The 31-store Rockler Woodworking and Hardware chain faced similar communication, task execution tracking and reporting challenges as many larger retailers. Rockler’s headquarters used multiple emails, often with multi-page pdf documents attached, to communicate with stores about everything from promotions and product launches to seasonal campaigns.
This blizzard of messages caused a number of issues, including:
• Store managers spent too much time sifting through emails trying to determine what corporate wanted done;
• Corporate and regional management lacked visibility into which store teams had read and completed assigned tasks, and when; and
• Rockler lacked a two-way feedback mechanism to identify opportunities for operational improvement.
“Using email to communicate to our stores was very tedious,” said Lori Larsen, Director of Retail Operations for Rockler. “A one-week packet of information was a 20-page pdf at times. Each packet would have action item after action item buried on page 5, 6, 7, 8 and so on. Our teams had to hunt and peck for information, which is nothing but wasted time.”
Rockler turned to a task management solution designed specifically for mid-sized companies, ReflexisPlus. Task management, retail store audit and mobility solutions from Reflexis have embedded best practices, such as templates for launching tasks and projects, and support hierarchical structure common to grocery, convenience, big box and specialty retailers.
The cloud-based solution was implemented very quickly in early 2015, taking three weeks from project kickoff through rollout to all stores. Key benefits from the deployment include:
• Streamlined Communication: Stores no longer have to search through multiple emails to find one item, and the solution’s search function is helpful for both corporate and stores;
• Improved Planning And Execution: “The solution gives us total control over how communications go out and are assigned,” said Larsen. “Being able to select where the communication is going and being more concise really helped us out. The number of emails sent for clarification sake has diminished.”;
• Task Completion Visibility: Rockler gains accountability from the solution’s showing when people are executing specific tasks;
• Continuous Improvement: “We can tell when we didn’t give stores enough time to complete a task,” said Larsen. “We learn from that and adjust. Stores execute better to achieve their sales and customer experience goals.”; and
• Improved Reporting For Regional Managers: “Regional manager can now tell how fast and engaged stores are in task execution,” said Larsen. “It also gives regional managers visibility into opportunities to help with performance.”
Click here to listen to a web seminar about Rockler’s experience with the Reflexis solution.