After spending many years working to implement intelligent intranets with large retail names including HMV, Superdrug, Waterstones and American Golf to improve communication, collaboration and internal business processes – we are (unfortunately) all too familiar with the constant battle Head Office staff face when they need to distribute work activities to different stores spread over many locations.
One prominent UK retailer we have recently been working with was spending huge amounts of money on posting out time-critical communications about special offers and promotions to it’s many different stores. We didn’t like this at Interact HQ and it got us thinking – surely we could help! Not only was the company wasting lots of money on paper-based methods of communication, they also had no idea if those activities had even been carried out by store workers. Not good.
The idea became reality:
As we’re big fans of working smartly at Interact, our Developers put their clever heads together and came up with a tool that could not only save the retailer lots of money on postage costs but also had lots of other clever features including the ability to prioritise activities, provide visibility of which individual completed the activity (and whether the activity had been completed to the required standard) and create quick reports on over-due activities. Oh and throw in the added bonus of encouraging collaboration also and you’ve got Interact’s ‘Activity Management.’
Here are 6 great ways Interact’s Activity Management can help retailers:
- Assign activities to individuals, groups or multiple groups of people. Head Office can quickly assign activities to specific store workers, groups of stores (maybe in a particular geographical area) or multiple groups of stores – no more costly and time consuming printing and posting!
- Decentralise Activities. Shift workers, weekend staff and full time employees spread over many sites can lead to a loss of control and no transparency 0f whether activities have been carried out the way they should be. With Activity Management, Head Office staff can distribute activities to store managers, who can then delegate activities to individuals in their store, based on their knowledge of who they think can carry out that action.
- Prioritise Activities. All activities set can be prioritised by Head Office staff and put in date order, so store staff know which activity they need to complete next and they can tick them off as they are completed. For added management – store managers have the ability to verify if the activity has been completed to the required standard. Clever stuff!
- Comment on activities. Individuals can comment on specific tasks – reducing duplication of effort and encouraging collaboration amongst stores. For example, if an activity is assigned to a group of stores regarding a summer promotion and a store worker notices a mistake with that activity, they can leave a public comment on the activity which ensures the issue is flagged to Head Office and other stores are aware of this also. Similarly, if somebody knows how to complete an activity in a more efficient way, then they can share this with others.
- Feedback on activities. Individuals can feedback directly to Head Office with any comments about the task which allows bottom up communication for continual improvement in processes. Maybe the individual thinks the deadline isn’t realistic or perhaps they are about to go on annual leave and can’t complete the activity in time.
- Get real-time reports. Interact’s Activity Management has a real-time reporting feature which allows head office staff to create quick reports on activities that may be over-due so they can follow them up quickly, which is essential information for time critical promotions in the retail industry.
See a video of Activity Management in action: