Retail store meetings and managing a retail business

If you manage a retail business, you probably have a lot of meetings. If you want to reduce your time spent (or wasted) in meetings and want to dramatically improve the results, read on.

Challenges in managing a retail operation

shopping mallBefore I started MeetingKing I was VP of sales operations of a large retail chain in The Netherlands. I basically spent my entire day in meetings (and in the car). While visiting stores, I had meetings with store managers and meetings with store teams. In the main office we had our weekly executive meeting and I had one-on-one meetings with the VP of HR, the VP of procurement, the VP of real estate, etc. Outside our own organization we had meetings with suppliers, landlords, advertising agency etc.

There are great tools for detailed sales and traffic analyses, but nothing practical to actually manage the business. Trying to keep track of everything that was discussed and all the tasks that we agreed on, was a challenge to say the least. People who run a retail operation are “People”-people and not desk folk. You might scribble things down, in a notebook or in Evernote, but there is no efficient way to track if tasks get done and to find what was discussed in past meetings.

MeetingKing was designed with this in mind and helps you to dramatically improve your task completion rate and reduce the time spend in meetings.

 

How MeetingKing helps to improve your retail store meetings and manage your tasks

The strength of MeetingKing is the ability to make notes and assign tasks in one document and later filter out the tasks by discipline.

If you make notes in Evernote or Google docs you are basically creating “dead” information, in MeetingKing all the information is “actionable” information. If you use a regular task management tool, tasks are listed “in a vacuum” and it is difficult to find the context. In addition tasks are usually grouped in one project or folder, or it is a lot of work to tag tasks individually. As a results many tasks fall through the cracks.

MeetingKing makes it very easy to categorize your tasks and users see their task completion rates improve by 40% to 50%.

MeetingKing’s integrated task tracking increased our task completion rate by at least 40%

— Oliver O., London UK

 

Example

Lets make it a bit less abstract. John is district manager of “Bells & Phones”, a chain of cell phone stores, and he oversees 15 stores in New England.

During a typical work week he visits a 8 of his stores. In preparation of his meetings with the store managers, he sends them an agenda. Setting and emailing the agenda in MeetingKing is a breeze, you can use templates and, most importantly, tasks from previous meetings are automatically added to the new agenda. This way nothing will fall through the cracks. More information on creating an agenda.

sample agenda retail store meetingBecause there is an agenda the meeting is much more focussed and because previously agreed upon tasks are automatically added to the agenda it is easy to discuss progress, or….. the lack there of. Nobody can hide from his or her responsibility anymore, all tasks are right there.

During the conversation John just writes down keypoints, important decisions and assign tasks. This way he creates a record of the conversation and populates the MeetingKing task list. The powerful filter and search functionality make it very easy to find anything you discussed in the past. No need to write long reports in Word or Evernote and a lot more powerful than saving information in “some” folder on the network or in dropbox.

After the conversation John can email a summary of the discussion and the task list with a simple click. The system also emails any tasks that were assigned during the meeting directly to the task owner (can be anyone).

Instead of having just superficial get-togethers, John and his managers are now structurally working step-by-step on improving the performance of each store. In some stores the issues might be HR related and in other stores it maybe local marketing activities, with MeetingKing it is easy to manage it all.

Once back in the main office (or in his home using a virtual meeting), John meets with the VP of marketing and with a few clicks he can simply filter out any information related to marketing. It can be from store 12 or store 54, if it is marketing he can see it. Obviously he can also zoom in on all marketing activities for one particular store. Next in his meeting with the VP of HR, he filters out all tasks for the HR department.

Task status and comments are updated on all locations, so John’s store managers can also keep track off any pending issues.

If you run a retail operation, MeetingKing is the invisible assistant that helps you make your visits more productive, more focused and make sure that things get done.