Why One Version of the Truth Is Vital to a Retailer’s Success

Why One Version of the Truth Is Vital to a Retailer’s Success

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When walking into a Walmart, customers know exactly what to expect, as the brand provides a consistent experience from merchandise to employee interactions, no matter the location. With over 10,500 stores, Walmart employs 2.1 million associates. From a managerial standpoint, that number can seem daunting. Providing a consistent experience across all store locations can be a challenge, but one factor is key to success: unified messaging or one version of the truth.

From big-box retailers to smaller regional brands, consistent communications, and task execution across multiple locations are essential to improving the customer and employee experience. However, when establishing communication and task management processes, retailers must ensure one version of the truth is in place. When retailers have unified messaging across all channels and all employees, they can easily deliver on brand promises and retain employees.

Arm managers with real-time, accurate information

For a district or store manager to do their job effectively, visibility is a must. With streamlined retail workflows, managers can communicate updates in real-time with their staff and have eyes and ears on all stores and associates. By being able to oversee multiple locations, district managers can boost accountability and productivity.

As well, when messaging is unified across stores, managers know that all information they receive is accurate and all store locations are following the same procedures. For example, a manager can ensure the prepared foods department is adequately following guidelines for handling raw foods, with regular temperature checks that are documented in one place. Optimizing task management and communication like the above example, allows managers to supervise associates more efficiently and effectively, ensuring consistent store operations.

Establish consistency across stores

Retailers use a multitude of documents daily, from merchandising information and SOPs to company policies. For retailers with thousands of associates, one document with misinformation can create major impacts. By ensuring employees can easily reference the correct documents in one place, retailers can maintain brand standards across locations.

Creating one version of the truth also streamlines and verifies onboarding and training processes, ensuring all training documents follow the same guidelines and each new employee is onboarded properly. Unified messaging allows retailers to guarantee that new and existing associates have all the resources they need to fulfill brand promises and sufficiently execute their tasks, such as ensuring merchandise is re-stocked correctly on the shelves or ensuring an associate is always available at the customer service booth.

Increase transparency around management protocols

Retailers must prioritize centralizing communication channels to ensure store associates are on the same page as managers. For example, by optimizing retail communications, employees can easily access all needed information about opening and closing shift information.

Having full transparency about management protocols helps retailers attract and retain employees. When employees can easily access information like shift schedules and connect with managers if issues arise, retention improves, as retailers ensure employees are aligned with the company’s procedures and processes are clearly documented.

Deliver on brand promise and boost employee retention

When a brand can provide both customers and employees with a consistent experience, loyalty and retention increase, that’s why it’s critical for retailers to ensure messaging is unified, regardless of a number of locations and employees. Establishing one version of the truth allows retailers to improve the customer experience and ensures that managers and employees are equipped with everything they need to succeed and deliver on the brand promise.

Gary Stonell, SVP of Sales and Operations, Opterus