CPGmatters: Has In-Store Implementation Reached Its Moment of Truth?
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from the monthly e-zine, CPGmatters.
With a mandate of finding ways to run stores more efficiently, the In-Store Implementation (ISI) Network hosted "Sense & Perform," a pre-conference workshop at the LEAD Marketing Conference. Many in the audience agreed: the next wave of innovation must be focused on finding ways to drive greater performance within existing stores.
Much of the ISI workshop program was focused on identifying and sharing practices and tools that are available to make a difference in in-store implementation.
In a presentation focused on sustainable compliance techniques, Greg Gates, VP, image merchandising solutions at Gladson, related case study examples applying tools for maintaining planogram integrity. "It’s important to execute planogram sets accurately and quickly at the store level and maintain planogram compliance for the life of the set," said Mr. Gates.
He reviewed how sustainable compliance and higher profits can be achieved through attention to three core elements: accurate product data, efficient planogram creation, and better shelf execution and maintenance tools.
Joe Nassour, CEO of RetailTactics, a founding supporter of ISI Network, presented a research proposal aimed at developing an action and communications tool for store managers that would automate best practices and reduce daily decision stress.
"Failure to properly communicate category objectives is cited as the number one barrier to implementation," he said. "The core challenge for store managers is how to handle too many tasks from too many sources."
Mr. Nassour noted that, "even an average store manager at an average supermarket chain is running a $26M company." With 100 or more employees to manage and hundreds of priorities to juggle, he added, "Store managers need to be coached on how to be better coaches."
In the ensuing discussion, audience member James Hare, regional manager for food marketer Mariani Premium, suggested, "For store managers to be most effective, don’t hold their reins too close. Empower them."
The workshop concluded with a roundtable discussion that featured ISI Network blue-ribbon advisors, Christopher Hoyt, president of Hoyt & Co., Dick Blatt, president of Planar World Consulting LLC, and former CEO of POPAI, and Win Weber.
"The structure of the store is decades outdated," argued Mr. Weber, who identified two key organizational changes he believes would enable a culture of greater implementation performance: "Number one, put a manager of merchandising into the store itself. Number two, put a senior executive of execution at retail headquarters."
Discussion Questions: Is the key to improving in-store execution empowering store managers? How may the organizational structures of retailers have to be realigned to better drive in-store compliance and performance?