If you were to be asked to judge a picture when someone was standing in front of it at the time, you would probably say you could not make the call until you see the entire picture. If given the option of a tricycle or a unicycle, most would opt for the stability of the three wheels. The same should be true when you are judging C-Store Performance.
It is common to measure revenue and let that information alone make the call on performance. Success is rarely attributed to one thing in life. There are other areas to be monitored that will provide long term performance gain. If you have been measuring by sales goals alone, hopefully, this will make you ask the question, “What defines a store as a good performer, if not revenue?” or even “What other areas should I be looking for performance results”
Wikipedia states that there are 4 parts to having a balanced scored Reference:
2. Customer Perception
3. Internal Business Processes
4. Learning and Growth
To see a holistic view of the company, these components must be included in the scorecard to monitor the critical parts of the business. Of course, having the management and process to use the scorecard is essential for success, but Robert S Kaplan and David P. Norton argue that a balanced scorecard provides better guidance for long term success in their article written in the Harvard Business Review. To apply this theory you only need goals and metrics. When looking at a balanced view of metrics, one will have a much better chance of seeing the cause and effects of areas that may be lacking. To apply this theory to a C-Store, here are a few examples of what could be measured:
Financial goals can include sales growth, sales totals, or sales comparisons to similar times throughout the year.
Components of Customer Perception to monitor might include customer satisfaction, cleanliness, friendliness, convenience and likeliness to return.
Internal Business Processes
Internal business process can be measured by how effective they are or how well are processes being followed.
Learning and Growth
Learning and growth can be measured by knowing you are offering new products or services, your awareness of new technologies in the C-Store Industry. It could be a measurement of how much of the measurement process is being shared with staff so they understand the day to day requirements of them. It might even measure the execution of safety or other required training in the industry. It comes down to what is being done to grow the business, the staff, and ones self for that matter.
When broken down Kaplan’s and Norton’s theory is a simple one. It applies common sense to Business Analytics. It is so much easier to establish and judge the big picture of how things are going when you are looking at all of the picture.