FD Buyer: Making In-Store Execution Happen
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion
is a summary of a current article from Frozen & Dairy Buyer magazine.
and timely communication between headquarters and the stores is essential to
improving in-store execution, according to Dan Raftery, president of Raftery
"That doesn’t happen by accident — you have to actively manage
the flow of instructions out to the stores," said Mr. Raftery in an interview
with FD Buyer. "That can be done manually or through an automated
gatekeeper system like RedPrairie’s. Without a gatekeeper, multiple messages
on the same subject go to stores, and you’ve got chaos. It’s a
huge problem for store personnel when they are bombarded with messages from
many different sources, some of them conflicting."
Mr. Raftery, who served
as a manager at Lucky Stores early in his career, advises headquarters to send
communication to stores as close as possible to the time that the action needs
to be done. Also, parse communications out over the course of a week, rather
than all on one day.
"The store has to know what action needs to be done and when," underscored
Mr. Raftery. "For example, if the ad runs on Wednesday, the display needs
to be up by 8 o’clock that morning. For new item cut-ins, the store needs
to know when the coupon drops, so that the item is on the shelf by then."
messages not only drive confusion but desensitize people to what’s
"People in stores do what they need to do, when they need to do it," said
Mr. Raftery. "Everything else is put on hold. Headquarters should communicate
with that same rationale. Don’t send a message with two weeks’ notice,
then one week’s notice, and then a day’s notice. If you are doing
that, stop it now."
When there is a major category reset, a team should
be set up to reset as many stores as possible.
"Focus on lower volume stores, because they are harder to reset," said
Mr. Raftery. "Inventory moves slower, so there’s more on the shelf
to deal with. Plus, these stores have less available labor. Finally, most folks
do this anyway, but do let your vendors know about your reset schedules for
categories, so they present their new items in time to be considered, rather
than having to wait for another cycle. Don’t send out five or six planogram
modifications between cycles. Schedule your work and work your schedule."
Discussion Questions: What’s the best way to improve communications between
headquarters and stores to drive in-store execution? What do you think of
the tips offered in the article? Are there any you would add?