If you were to pick up any industry trade journal without finding something relative to the importance Business Intelligence, it would be surprising. It has become quite the buzz word. There is a sound reason for that. By monitoring, measuring and communicating performance results any company can manager better. The analysis these tools provide allows managers to know what problems are to be solved, where they reside in the organization and can track the remedies for improvements more quickly. This solution marries well to the culture of a C-Store Operation for it has lot of daily problems to be resolved and things happen fast. So, fast there is not time to analyze traditional reporting. Keeping ahead in this industry means tackling problems as they occur and taking measures to prevent them which is the core value of using Business Intelligence.
C-STORES ARE NOT AFRAID TO SHARE INFORMATION
According to many IT executives one of the biggest hurdles in being able to use BI for business improvement is cultural resistance. There is a resistance to communicating revenue information to their teams for fear of pricing and revenue being readily available to competitors when their staff talks with colleagues in other companies. They believe that the more a secret is shared, the more likely it won’t remain a secret. The good news for C-Store operators is that they have a history of extensive utilization of data. They are one of the few businesses that have to publish their price. Their competitors can walk in and readily see their inside sales pricing. As with any retail organization, their sales and transactions are their measurements.
MONITORING STAFF PERFORMANCE IS MORE NECESSARY
The retail industry prefers to hire people for their stores as part time to save on HR Expense, which means they may not get as many career-minded individuals. Keying errors, forgetting tasks and even theft can be very common. There is a lot of monitoring and double-checking that has to be done in order to make sure their stores are running efficiently.
THERE IS NO WIGGLE ROOM FOR PURCHASING MISTAKES
C-Store Operators also suffer buying decisions based on a penny of cost that can have a huge impact on their revenue. Knowing exactly what has sold, where and how many is necessary for these decisions helps them to ensure a much better investment. Having the information readily available when preparing for a meeting with their vendor helps them in their negotiations.
IT IS USUALLY LESS COSTLY TO IMPLEMENT BI THAN OTHER TYPES OF COMPANIES
C-Stores also have the advantage over most companies where only one or two systems contain the information that they need. BI implementation is much easier and often less costly to implement than in other companies who have multiple systems to use in order to run their business. It may take a day or even days for Back Office systems to post all data so their reporting may or may not be accurate on any given day. A good BI will work around that issue making sure the data you are looking at is conclusive information.
A C-Store Operation would be hard pressed to find a reason not to use Business Intelligence. By having pre-programmed and more in-depth analysis available to them they can manage better, invest better and make strategic decisions based on facts, all of which can be done more quickly and probably more accuracy. This is a culture that is ready to share and use data to make things better.