To improve your business, analyze your top performing locations

There is a trend in business that focuses improvement efforts on the low and poor-performing locations. While there is some validity in this, especially where obvious operational problems can be easily corrected, I believe there is more value in studying what your best locations do well, and then applying what is learned there to other locations.

I call this reinforcing success.

If you break down the processes that your successful locations use, you will find steps that can be applied to other locations, often with very little expense and only minimal training.

As an example, I managed a category where an outside firm was responsible for managing the inventory and display of product. This company did an outstanding job maintaining the displays once a week. But what I found was that in the top-performing locations the staff at the store did not wait for the reps from this company to service the displays. They took this on themselves and made sure that they displays were always full and clean. The result was a significant increase in sales. The store had a stake in the success of the program, and it showed.

While it may not be profitable – or possible – to expand this practice to all the other locations, it would make sense to find ways to increase the store’s stake in this program’s success.

In my opinion this is a far better approach than setting up programs that penalize stores for poor performance.


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