Work order management isn’t just a key approach and technology type for maintenance companies and workers. Truth be told, it’s highly important for retail stores and organizations as well, and having the right software streamlines operations minimizes mishaps, and enhances customer experiences across the board.
Today, let’s take a look at some of the challenges and benefits of managing work orders.
Understanding Work Order Management in Retail
In a nutshell, work order management is the art and science of tracking and organizing work orders received in a retail context. For instance, a retail manager may receive an order to restock items in a popular store location or shelving area. That work order is received, sent out to the appropriate person, tracked, fulfilled, and marked “complete” when done.
Retail businesses essentially use software to track and organize work orders of many different types. Through smart retail work order management, managers, supervisors, and business executives alike will have a better handle on how their retail operations proceed and better understand what things get done (and by whom).
Components of Effectively Managing Work Orders in Retail
That all said, effective staying on top of work orders is only possible with the right components. These key elements are:
- Inventory management, which involves tracking, reordering, and managing stock levels for key products
- Staffing management, which involves assigning tasks to specific workers and scheduling worker shifts
- Maintenance management, which involves managing in-store retail facilities and equipment
- Customer service management, which involves handling any customer special orders, as well as tracking and fulfilling/solving customer inquiries and complaints
In many cases, each of these elements is present in high-quality POS software and applications.
The Benefits of Effectively Tracking Work Orders
When you leverage retail work order software effectively and correctly, you’ll see several important benefits for your business ASAP. For example, you might see:
- Much more streamlined and smooth operations. Better efficiency means cost savings, faster order fulfillment, and an overall better business machine in more ways than one
- Higher customer satisfaction. This often translates to increased sales and a better brand reputation: always a good thing in any retail environment!
- Better inventory control, as well as reduced waste. This, in turn, can also translate to greater cost savings and fewer mishaps where you sell a product to a customer, but don’t have the product in the back
- Greater profitability. As touched on above, good work order management should increase your sales and revenue, meaning more opportunities for expansion and higher profits
Implementing Work Order Management in a Retail Store
Implementing a good system is easier said than done! To do this correctly, you should first identify your needs. Maybe your retail store is so small that you don’t need a work order system. But if it does, be sure to pick the right platform that has all the important tools.
Rain Retail is a great example. As a comprehensive POS, e-commerce website, and work order management platform, it enables you to simply fire inventory management and ordering processes, plus benefit from powerful data reporting tools.
Don’t forget, of course, that you’ll also need to train your team to use this new system! Set aside some time so your employees, particularly supply chain managers and supervisors, know what to expect out of the platform and how to use all of its widgets and features. That way, you can start benefiting from good work order practices right out of the gate.
Examples of Managing Work Orders in Action
There are several cases in which retail work order software can assist your business.
For example, if you have an inventory backlog, employing software and processes could:
- Help you avoid over-ordering certain inventory items
- Help your sales staff know which inventory items they have to sell
- Prevent customers from ordering items that are out of stock
- And much more
Similarly, customers may have questions or complaints about your retail organization. With the right software, you can:
- Answer customer questions quickly and capably
- Direct customers to the right sales staff or customer service representatives
- Track customer inquiries and tickets so no customer’s concern accidentally gets abandoned
These are just a few of the different ways in which managing work orders in retail can bolster and improve your business from start to finish.
Overcoming Common Challenges with Work Orders
Despite its benefits, work order management can bring additional complexity and challenges to your business. For example, different staff members and employees may miscommunicate regarding tickets or tasks, especially if they share department responsibilities.
Additionally, it can lead to scheduling conflicts or inventory discrepancies before everyone at your business starts to use the software properly. Overall, the best way to solve these issues is to focus on practicing the new work order management processes and software tools. Have each employee learn the ins and outs of the approach before they need to use those strategies “in the field.”
Future of Work Order Management in Retail
AI, machine learning, and other technological advancements will make work order management even more important and useful in a retail environment. For example, AI tools will be able to predict inventory orders and workflows, requiring managers to just sign off on recommendations rather than order inventory each day.
Since work order management is likely to become more crucial in the future, it’s a good idea to start learning how to implement it in your retail business sooner rather than later.
Ultimately, work order management in retail has the potential to provide your business with very strong benefits. Higher customer satisfaction, greater profits, and smoother retail operations are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what you can get once you use the right software. Evaluate your current work order systems and, if necessary, don’t hesitate to upgrade with Rain Retail!