It’s that time of year again! The days are getting shorter, the air is getting colder, and the in-laws are hunting for bargains on airfare. The holidays are upon us and that means it’s retail’s time to shine! - or at least brace. Here are a few Shopventory stocking-stuffers to help you maintain firm control even during the busiest times!
1. Stop and consider whether your team member needs access.
Confusion during a busy day can make it hard to maintain consistent accountability. Access Control is key to ensuring peace of mind for both managers and employees. The ideal is to keep things on an “as-needed” basis.
Physical access to cash is the most obvious example, but apply that same concept elsewhere. Employees shouldn’t have access to large amounts of cash unless that’s an integral part of their job. But what about access to stockrooms, or back offices, or software access? Consider whether that team member needs to have access to something before it’s given to them.
Oftentimes, the inconvenience of them having to bug a manager turns out to avoid larger issues. Some employees may bristle at this, especially if they have had access before. So, it should be made clear that these measures are also meant to vindicate them in case someone who does have access messes up. The burden of responsibility has been lifted from them and placed elsewhere.
2. Access must come with accountability.
Take easy steps to ensure activities are logged. When you know who’s responsible for what, it makes it much easier to hold your team accountable for getting it done and doing it right.
This can be as simple as installing a single cheap webcam and pointing it at the right door; or simply putting up a laminated checklist in the supply closet, or requiring an employee make a mark on every merchant copy receipt. When it comes to software, you’ll want solutions that log each user’s activity and allow you to set up digital access controls. The point is to build an audit trail that can easily be followed.
Again, it’s important to present this as a way for employees to distinguish themselves. Let your team know you’re keeping track of every checkmark and every set of initials to make sure they get due credit for their work, (as opposed to blame for missteps). And from time to time it’s important to make that known with public praise or a small token of gratitude, such as buying them lunch or allowing them to leave early. You’d be surprised the kind productive culture that fosters.
3. Audit the data.
It’s pointless to keep records if they’re never going to be reviewed. Set up regular reminders on your company calendar to review important data. This doesn’t mean poring over every single receipt or watching every minute of footage focused on an empty room. You’re just scanning to see if there’s anything that could be a red flag.
If units of a product keep disappearing over time, try to identify a pattern. If a teammate’s initials suddenly look different on checklists, ask them about it. If inventory entries are constantly having to be corrected, find out who’s making them.
Pursuing these rabbit trails may seem like you’re nitpicking, but it will usually open up insight into major factors that are impacting business. The red flags mentioned above could lead you to discover that key employees are stealing, or an employee trying to sabotage a co-worker, or it could help you identify medical or even substance abuse issues.
Following the audit trails very often lead to crucial discoveries, not just in staffing but also in terms of profitability tracking, identifying slow-moving inventory, and the overall health of the business.
Managers can’t know everything that goes on in the business. But you can set up ways for them to find out. Creating an audit trail (which can be easily followed) is going to provide your administrators with access to the most important insights into the business.
This is why Shopventory has built-in access controls along with detailed, time-stamp logging. We actually know of several customers who have used Shopventory’s detailed records to identify pilfering employees.
Don’t let a busy holiday season keep you from losing track of your business. Set up those audit trails sooner rather than later and get your team up to speed! The longer you wait to make the change, the harder it is to get people on board.
Right now, you can sign up for a 30-day full-featured free trial of Shopventory with no credit card required. We also back Shopventory with a 30-day money back guarantee. That means a total of 60 days risk-free!
You can start a trial today and join the thousands of merchants all over the world who use Shopventory to audit and optimize inventory!
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