5 Things that slip through the cracks in a C-Store that Quik Data Scorecards catch.

There are a lot of details to take care of in a C-Store.  It is easy to let small details slip through the cracks.  Here are 5 that companies are catching by using the Quik Data Scorecard

1) Tank Meters are not calibrated correctly

Tank meters are prone to a lot of action and hardware with action can easily lose its calibration.  Scorecards will relay what the meters are reading which will immediately flag any that are out of calibration.  Though this is a normal check in most companies, it is often overlooked.  If that goes on too long, you can easily find yourself with an outage you weren’t aware was coming.

2) No change policies are not being followed

We have all been there. Someone asks for help and you know you are in the position to help them, so you do. This can quite often be the case when No Change policies are in place. Rather then force themselves into a debate about store policy, they just provide the change to make the customer happy. However, you have good reasons for having it as a policy. You need to make sure each drawer is capably of providing proper change throughout the day.  By keeping track of “No Sale” transactions, you can immediately be flagged when your cashiers are giving change.

3)  Where your Marketing programs are working and not working

By tracking customer counts you can determine if your Marketing efforts are having impact. Any Customer Count report will give you this. But if you can parallel your perspective of where they are working and not working by paralleling your study to customer count and sales, it may help you streamline your marketing activity better. As a simple example, if mailers were sent providing incentives to buy beer, and they are only working in 50% of your stores, then your next mailing campaign expense could decrease by 50% the next time you run this type of campaign. Scorecards provide a simple way of looking at both statistics so you can look at campaign performance on a daily basis, while the campaign is running.

4)  What your Store Mangers need to focus on today

The scorecard provides a list of alerts telling Store Managers what they need to focus on each day in order to pull their grade up. What may be on that list on the 25th of the month may be completely different than what was on the list on the 4th of the month. With the many things that can impact performance in a C-Store Company, it is very important to keep up. If waiting on weekly reports or time for the Supervisor to run analysis the Store Manager will lose momentum and be likely to fail in reaching their monthly goals. The list can get too large, too quickly. Scorecards approaches issues with the “one bite at a time” philosophy. Dealing with issues on a daily basis can prevent larger problem situations and keep them on track towards their goals.  When doing so, today’s list may be completely different then yesterday’s list.

5) Are your employees stealing from you?

One of the hardest things to discover before it is too late, is whether your employees are refunding imaginary sales or  stealing money from the drawer.  It is very plausible that someone mishandled change in a transaction, or if customers actually did return merchandise.  Unfortunately, that is not always the case when these transactions pop up repeately.  By keeping a constant check on Over/Short and Refund transactions, you can see the patterns as this fraudulent activity begins.  When knowing this is being monitored, it is also likely that the activity by your employees will stop.

The day to day activity in a C-Store is busy and fast paced.  It is difficult to monitor everything that happens.  Quik Data goes behind the scenes and monitors the many things that make or cost you money so that when things go awry in these areas you are made aware of it.  There are probably many more things Scorecards will tell you that you didn’t know as well.  The important thing is that viewing all of them in a single report or page makes keeping on top of the money makers or breakers simple and do-able.

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2 Key Competitive Advantages of Owning a Small C-Store Company

If you were to ask someone on the street “What would your rather own, a small company or a big company?”, the typical answer would probably be “A big company”.   Smaller  companies have a lot of advantages that are often overlooked. Besides being easier to run, they can be more innovative, and can respond to market demands more quickly.

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While reading an article posted on Legal Zoom called “4 Critical Differences Between Large Companies and Small Ones” they talk about the differences in employee types between the two environments. It was disclosed that smaller companies have a more diverse personality types among their staff, where larger companies tend to sift through all of the variety and keep people who are perfectly content to follow procedures and conform to their guidelines. Because of this, the larger companies are most likely losing feedback from those that interact directly with their market every day. Small company owners have the luxury of employing people who do not mind providing market feedback and can be sure they are investing in the right innovations and doing the right things.

Change to meet demand is not like moving mountains as it is in a larger company. It can be as simple as a Store Manager bringing an idea to an owner who decides the suggestion makes sense, where the budget is simply adjusted to accommodate it.

Small stores also have the ability to try different and offbeat things that larger companies would hesitate to do because of the complexity in doing something outside of the norm in so many stores.  Large companies would have a lot more investment and coordination effort involved, where the payoff may just may not be there for them.

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Small store owners have  more flexibility in conforming to market demands.  It is easier to define their market than a larger company with stores in multiple markets, or even multiple states.  They know what their customers like and don’t like, because with proper tools patterns of purchase are easier to read.

They are able to provide that personalized, one on one service that larger companies tend to lose. An owner may even know several of their customer’s names.  They are able to do business the way people want to do business.

In smaller companies, customers don’t mind making suggestions for improvement  because they know there are not organizational tiers for the suggestion to pass through for approval.   In larger chains that information is often kept in pocket. The general feeling is, “Why bother?”.

It is very hard to compete with innovation and market responsiveness.  These are two key weapons small companies have to combat the larger companies. These two areas are a larger company’s weakest links.

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