Female store associate using a retail task management system on a tablet in a boutique

5 Signs You’re Using an Outdated Retail Task Management System

Because if your retail task management software looks like something that could run on Windows 98, you're doing it wrong.

  • By Sarah Murphy

Far too often, an outdated retail task management system holds associates back from being productive. Worse yet: many retailers have no idea it’s happening.

Efficiency means everything in retail. If frontline teams are completing tasks correctly (and on time), it means they have more time to devote to helping customers have a great in-store experience. This will drive sales and increase revenue. 

So, we’ve put together a list of some of the most common signs that your team is lagging due to limitations caused by old hardware, software, or a lack of training when it comes to using retail technology in-store.

Here are some of the signs that your company is using an outdated retail task management system.

5 Signs You’re Using an Outdated Retail Task Management System or Software

 

1. Too Much Time Spent Doing Paperwork

If your store teams rely on printouts and manual checklists for daily to-dos and store audits, they’re probably wasting a lot of valuable time (and paper). 

It’s difficult for anyone outside of the store to see paper checklists (unless you’re willing to spend time scanning individual pages or sending physical copies to superiors). It’s even more difficult for HQ and field teams to see when tasks are marked as complete and provide necessary feedback.

 

2. HQ and Field Teams Don’t Have Real-Time Visibility Into Stores

If your task management system doesn’t allow for photos and videos to get shared in real-time, visibility into stores gets a little blurry. 

By managing tasks the old-fashioned way, photos need to be uploaded and shared via text, email, or an intranet. That forces HQ to follow-up with store and field teams over email or the phone to give feedback or receive timely responses. Doing so creates a web of communication that isn’t easy to navigate or archive for future reference.

 

3. Compliance Checks Are Complicated

If visibility into stores suffers, so too does compliance. Without photo and video sharing capabilities in a task management system, it’s nearly impossible to ensure that tasks are being completed per corporate standards. It’s also not realistic for field teams to conduct store walkthroughs every day (especially during a pandemic), and waiting for emailed results delays providing and receiving real-time feedback. 

Take, for example, HQ sending out instructions for promotional signage. Store teams receive the instructions, implement the changes, and send photos of the signage on the floor via email (or through an outdated task management system) to field teams. Field teams then send feedback asking store teams to make changes. By the time field teams are satisfied and pass verification on to HQ, the promotion has already been running for an entire business day if not longer—causing the store to miss out on additional sales.

 

4. The Task Management System Isn’t Accessible on the Sales Floor

Store associates represent your brand to customers when they’re on the floor. So, it doesn’t make a good impression if they’re constantly leaving to look up or input information via an intranet or outdated task management system on a computer in a back room. 

If they have to leave their position to see what tasks they need to complete or upload photos and share results for further review, associates lose valuable face time with customers.

 

5. Communication Clutter

Finally, your team shouldn’t be wasting time piecing together an array of communications across multiple platforms to see what needs to get done. 

Whether it’s sifting through irrelevant emails, posting printouts in staff rooms for employees who don’t have company email addresses, repeatedly accessing information via intranets, or relying on text or messaging apps like WhatsApp to disseminate information about priorities and track task progress, if there isn’t a single consolidated hub, important information is going to fall through the gaps, and staff won’t know what to focus on.

 

If you’re experiencing any or all of these problems in your stores, Foko Retail can help get your team back on track.

Set up a demo with one of our reps to learn more about our all-in-one communication and task management platform.

 

About the Author

Sarah Murphy is a content marketing specialist with a background in journalism. She lives in Hamilton, ON, where she is mom to a 13-year old-wiener dog named Penny. When not watching bad reality TV, she’s probably chasing squirrels out of her garden or baking cookies.