How do you succeed at:
- Gathering essential performance data quickly
- Increasing reporting accuracy
- Making quick, informed strategy decisions
Snappy’s Convenience Stores is a sister company of JJ Powell Inc., headquartered in Philipsburg, Pennsylvania. JJ Powell dates back more than 65 years to 1952, with Snappy’s starting in 1995. Now, with 11 stores in central Pennsylvania, they need to make informed, strategic decisions on a regular basis to stay ahead of competition.
Jill Curtorillo, Corporate Controller for Snappy’s, described how Snappy’s holds weekly operations meetings where, “…key retail personnel, ranging from owners, operators, finance, IT, merchants and marketing, all gather to discuss strategies and the results of their initiatives.” The intent was to make strategic decisions based on store activity and performance data, so they wanted to be able to analyze the data prior to meeting and come armed with ideas to fuel a strategic discussion.
Creating this consolidated store performance report was no easy task. They developed a format in Excel and tried to pull data in from several different reports. It was labor intensive, demanded a great deal of time and manual entry, and all the touch points introduced the potential for human error. “As we all know,” Jill shared, “one wrong number on a report questions the integrity of the entire report.”
The complicated build also meant that the reports would often get to the meeting attendees as late as the evening before or morning of the meeting. This left little time for review, and a limited ability to make use of that information during the meeting.
All this being said, Snappy’s liked the concept and the report content. They just needed a way to automate the process.
Scorecards Met the Need
Jill reached out to ADD Systems for help. They chose to implement ADD eStore® with Atlas Reporting® to address their c-store reporting needs. The technology allowed them to develop Scorecards, a snapshot of store activity that gives Snappy’s decision-makers an automatic and accurate view of each store to help them make informed, intelligent decisions. And the reports are easy to digest. One of Snappy’s goals, as Jill explained, is to “…compile them in such a way that finance and non-finance alike can analyze and interpret to help start informed strategy decisions.”
Not only were the reports easy to understand, but what had taken hours of manual effort, Jill shared, is now “…available with the push of a button.” The data is automatically gathered from multiple locations, including their POS device for their scan data and Microsoft Dynamics GP for their budget data. No manual entries are required, which means no risk of human error. The reports can even be scheduled and automatically delivered to their email inboxes in advance of the meeting on a predetermined, dependable schedule.
Snappy’s developed multiple Scorecards to focus in on store activity by category and location. One example is their Inside Sales Scorecard by Location. (Data has been changed to protect Snappy’s.)
This snapshot lets Snappy’s see sales by location, with weekly, month-to-date and year-to-date, actual and budget totals. It also includes a delta by dollar and by percentage, with simple red formatting for a negative delta to make it easy to scan for important information. The report also shows trends through the month-to-date and year-to-date information.
Also, each location can be expanded, by clicking on the plus sign, to see category detail for that location. The totals for that location still remain at the top of the group to help them analyze the category against the overall store performance.
This can be very helpful in recognizing an underperforming store, and then honing in on the challenging category. It can lead to discussions about how to boost that category performance, whether it be adjusting the product mix or changing product placement.
It’s been just over a year since Snappy’s implemented eStore and started to develop their Scorecards, and it has proven to be a great tool. They can make strategic changes in their stores and easily monitor and analyze the results with their Scorecards. It has helped them to hone in on the ideal number of SKUs, increase margin, watch the effects of their proprietary foodservice items, and much more. The scorecards point out changes and create a strategic discussion about how to address them. In other words, they are the perfect tool for managers who want to take advantage of their data.