Retail Task Management: What's the best way to manage tasks across your stores?

August 2, 2018

As they grow, every retail brand eventually reaches that stage where they need to address the way in which they manage store operations.

Where it was once possible to assign tasks and manage store communications through email and spreadsheets, there’s a tipping point where this approach is no longer effective.

In fact, there’s a point where it can actually be damaging to team productivity, store execution, and brand compliance.

Retail is complex

It’s not only the sheer number of stores, and store associates that adds complications, it’s also the complexity of the store hierarchy itself.

Multiple regions, store types, and area management, through to franchise partners helping your international expansion. Sending tasks out by email just won’t cut it if you want to achieve consistent retail execution.

Unfortunately, nor will most generic task management solutions, which are designed for flat team structures, and not your complex retail strategy.

In fact, we’re often called in to help retail brands who’ve tried (and failed) to use a more generic solution (or who’ve just tried to hang on to email for far too long!)

In almost every instance, we hear the same set of requirements, so check to see if your preferred task management software can do the following:

1. Hierarchical tasks

In many situations, head office wants to issue a task down to a group of stores. However, between the head office team and the store, sit the District Managers.

These District Managers often need the ability to intercept and customize the task, perhaps adding additional context that’s relevant to their region, before they assign down to their store managers.

2. Store grouping

Not only are some tasks geographically focused, for example – all East Coast stores, but the variety of store types and formats demands that head office teams need the flexibility to build highly customized store groupings. For example, stores over a certain size, or only those with other physical characteristics.

3. Evidence-based

Retail is a highly visual industry, with many tasks involving visual merchandising, display or promotional activity. At the same time, retail brands want to ensure that their brand is being treated correctly.

That’s why, for head office teams it’s vital that they can view store execution and compliance with the brand guidelines. This means mandating photographic evidence from task assignees before a task is signed-off as completed.  

4. Streamlined workflow

Unless you’ve worked in the retail sector, you have little appreciation of just what a pressured environment it can be. Store managers must learn to become true multi-taskers; managing and motivating their teams, assisting on the shop floor, and keeping track of key back-office tasks.

With so many duties to perform, it’s important that any new piece of technology has a clear and easy-to-use user interface, and doesn’t add to their workload. Too often we see task management systems deployed in retail environments that make life easier for the head office team, but much worse for the store managers and store associates!

In almost every case, the initiative is eventually abandoned due to a lack of user adoption.

Concrete Tasks is built for today’s complex retail environments.

Whether you’re managing a new promotion across your stores, ensuring compliance with a new pricing update, or simply alerting staff to new HR directives, you need a retail task management solution that simplifies how you manage and track tasks.

Concrete Tasks overcomes the challenge of trying to coordinate activity, share content, and track tasks through email, or generic task management solutions. With Concrete Tasks, everyone knows what needs to be done, and by when; so you get real-time store execution, and can deliver a consistent customer experience.

Using hierarchical task assignment, it’s easy to create tasks, define categories, and send to selected stores or groups. That’s why our customers regularly benefit from a +95% task completion rate across their stores.To see how Concrete Tasks could deliver greater efficiency into your store operations, book a demo with one of our experts below.

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