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Convenience Stores: Two Ways to Follow Best Practices with Limited Store Staff

This is the sixth and final post in a six-part series that addresses the main business challenges convenience store operators face today.

Best Practices with Limited Store Staff

In the previous post, we discussed the challenges convenience store operators face with limited store staff. To be successful in an increasingly competitive market, convenience store associates need to focus on delivering high quality customer service, not on operational responsibilities — such as monitoring refrigeration or HVAC systems — that can keep customers waiting.

Partnering with a solutions provider on facility management systems and enterprise monitoring allows convenience stores to leverage food quality automation and gain store insights to better operations. Operators can separate routine issues from those that may have a negative impact on the customer experience, remove the responsibility of food quality data collection from store-level associates and easily create an audit trail for regulatory compliance.

Convenience stores can keep their employees in front of customers by:

Monitoring food quality automatically.

Keeping track of the refrigeration system temperature is vital to the quality of fresh food in a convenience store, as well as for maintaining regulatory compliance. Traditionally, stores have relied on managers to manually measure refrigeration levels. This process is error-prone, timely and sometimes neglected during peak business hours.

A facility management system allows retailers to automate the collection, consolidation and routing of food quality data to the right people anywhere within the organization. Data is captured automatically and in real-time, not filled in by hand at the end of a long shift. This process also makes it easy to provide regulators with a full audit trail across all stores when they are conducting an inspection.

With food quality automation, store associates are freed from operational distractions that pull their attention away from serving customers, allowing them to spend more time on activities that strengthen the convenience store’s brand in the eyes of the consumer.

Simplifying systems management and problem resolution.

A typical convenience store may contain several controls and monitoring interfaces for its equipment, which means the store staff needs to be trained on each of these systems. When an integrated facility management system, like ecoSYS Site Supervisor, is incorporated, the store associates’ jobs are made much simpler. Associates now have one system with a single set of procedures to learn. They can check on the status of their store, and managers can monitor the entire chain of stores at one glance. Operators can manage the complexity of their operations from a centralized location, making operations more efficient, consistent and valuable throughout their enterprise.

Service technicians can also benefit from a single view into all store equipment to better identify and resolve issues, which can reduce service costs and minimize interruptions to the shopping experience.

With simplified systems management and problem resolution, store employees will have more time to engage with shoppers. This will result in customers who will come to enjoy a high quality experience — no matter which store they stop in.

What steps do you take to keep your store associates in front of customers?

John Atchley
National Account Executive, Retail Solutions
Emerson Climate Technologies

To read all posts in our series on convenience store challenges, click on the links below:

  1. Building Customer Trust One Experience at a Time
  2. Three Ways to Demonstrate Quality in a Pervasive Convenience Environment
  3. Replicating a Great Customer Experience in Every Store
  4. Three Ways to Provide a Consistent Shopping Experience Across All Stores
  5. Keeping Employees in Front of Your Customers
  6. Two Ways to Follow Best Practices with Limited Store Staff
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