Before I became involved in the software and Internet industry I was active in retail. As VP of sales I was directly managing many different teams and was the main liaison between the stores and the various departments at headquarters. In this role I would have lots of quick one-on-one conversations and formal meetings. Combining the all relevant issues and making sure that all tasks (both mine and from others) were actually completed, was always a challenge.
This article is not meant to explain MeetingKing in detail, but rather the benefits of MeetingKing in a retail operation. Please visit the Explore MeetingKing pages for an explanation on the basic functionality of MeetingKing.
For this example let’s assume the following: I am VP of sales, I manage 10 stores and the company head quarters has an HR department, marketing department and a purchasing department.
During a typical work week I visit a few of my stores. In preparation of my meetings with the store managers, I send them an agenda. The agenda could look like this:
- HR issues:
- new assistant manager
- sales training
- Father’s day campaign
- Inventory management
The store manager receives an email from MeetingKing with the agenda in PDF format attached to it and a link to access the meeting area. Most likely the store manager has some other topics that he or she wants to bring up and by accessing the meeting area in MeetingKing he can simply add these items.
I can also include any documents, reports and other supporting material for the meeting right in the agenda. It is also possible to assign tasks before the meeting and provide feedback on topics. This is obviously a huge improvement over sending emails back and forth, which often results in an unclear final agenda and lost information in the inbox.
During the actual meeting, either in person or on the phone, the agenda serves as the basis for our notes. I do not have to create a new word document or get my note pad out; I can take notes, write down decisions and assign tasks very fast – in one application. At the end of the meeting the minutes, including a separate task summary, are ready with one click. Here is a sample of automatically generated meeting minutes.
In addition to just making notes and managing tasks you also create a powerful search-able archive, that may help with future conversations. Much more powerful than the current “Black Hole” called the server or inbox.
The tasks that I created can be assigned to someone outside the meeting, even outside our company, and that person will receive an email with the task. He or she can only see the task and provide updates and if requested attach a file or document with the reply. The store manager and I can always find this information easily in MeetingKing.
Back in the office
I added tags to the meeting, and in this case the individual topics. This will help me in my meetings with the various department managers at head quarters. I gave the meeting the tags “Sales” and “Store#x” and at the topic level I indicated if it was “HR”, “Marketing” or “Purchasing”
The next Monday I am back at headquarters and have my weekly meetings with the various departments. During my meeting with the marketing manager I can simply filter for all marketing related action items and I can provide feedback right then and there. These marketing tasks can be created in store 10 or in any of the other stores, but they are all marketing.
Any new topics, decisions or tasks created in my meeting with the HR manager I can tag with the store number, so in my next meeting with the store manager I can bring those up.
The integrated approach to documenting and managing tasks with cross references is huge time saver. In addition to saving time, you will also be much more in control and feel confident that things will get done.
Give MeetingKing a try and see how it can improve your efficiency and effectiveness. MeetingKing is still in beta and we would appreciate your feedback to make it the most practical tool possible. Thank you for your interest.