Your Retail Success

Time to review job descriptions: Are they keeping pace with changing processes?

Your Retail Success

by Rick Kroetsch

New products come out. Customers are demanding new ways for businesses to satisfy their needs. Competition is increasing. Pressure is on price reductions. Online requirements are increasing. Everyone wants more for less. Your business is facing these challenges—have you connected the challenges to what you want your staff to achieve daily?

It moves quickly

It’s hard to keep up with the changes as well as make the internal changes necessary to stay on top of your game. You are dealing with the day-to-day and making changes on the fly, but sometimes we forget to sit down and review the impact on individual job functions, roles, responsibilities, and expectations.

Stop and review

Look at the job functions and descriptions and see if they are still applicable. Business forces us to make changes quickly, but we don’t always make the time to see how that change flows effectively through the entire operation. You need to determine if what you asked for in the past is still necessary today and optimal for tomorrow.

Recently I was buying some home improvement products at a building supply store that had multiple locations. As I was waiting in line I heard a noise I hadn’t heard in probably 20 years—the sound of a dot matrix printer scrolling back and forth across a page of continuous paper folded back and forth. The computer screen had a flashing curser on a green screen reminiscent of early DOS software (for those of you old enough to remember!).

As I stood there reliving the 1980s, it made me wonder if the store truly followed through with change. The products in their showroom were all current—but their hardware, software, and processes hadn’t kept up.

They needed to look at how their front-end showroom products impacted their back-end processes. The company kept up in many areas: they had their employees ordering online, accepting money electronically, but they didn’t walk it all the way through. Looking at what functions they wanted staff to achieve would have indicated new roles and tasks to improve the customer experience.

Review and ask “why now?”

Look at everyone’s job descriptions and ask yourself if you need to be doing these tasks now in the way they are described. Have you changed the processes to keep up with what has already been implemented in your company? If the software has changed to make things more efficient, have your company processes changed?

Roles and responsibilities need to change

Many times you will find people still doing tasks in a way that is no longer necessary. The main reason—no one ever told them to change. This is true in all areas of your business, from purchasing, to accounting, to point of sale. Reviewing all of their roles and responsibilities will probably indicate that many of those that people do are no longer needed. Eliminating these would save you time, money, and customers.


Rick Kroetsch is the vice-president and associate publisher of Alive Publishing Group.