The retail industry is absolutely enormous; in the United States alone, there are 3.8 million retail establishments, supporting 42 million jobs and $2.6 trillion in total GDP impact. In fact, retail employs more Americans than any other industry. Operating a successful retail business in such an expansive and competitive industry requires excellent organization and management with the help of intuitive technology.
For retail business owners, the effective maintenance and management of their facilities is critical for success. When customers visit the store, they expect a clean, well-maintained facility with a cohesive brand experience across multiple locations. As a retail facilities manager, this is easier said than done.
A technology platform that can help manage maintenance across multiple facilities, like service automation, helps facilities managers get their work done as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.
In this post, we will look at the major four ways that service automation technology can support retail facilities management:
1. Better Visibility Into Spend & Reporting Insights
Service automation technology can give retail facilities managers insight into impactful, visual-based analytics capable of historical, current, and predictive views of business operations. Easy access to meaningful insights is especially helpful for retail companies that have multiple locations, as reports can present information from all facilities in a single dashboard.
Retail facilities managers can use reporting insights to get a clear picture of their service spend across all trades, categories, locations, and contractors. Then, retail FMs are able to easily answer questions and make effective, data-backed decisions aimed at reducing FM spend.
For example, a service automation platform could analyze a retail location’s spend over the last six months and notice that a large amount of money is being delegated to HVAC maintenance, with minimal results. The service automation platform could then provide these insights to the retail FM, who can now go about employing a more cost-effective solution. In fact, one global retailer used this feature of service automation and found a 30% reduction in facilities spend.
2. Ensure Compliance
Ensuring that contractors are compliant is a major way to mitigate operational risk, as compliant contractors are up-to-date on their certifications. Service automation provides tools that retail facilities managers can use to help them manage contractor compliance.
With service automation, retail FMs can view contractor profiles, download their W9 and sales tax reports, look at their rates, and see insurance information. Retail facilities managers can also view the compliance statuses of service providers and send notifications to those who are not marked as compliant. Having a quick, easy way to ensure contractor compliance saves time, which busy retail facilities managers are always short of.
3. Increase Operational Efficiency
Service automation streamlines processes, opening the door for time and cost savings in many ways. First and foremost, service automation takes tasks that once required daily attention, off of retail facilities managers’ plates. By automating routine tasks and creating more efficient workflows, facilities managers can focus on those tasks that truly need attention, directly impacting the operational effectiveness of the team.
4. Brand Preservation
Retail relies heavily on brand uptime; brand appearance and experience are extremely important to retail customers. The state of retail facilities has an enormous impact on branding, helping to shape how consumers view brands and directly affecting their shopping experience. Therefore, it is essential that retail FMs have all the tools necessary to help them keep retail facilities in optimal condition.
By standardizing and automating work order procedures and providing planned maintenance scheduling features, service automation helps facilities managers ensure that retail spaces are in the best shape. In these ways, service automation supports customer experiences, creating loyal customers and strengthening brands.
Service automation is able to support retail facilities managers by increasing productivity and reducing spend, but perhaps the most important benefit of this technology is its ability to improve the customer experience. When customers have good experiences in retail locations, they are more likely to return, to support the brand online, and to share their experience with their network.