February 16, 2016
The six benefits of removing c-store performance unknowns make a difference to your results. A c-store manager knows all to well the concern for a potential result or consequence of the unknown. They make decisions daily and often without having all of the information they need. Missing, incomplete or incorrect information creates confusion. For example, not knowing if the reports are accurate, what revenue to expect or what they might be missing.
These unknowns about how to manage results creates uncertainty. Making decisions with a clear picture can make things worse. It can create too much inventory, too many labor hours, missed theft or just bad service. It is expensive and makes things harder. So, how does one eliminate these concerns. Everyone wants to make decisions and set strategy with confidence.
THE ANSWERS ARE IN THE DATA
The answers to these quandaries can be found in their data. Their data is the best tool they have to eliminating what is not known and if they use it to analyze performance metrics, they should sleep tight each night. Though analysis time is involved with vast amounts of data, nothing can keep Managers in the know in a C-Store better. Accounting and Marketing departments do this daily as part of their jobs. For the Operations department however, it is an extra and cumbersome task and too time consuming for them to be able to take advantage of it. There is too much data and too many variable impacts of performance involved in their analysis.
The irony is that the operations department is the best place to go to increase a c-store’s bottom line. If they can improve their performance, increased revenue and overall success will come easy because it is typically the Operations staff that is the core driver of the bottom line metrics.
Larger companies customize their back office systems to automate this analysis or even hire analysts to do this work for them but the majority of the store owners do not have this luxury.
SIX BENEFITS OF USING YOUR DATA DAILY
So, how can an incredibly busy manager or owner use their data? Most managers know how to use the data they have. The problem is not understanding what to do. One big issue is the time needed to gather, sort and analyze it. They see what analysis can be done with their standard reports, but just do not have the time to do so. A suggestion is to take the proverbial one bite at a time. By breaking down the analysis to only the true metrics and concerns of that operations team and then segregating overall performance by location, they will be able to
- Determine where performance loss or success is quickly
- Know who is responsible for each result
- Know what the actual metrics are for things like revenue or gallons sold at these locations
- See when were these metrics are/were being achieved
- Take smaller steps to better understand why they are at those levels
- Have a better capability to predict more accurately
Of course being able to roll the data up to overall company performance is key for normal concerns. Finding the hidden problems is often harder without the right detail. Of course, too much detail and it is impossible to find much of anything. The right data shows trends. Knowing current sales well provides way to impact future revenue. As an example, it may be time to spend money on promotions, labor hours or new products. Seasonal adjustments can be made better with historical data. Clear information removes the unknown. Data analytics for c-stores removes performance unknowns.