If store managers could wish for one thing, most would wish for more time in a day. To a store manager, each day is a balancing act between primary tasks (like integrating corporate strategies and reducing costs) and support tasks (like performance analysis and reporting). Although support tasks don’t directly create value, they give store managers insight on where to focus next.
While both tasks are important, store managers invest a lot of time performing support tasks. Many of these support processes can be automated and doing so could give them more time for tasks that directly add value to the customer and company.
The Responsibilities of a Store Manager
Store managers have the unique opportunity of representing the face of the company, while coincidentally managing the back-end operations. However, to be effective, can only really focus their efforts toward one task at a time. With only 24 hours in a day, store managers juggle their responsibilities while steering the store’s profitability.
In our recent Store Manager Survey, we found store managers feel tied down by too many support tasks. When we asked how store managers invest their time, we learned:
- 20% spend at least ¼ of their time each week working on store performance analysis and reporting for corporate.
- Nearly 10% spend more than 15 hours per-week.
When it came to matters of integrating store strategies, only 23% spend a minimum of 11 hours per-week finding ways to improve store performance. Store managers are spending too much time on support tasks that don’t add to the bottom line. This takes them away from primary tasks, impacting their ability to lead their store into new markets.
Store Managers Need Time with Personnel
A traditional big box store is divided by departments like produce and apparel, each with its own management and staff. At the center of this is the store manager, who coordinates staff and resources to ensure the store’s smooth operation.
Having quality training and communication with management is essential for staff members and their department managers. It’s also one of the largest investments made by retail stores. A recent study by the Center for American Progress found it costs on average $3,328 to find, hire, and train a new staff member earning $10 per-hour1.
With a high level of investment going into finding and hiring staff, retaining experienced staff is essential to the bottom line of a store. However, store managers feel the challenges of maintaining staff are growing increasingly challenging. Of the store managers in our survey:
- 75% say dealing with personnel issues is at least somewhat challenging.
- 71% consider training employees to be at least somewhat challenging.
- 1/3rd do not believe they have the amount of personnel needed to be successful.
Store managers need technology that enables them to spend more time leading their staff.
Discover Efficiency through a Store Relationship Management Platform
Store managers can improve the performance of their stores by automating their reporting processes. Our survey shows nearly 30% don’t feel equipped to make decisions quickly. By automating the reporting process, they could start focusing on tasks that relate to the bottom line.
With a Store Relationship Management (SRM) platform, metrics like inventory turnover, products in stock, sales, and gross margin are easily accessible. Store managers will have the ability to act quickly against unfavorable metrics while at the same time engage with strategy to maintain favorable ones.
A profitable store is dependent on a store manager’s ability to seamlessly integrate strategies and lead staff members. Yet, store managers are finding themselves trapped in tasks that take them away from their primary responsibilities. With an SRM platform, many of the support tasks are automated, allowing store managers to take the reins and add to the bottom line.
When store managers have access to an SRM platform, they are able to lead effectively and make informed decisions. Download our Store Manager Survey white paper to learn more about how store managers can use SRM to overcome real retail challenges.
1. Heather B and Sarah G. “There Are Significant Business Costs to Replacing Employees. Center for American Progress.https://www.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/CostofTurnover.pdf ↩