August 8, 2017
Operators often ask if C-Store Analytics can really make any difference. They ask if knowledge drives c-store sales. Assuming that solving problems can positively improve sales and profits, the question can be refined as follows:
How Does Knowledge Impact Decisions?
Surprisingly, the answer seems to vary widely. Talking to different operators yields lots of answers. The difference tells a story. For example, the answer depends on how analysis is used. In addition, results vary with quality of the results. C-store performance technology includes analytics and AI (artificial intelligence). The right tools when used by experienced managers makes a difference.
So another way to think about the sales-and-profit value of information is to look at specific C-Store operations or results. When deciding how to spend time managing stores, what information is required to make decisions? If there is information that is necessary or helpful, then how much effort is required to access it. Further, does the manner in which it is collected, made available, shared and presented impact the whether the information is fully utilized? If the decision and actions are not guided by the correct information what is the impact? Of course, knowledge drives c-store sales. Consider if the following daily performance information would impact what action to take or whether a problem exists:
Improve C-Store Sales
- Progress towards employee bonuses
- Client rating of store cleanliness
- Completion of shift duties at every store
- Projected monthly sales compared to your goal
- Summary of possible shrink activity on a daily alert
- Identification of new staff training needs
- Action plans with verification based on site audits
- A list of store inspections that are due
- Open work items for store repairs
- Stores with urgent maintenance (e.g. coolers, pumps)
- Data needed to collect full vendor rebates with scan data
- Sales trends that are improving or declining significantly
- Daily score of store performance by day and month
- Documentation of staff training for age-based sales compliance
Know How – Timeliness, Delivery & Context
Of course anyone can get this information if they have enough time and patience.
Several things impact the value of the information:
- What is the read time?
- How long does it take to read it?
- Can everyone understand it quickly?
- Does it show meaningful comparisons (same day, same month year over year)?
- Are exceptions highlighted?
- How well does it summarize detailed data?
- Will it show work responsibility?
Many decisions are made every day. Not making a decision is a decision. If you do not know about a problem and no action is taken there is some chance that it may continue forward. Likewise, spending time searching for a problem may interfere with other work. Knowing the severity and impact of problems helps to prioritize work.
Information is a service. The service quality varies. Good information services are timely, contextual, organized and succinct. Such information pinpoints actions that are needed. Such insights allow problems to be fixed faster. Faster resolution means improved results.
Learn How Awareness Drives C-Store Sales
- Why make knowledge-based decisions?
- What is the value of knowledge in terms of new sales?
- How does missing stuff impact decisions
- Which actions drive c-store results?