The easy answer is “of course”. That’s what you expected, right?
Not so fast.
We recently visited with a widely respected and instantly recognizable family owned c-store chain with 60+ locations. This chain is known for leading not following. This chain is still performing traditional retail audits. When we asked “When will you be implementing item level audits?”, the answer was surprising: “Not any time soon.”
Of course, the next question is, why? The answer was insightful.
We have so many more important things on our agenda right now. Maybe we will get to item level audits sometime but certainly not this year and probably not next. Shrink is not a huge issue for us because of our culture and systems. We are focused on finding new ways to serve the customer and offering innovative products. That’s what’s important to us right now.
Item level scan auditing is ideal for providing the clearest and most accurate picture of a store’s product on hand. Since every SKU is tracked and recorded, it provides great insight into what is missing, not just how much. But while full store item level auditing is growing increasingly more common among c-stores, converting from traditional retail auditing is often a greater undertaking than some managers realize. You must be ready to allocate significant time and resources.
Here are some challenges of item level audits:
They Take Time
Because every barcode must be scanned and reconciled, item level auditing can be a time consuming endeavor. It is important to prepare your store accordingly to expedite the process.
Don’t Get Overloaded by Data
It can be easy to get lost in the weeds of the details. The data begs for further analysis. Why is this item short and another similar item over? What is really happening? All this takes time – which can provide a convenient excuse to not take action.
A Change in Mindset & Systems
Transitioning from retail and category management to item level management can be challenging for your whole organization. A lot of your systems to measure and control shrink will be impacted along with marketing, operations and accounting.
Item level auditing allows you to focus on specific areas of the store that need to be improved. If you recognize the time, cost, and effort that will go into implementation, it can pay off in a big way. Is your store ready to begin item level auditing? Reach out to Quantum Services to learn how we can help.