Convenience stores (C-stores) offer speedy service to today’s on-the-go consumers, who want to get in and out of the store quickly. C-stores are a highly utilized channel of trade because of their convenient locations, extended hours of operation, one-stop shopping, grab-and-go foodservice, and variety of merchandise and fast transactions. But the management of these retail operations can be difficult and are often ripe for a major efficiency upgrade.
Efficiency Upgrades Made Possible by Technology
Supporting an efficiency reevaluation, Bill Scott and James Hawkins, authors with 32 years of retail experience, wrote the book, “Turning Convenience Stores Into Cash Generating Monsters.” It was Scott and Hawkins overall intention to illustrate the benefits of new technology for better business operations, especially for those store owners operating more than one store, such as C-stores. And while the authors’ main focus was on cloud computing, their publisher adds, “Every now and then, a new technology comes along that creates an exceptional opportunity for the small businessperson to grab the brass ring. Sometimes this opportunity is so dramatic it allows a motivated and visionary business, regardless of its size, to grab huge chunks of his competitors’ market by creating a temporary level, playing field.”
Accounting and inventory software, such as the technology provided by Summit Software, offers C-stores the opportunity to potentially become a cash generating monster, achieving desired margins and reducing the time spent on laborious data entry and administrative tasks. Below are a few best practices the right accounting and inventory software can help you with:
Implement Scanning: Many C-stores have yet to implement scanning. Yet, scanning, rather than data entry at the cash register, ensures pricing accuracy and easily identifies errors, while deterring theft or fraud. Also, additional labor savings are gained from improved end-of-day procedures that reconcile cash, credit cards, coupons and store deposits.
Control Inventory: With scanning in place, all new stock is scanned in, while all sales are scanned out, allowing for easy tracking of inventory. With inventory controlled electronically, a manager can pinpoint problems and ways to improve sales as he or she can track by item, level and retail/cost by department.
Increase Gross Margins: Most C-stores struggle with the intricacies of price setting. If it’s priced too high, the sale hits a dead end. If a price is too low, so is profit. Automated price setting will allow for quick changes and easy analysis, detecting the highest possible profit margin on each product.
At the end of the day, are you sure you have accounted for every dollar for every item in every store? Do you know which store items are making you money and which are simply collecting dust? Are you certain you are achieving the margins you want for every item in every store? With software technology, such as that provided by Summit, you can be certain every penny is present and accounted for, ensure you’re making the most of your floor space, and efficiently and effectively set and manage the margins of every product in your store. According to Summit Software representatives, “By implementing a unifying single-vendor software system, C-stores eliminate many of their accounting challenges, while opening the door to higher revenues.”