November 02, 2015
Using A CMMS to Make it Through Black Friday
Black Friday is fast approaching, and retailers around the United States are busy preparing for the busiest shopping day of the year. From marking down prices to ensuring that the shelves are properly stocked with this year"s hottest items, there are a million things that a manager must keep track of during this crucial sales period. Fortunately, there are tools, such as computerized maintenance management software (CMMS), that can help you survive the Super Bowl of retail.
Lurking behind the scenes of the Black Friday rush is a hero who seldom gets mentioned (if ever) in normal conversation, yet without them, the big event simply would not be possible. That person is the facility manager, also known as a building supervisor in some circles. For those of us in the reliability industry, we know all too well the importance this figure has in day-to-day operations. When crunch time comes into play, they are even more pivotal to an organization.
Using maintenance software, facility managers can prepare for the chaos of Black Friday much easier than they could in the days of spreadsheets and filing cabinets. For starters, inventory control is the bread and butter of the season, and when so much merchandise is flying in and out of stores, you need a solid way to keep track of where your assets stand. Over-ordering items can be just as harmful to a store's bottom line as under-ordering. Order too little and you miss out on vital profit opportunities; order too much and you erase the gains you fought so hard to achieve.
Another important area of the holiday sales period that lay people may overlook is safety. Every year, we hear stories about slip-and-fall accidents or shopping injuries that, for the most part, can be prevented. A CMMS helps ensure that preventable injuries do not occur. Keeping track of store property and grounds, a facility manager can determine which areas need maintenance or repairs before the busy season and keep track of whether the work has been completed or not. Everything from damaged tiles and leaking roofs to fault HVAC units and plumbing issues can be monitored with a maintenance application.
Maintenance management software has another built-in feature that comes in handy for this time period as well as the months that follow: employee management. Staffing needs increase with the greater anticipated sales, so it is important to staff appropriately. Just as with merchandise, you have to find the right balance between too little and not enough when it comes to manning the doors. Schedule too many stockers, for instance, and you risk cutting into profit margins.
In addition, many workers tend to take time off during the holidays to spend with friends and family. Keeping track of who is taking time off and who needs to cover for them can be a big feat - one that a CMMS can help immeasurably with.
So as the "blackest" of all shopping periods begins, make sure you or your facility manager have the proper tools to handle the rush and maximize your profit potential. A computerized maintenance management system is a good investment not just for this time of year but for the whole year long.