions can go a long way thereby giving a competitive advantage.