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So far in this series we’ve talked about how location, time, and customer focus can influence different management levels of an organization. But who are these managers? How can we better understand their roles? In this final installment in multi-level management series, we’re looking a little harder to better understand free-flowing communication1 and management teams.

The Navigators: Corporate-level Directors

At the corporate-level, directors develop the big picture for the organization, including which markets to compete in and what demographics or regions they need to focus on. According to the CEO Project, the majority of their time is spent analyzing internal information about organizational progress and hosting reviews with district managers2.

As the brain of the organization, corporate-level directors aim to secure significant, sustained value for their shareholders. Many of the challenges they face deal with how to prioritize information and create uniformity. They do this by reviewing business goals, ensuring that they’re financially feasible, fit within the scope of brand, and are up to code with regulatory and shareholder requirements.

Corporate-level directors make decisions based on information gathered by district managers. Most conversations are focused around, “what to do” instead of “how to do”. This is where maintaining strong communication becomes crucial, because corporate-level directors depend on the success of district managers to reach the organization’s vision.

The Torch Bearer: District Managers

District managers do some major heavy lifting in the company. They are smackdab in the middle—between corporate-level and store managers—and must oversee operations for their entire district. Their responsibilities can vary greatly depending on the geographical locations of their stores. This requires them to be adaptable to the conditions of their market while staying consistent with brand values.

If district managers could make a wish, it would be for more time in a day. They’re responsible for driving sales growth and enacting corporate objectives to see results. The challenges of a district manager are unique to their district, as they shape corporate strategy into actionable objectives that fit their locations.

District managers speak multiple languages—corporate and store—to fulfill their responsibilities effectively. Goals and visions from corporate are developed in-store through clear objectives that are measurable goals. District managers must have a clear idea of the corporate vision to delegate responsibilities to their store managers. Information from in-store must also travel up to corporate-level directors in comprehensive reports.

At the Helm: Store Managers

Store managers serve on the frontlines of the company. They’re the ones in charge of ensuring that every customer has a great customer experience, hit sales goals and maintain optimal productivity in-store. According to a review of ideal store manager qualities by Management Study Guide, the store manager must act as the pillar of support through small fires and directional changes 3. They have to meet tight margins and ensure all employees and resources are working at optimal levels to generate the most value.

Information from corporate flows downward to the store manager through the district manager, as well as upward. Store managers need to synthesize reports into quick metrics that effectively communicate the store’s progress in adopting new objectives and ability to generate revenue.

Scaling Information for Organizational Use

What makes a multi-unit organization responsive to market changes and effective in implementing new strategies is strong communication between all channels. The data used within the organization is constant, yet it must take the shape of multiple forms to properly communicate the needed information. This leads to the question, how can an organization with such variety in responsibilities, focus, and challenges communicate the same data effectively?

Store Relationship Management (SRM) is designed for effective communication between multi-level management teams. SRM platforms, like CoEFFICIENT®, provide teams with real-time performance tracking, guided workflow planning, and communication tools for collaboration throughout the organization. Looking for more information on how to streamline communication for your organization? Download our SRM white paper now to learn more.


1. Joseph B. and Clark G. “How Managers’ Everyday Decisions Create – or Destroy – Your Company’s Strategy”. Harvard Business Review.
2. John M. “How Effective CEOs Spend Their Time. Inc.
3. Roles and Responsibilities of a Store Manager”. Management Study Guide.