Welcome back to our 3-Part Series: Escaping the Performance Management Trap.
ConvenientStop (a fictitious company) is a supplier to the Convenience Store industry.
Setting the stage for what is going on…. Convenience store customers have become more demanding; they want great value, more product awareness, and good service. The convenience retail stores are struggling to respond to this trend in increased consumer expectations.What is unfolding at ConvenientStop…. The impact on ConvenientStop is lagging sales and falling profit margins due to this increased demand. The ConvenientStop response to this situation is to pursue a new strategy of building business partnerships with the retail stores to whom they supply products. The idea is to help the retail stores satisfy customers who want the value, product knowledge, and good service.
The front line employees at ConvenientStop that make this happen are Merchandising Representatives who have the lead role in creating business partnerships and meeting revenue and margin targets with the retail stores in their territories.
The Sales and Marketing division at ConvenientStop is in a transition phase with a new business strategy, new organizational structure, and changing roles. The Merchandising Representatives are having difficulty adjusting to the new marketing strategy and are failing to support the retail stores at meeting their expected revenues and targets.
Mystery shoppers that have been hired by ConvenientStop are reporting that the staff at many of the retail stores lack the product knowledge to help customers make the choices that meet their needs. ConvenientStop’s Senior Management are receiving complaints from unhappy Retail Store Managers, citing that:
- Staff at many of the retail stores are not receiving adequate training by the Merchandising Representatives.
- Some of the Merchandising Representatives are arriving late for in-store appointments, or miss them altogether.
- Many in-store promotions are being advertised too late and therefore consumer exposure is reduced.
In the boardroom the atmosphere is tense. Clearly the new strategy of building business partnerships with the retail stores is not producing improved results (those “Maalox moments” are on the rise!).
Senior Management have concluded that the retail stores are clearly not getting the support they need. They have enlisted the help of the corporate Regional Managers across the company to try to fix the problem and this is causing undue pressure on their effectiveness and results. It is apparent that the organization needs to take a deeper dive into the performance of their workforce.
Coming up in a few days we will share with you Part 2B of this Case Study where we will follow the experience of John Smith as we demonstrate a 3-step process to diagnose and improve the performance of the Merchandising Representatives at ConvenientStop.