With the steady advancement of game-changing technologies in retail execution, the opportunities for executing perfect store strategies are at an all-time high. However, research from the Promotion Optimization Institute (POI) reveals that, despite increased focus on delivering a better user experience, increased functionality, and innovative technologies, 80% of consumer goods companies are not satisfied with their ability to execute at the store level.
Dale Hagemeyer, Partner at POI, reviewed the findings of this research at a recent StayinFront customer conference. Dale noted that while technology can indeed be a competitive game-changer, companies continue to struggle with retail execution unless they address 3 core issues.
According to POI research, approximately 75% of companies report having difficulty finding the right people. One of the biggest people-related challenges in retail execution is the lack of attention paid to skill sets, inhibiting employees from reaching their full potential. Companies may lack discipline in processes or have unclear or no change management plans. In addition, many companies do not offer any means or access to peer support and coaching. All of this results in employees working less efficiently and effectively.
Think technique before technology. Deploying a new retail execution solution without first defining processes is bound to lead to clashes. In some cases, flawed process are automated, or a project plan with milestones or tollgates is lacking altogether. Solutions implemented to serve the enterprise need to be customer-centric and take into account the various processes and needs of different markets.
There’s no escaping politics—even in retail execution. Sometimes political issues arise when one division or geography forces its processes or technology on the other. Frequently, inter-company politics exist when different departments have vastly different goals or agendas. For instance, IT may be inclined to select or reject a technology based on the brand or the amount of resources required to implement and support it, whereas the sales department is focused on increased functionality and the ease-of-use. Then, there’s the shifting support from executives, or the “independent parties” - the technology or consulting partners that sometimes lack objectivity because of their partnerships.
Tackling these basic challenges enables companies to climb out of the “cloud of mediocrity” and start leveling up their game. Watch this video to hear Dale talk more about these challenges and the next 5 steps companies can take to reach the master level of retail execution.
For 20 years, StayinFront has worked with leading companies around the world delivering configurable and scalable solutions and services designed to support and enable field teams and managers to work more efficiently, know more about the customer and their performance and sell more effectively.
About Dale Hagemeyer
Dale Hagemeyer leads the research, best practices, and advisory function at POI. Previously, he was VP Research at Gartner, where his research included the application of technology to the business processes of trade promotion and field sales automation for consumer goods manufacturers. Prior to Gartner he spent 14 years in management positions related to the promotion and distribution of products at Sunbeam Corporation, The Quaker Oats Company, PepsiCo, Kraft Foods, and Kroger. He has served on various industry advisory boards for trade associations and industry periodicals and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.