If you were to hand one of your Store Managers your P&L Statement, they may be able to tell you if it is a good or bad. For example, if beer sales are down in their store on the P&L, their answer may be, “I need to sell more beer next month.” To ask them what they can do to make its components improve they might suggest changes to storefront signs, moving merchandise, or suggestions made at the register pointing out specials, etc. In fact, next month’s sales may improve.
However, this approach to P&L Management offers a discussion of whether improving next month is too late if there is way to improve it this month. You look at the P&L to determine your profits, cash flow, determine weak areas. highlight strengths, and view how your C-Store business is doing overall. You do this on a monthly basis. You then try to capitalize on your strengths, look to improve your weaknesses and make strategic plans to make these things happen. However, at the end of the day, it is the day to day activity that your stores execute that determine what is will be on that end of month statement. If they can get P&L type data sent to them on a daily basis, then they have time to ensure a better P&L Statement for you at the end of the month. They can take the steps needed to improve in areas where they are falling behind as the decline starts and turn things around. Letting them know at the end of the month is costing you money because you will have a lag time for those improvements.
There are three ways to improve your P&L without ever having to train your staff on P&L analysis and Business Intelligence:
- By sending them daily notifications of areas that seem to be performing under where they should be for that day, alerts them to the problems in their store and what they need to focus on to improve. Instead of waiting weeks for improvement, you begin to see things improve on a daily basis. Awareness of a problem is the first step of its solution.
- Put things in place that engage your Store Managers and their Supervisors in dialogue involving two way feedback. There may be reasons for performance loss or perhaps they need more instruction and guidance. Whatever you implement, make sure it is a process of taking action to correct the problem as soon as it is found.
- Compare performance before action was taken and after to see if steps taken to improve are working so you can change the course of action if they are not. It may sometimes take many different attempts to resolve it.
C-Stores have many facets of their business. They are no longer just fuel and grocery anymore. There is a lot more to monitor and track to ensure a store’s success in reaching its goals. By automating awareness of P&L performance at each store on a daily basis you have a much better chance of improving the company P&L at the end of each month.