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Pazo Insights

Optimizing the Retail Opportunities in Covid-19 pandemic

Navigating through the COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenging time for most industries, including retail has witnessed the impact of COVID-19 over the past few months. The widespread health and safety concerns, travel restrictions and local movement limitations, retailers in India started feeling the heat.

During this period, retailers are looking to change their current working strategies to generate revenue as usual without deploying more manpower in order to abide by the government guidelines.

Even the Retailers Association of India (RAI) has predicted that it would take at least 10-12 months for India’s retail industry to recover from the impact of the COVID-19. Their recent survey for June 2020 shows that Retail employs ~40-50 million people directly of which the Modern Trade sector employs more than 6 million Indians. This staggering number of retail employees has forced 20-25% of the industry players to require a capital infusion to stay afloat. But even then, 25% of jobs in the industry may get impacted in one way or another.

Only 7-8% of the retail industry is functioning at the moment, as the retailers are selling only essential items, said Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, RAI, which represents 13,667 member establishments with 500,000 stores employing 43 million people.

Although the country slowly relaxing the lockdown regulations on a monthly basis with precautionary measures, only 20% of the retailers are expecting to start earning profit from August 2020.

But the real question for retailers is whether they can flexibly respond to the diametrically opposed challenges?

Well, it is clear that the response to this virus has fundamentally changed the reality for retailers irrespective of whether it lasts for weeks or months. It’s time to face the fact and start adapting the best practices and innovations.

Best Practices for Retail during the COVID-19 Pandemic

1.    Stay informed and manage employee safety

Update your employees regularly on the current COVID-19 situation and take all the necessary precautions to ensure that the health and safety of the workforce are not compromised.

  • Check for symptoms associated with COVID-19
  • If an employee feels unwell, ask them to go home immediately
  • Ensure that safety measures like the following are in place to reduce transmission among employees: –

1. Practice social distancing

2. Have regular temperature checks for everyone in the workplace

3. Wearing a mask and gloves at all times is mandatory

4. Employees in high-risk areas like billing counters, customer assistance, etc. should be provided and equipped with face shields at all times.

It is recommended to share easy to fill operational checklists like the PAZO COVID-19 Checklist to measure the understanding of the operations being relayed to your employees from the headquarters in real-time. Using operational solutions like PAZO, the data collected from these checklists across all retail branches get collated automatically to generate reports you can rely on and make successful business strategies.

Check out the full COVID-19 preparedness Checklist ready to be implemented.

2.   Be transparent

Your customers trust you and want to stay informed on everything that is happening and will affect their experience. And so, do your employees. Keep them informed at all times – for example, if there is a change in any operation from the headquarters, or a new business process is being implemented with the current safety guidelines in mind, etc.

See how PAZO can help your business to stay well connected and updated during the COVID-19 Crisis.

3.   Personal Hygiene for Employees
  • Emphasize on hand hygiene during work hours
  • Encourage the use of gloves to avoid direct contact
  • Ensure their daily self-hygiene so as not to compromise the workforce
  • Educate them on the proper way to dispose of their masks, tissues, and gloves

Solution for Manpower Rationalization

Going forward, small scale retailers are looking to lay-off 30% of their manpower while it reflects for the medium retailers as 12% and 5% for large retailers. When nearly 20% of the overall retail manpower faces the possibility of unemployment – Retail operational solution tools like PAZO helps to rebuild the changing scenario. With low operational costs, it’s easy to adapt for retailers small to large.

3 Steps for Retailers to Respond during COVID-19 with PAZO 

As the contributors for 40% of India’s consumption and ~10% to India’s GDP, all retailers play a crucial role in protecting employee and customer health. In helping retails to adapt to smarter solutions and cope with large scale loss of manpower, companies like PAZO are developing following practical solutions that will shape the recovery and strengthening of a staggering economy.

  • Employee safety is the first priority. Ensure that all necessary steps are taken to keep the frontline store employees safe and healthy, as they attend to customers.

The PAZO can be used to host communication modules that educate all personnel about the safety precautions taken for the health of both employees and the customers.

  • Supply-chain resilience is the next important step. Disruption to the supply chain had a great impact on the industry. Build resilience by being agile, leverage extended ecosystems, and embrace risk for holistic revival and sustenance.

PAZO comes with an inventory update system that helps analyze real-time data so that there is a clear insight into business operations.

  • The third step is to enable an elastic digital workplace that minimizes business disruption. With a reduced workforce, retailers have to be more efficient than ever in making sure all crucial management tasks are completed.

PAZO also comes with the feature of raising issues to the right resources and having the accountability of resolving it within the expected time.

To achieve ultimate retail success during uncertain times, retailers have to adapt business models to complement the changing consumer behavior. Implementing advanced technology like retail operation software can be beneficial even when the pandemic has passed. It is time for Responsible Retail.

Incorporating technological solutions such as checklists to manage the logistical and workforce front can ensure that the customers follow social distancing, occupancy limits, and other safety and hygiene regulations as outlined by the government. Merging this with dynamic store navigation, mobile checkout, offering a wide variety of online payment options, and monitoring traffic into their store operations strategy can serve as valuable post-pandemic store operations tools.

Check out how PAZO can make retail operations more efficient

The COVID-19 situation is complex and evolving at lightning speed, and on a daily basis. Having a well-managed response will help retailers bring in some consistency in operations and maximize their revenues. Retailers should see this as an opportunity to out-perform competitors and build a strong foundation for digital, future-ready business.

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Industry News

Challenges Faced by Operation Managers

Operation managers play a major role in stabilizing an organization’s policies and procedures across all major business areas including budgeting, planning, and technology. Every operations manager has a million things to think about, resolve, plan, prepare, schedule and report.

An Operations Manager is vital to the management team who is responsible for driving efficiency, reducing costs, improving customer experience and taking ownership of the key metrics that drive company performance.

operations manager challenges retail industry facility industry

Operations managers in businesses like Retail and facility services, face a number of problems that are beyond selling products and services.

Challenges faced by operations management:

  • Allocating the right employees to the right department at any given point of time for the actual number of operations and customers.
  • Ensuring team accountability, to organize tasks and to not create stopgaps between internal departments.
  • Communicating with the right individual or team to implement anything new or modifying the existing.
  • Keeping track of the functionality of daily usable tech equipment, electronics, energy assets and other infrastructures to control the spending in aggressive financial budgets.
  • Ensuring standards on staff safety, wages and hour laws to make sure they don’t complain.

Let’s Dive into Top Operational Challenges by Industry:

1. Retail:

 

The retail industry is constantly transforming and there is an exponential growth in gaps between teams and management. As customers become more demanding, there is also an extra pressure to exceed their expectations of the product, customer service, and overall store experience.

Tracking is essential to monitor excellence of every retail process, such as Reviews, Approvals, Production, VM Designs, and Stocks etc. along with ensuring team accountability, to organize tasks and to not create stopgaps. Reporting is crucial to measure results and to check the progress of the defined goals.

2. Facility:

Ensuring proper maintenance of company assets and infrastructures is not an easy task, as there are always new emerging challenges and constraints.

Facility Management is a complex process that involves a meticulous information flow and a quick call to action. During the inspection, managers have to look for all unsafe conditions or potential hazards. Operation of risk control, Fire and safety procedures are the responsibilities of the facility manager.

Finding out the assets that have to be replaced, equipment which requires preventive and corrective maintenance, extending the life of existing assets and/or to coordinate the upcoming expenses etc. cannot be ignored.

Facility Managers are crucial to implementing innovative and new workplace practices that foster a constant flow of communication, knowledge sharing, and productivity across all teams in the organization.

3. Hospitality

Hospitality is one of the booming industries now. As customers are increasingly demanding, operations managers are struggling with getting total satisfaction and positive feedback from the customers.

Most of the managers in the Hospitality industry face difficulties in creating multiple work orders, organizing and managing calendars and work schedules. For consistent customer experience, amenities that include Wi-Fi, Housekeeping, Restaurants and Room services etc. should be taken care of 24/7.

Ensuring Corrective maintenance and faster reporting is chaos when the organization is growing faster. Customers expect a sophisticated level of service, providing that not only drive loyalty among guests and customers but also increase brand reputation.

The key is to identify these issues at the earliest and set the most efficient and effective ways to overcome them. Acquiring the industry cutting-edge technology helps the organization run at its full speed.

Suggested Read: The Life of an Operations Manager Made Simple With PAZO

How PAZO helps in handling Daily Operations of your business?

PAZO brings together the traditional benefits of planning and compliance with action-oriented solutions for dealing with every single operation challenge in all the above industries in a simple and smarter way.

Consistently identify and instantly respond to the demands in all departments of your business. PAZO Operations Management System will not only optimize your maintenance operations and boost the productivity of your team, but it is also a path towards significant cost reduction.

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Pazo News

Pazo Featured in The Startup Inc.

PAZO, the company with rich industry expertise has been helping organizations to get higher operational efficiencies with its Operations Management System. Recently PAZO has been reviewed and appreciated by The Startup INC.

Pazo Featured in the startup inc

Pazo allows management to assign works like store/site opening and closing checklists, store auditing checklists, and other daily checklists to store and field-level employees to track the execution of their work, analyze performance, and improve operations from a single dashboard.

retail store management software pazo