I recently set both personal and company goals for 2018 and I’m determined to hit every one of them.  I was very much inspired by watching the OKR video from Google (Warning: its 1h 29m long with the last 20 being QA), if 1 hour is too much of a commitment here is another rather extensive resource from re:Work that speaks to OKR (Objective and Key Results – Goals) setting and grading.  My goal for this blog is to share insights from grocery store owners, friends and industry experts with retailers who are looking to improve in 2018. I’ll take a similar approach to OKR’s in this blog where I will list a relevant grocery centric goal and then several results that will measure the success of executing on that goal.

Here is a list of 4 Objectives and their respective key results:  

 

I. Implement a department management strategy

  1. Create a recurring calendar reminder to evaluate a single department every 3 months.  Given that the store has 6 departments (Grocery, Produce, Beverages, Hot Food, Dairy, Misc) find time on your calendar and stick to it.
  2. Assign an assistant manager to every department, a responsible employee is fine if you do not have assistant managers. That employee will be in charge of managing the merchandising, monitoring sales, and bringing actionable insights to the manager or owner on a bi-weekly basis. 
  3. Update the cost information for the top-selling 20 products from each category –  It is important to update cost for every product but if you cannot do that at least do it for the top 20 from each department. The goal of this exercise is to ensure that you do not have any gaping holes in your pricing structure.
  4. Charge the person or persons in charge of ordering to always have the top 20 in stock – Make this a metric that you grade against. One idea to help with this is to mark each label with an I, II, or III which indicate the top 10 movers, top 11- 20 mover and top 21- 30 movers in a given category. 

produce department

II. Make top selling products more profitable

  1. Run a pricing experiment – Evaluate the margin of the top movers from every department. Move the price of the product up 2-5% for 2 weeks. Compare sales for that product for the last 2 weeks. Did your sales go down or up? Do what you will with the data. *Note: The goal is not to gouge your customers but to find the best price for the top selling products.
  2. Mix up merchandise strategically (top sellers with best margin products) – Bananas near the almond butter and visa versa. Can you combine a high mover with a high margin product and make a combined killing?
  3. Run a Mix and Match promotion – Mix and match promotions have been around for a long time and usually involve products that belong to the same brand. What about offering a mix and match discount that piggybacks off of the concept in step b.

 

III. Get a grasp on labor and how to reduce

  1. Evaluate busy times – Evaluate trends for when the store is busy and when the store is dead.  Schedule accordingly.
  2. Delegate Scheduling to Department Manager – Many times as an owner you bear the responsibility to schedule. Break scheduling into smaller chunks and grade employees against how effective and thoughtful their scheduling is. When I work is a pretty cool solution for scheduling and time tracking. 

 

IV. Leverage Cloud-based technologies

  1. Evaluate a cloud-based POS system – Technology is changing at a staggering pace and if you want to stay ahead of the times one of the most significant changes in recent years is the cloud. 
  2. Evaluate Artificial Intelligence Options – We are still in the early phase of AI especially when it comes to the retail space. From pricing to merchandising, startups are popping up left and right trying to leverage AI. Reveionics, CB4 Predictive analytics 
  3. Revisit eCommerce – It’s been a while and a lot of new entrants are in the market – mycloudgrocer, freshop to name a few. Are you missing a section of the market that could be captured by delivers, or click and collect?

Hopefully, you’ve received some help and plan to set some goals, hold yourself to them, and evaluate them against the key results listed. I’d love to hear what your goals are for 2018 shoot me an email at email hidden; JavaScript is required if you’d like to share – I love learning from retailers.

P.s. If you have any trouble implementing these at your stores don’t hesitate to reach out. I’d love to show you how to get the data you need to evaluate your store as described above.

 

Author: Luke Henry

Luke Henry is a Project Manager of Retail Next – a cloud-based POS solution for specialty grocers. He has over 10 years of experience in the grocery POS space and is committed to delivering solutions that enable independent grocers across the world to compete against the grocery conglomerates.