The back room of a retail business is a window on the efficiency and focus of the business. This is a fair assumption because it is where the business is organized.. A disorganized back room reflects a likely disorganized business.
Organizing the back room is easy. Those who disagree are probably spending too much time thinking about it and not enough time creating an efficient and enjoyable work space.
Here are some simple tips for organizing the back room of any retail business.
Have defined areas. Separate, mark out and manage the areas for: inward goods, spare floor stock, returns, administration and employee rest space. Locate each area in a logical position.
For example, inward goods needs to be located inside the doorway away from main traffic but close enough to be convenient to delivery people. Create a defined process around this space – such as every delivery being signed for and even verified by a second person if the value of deliveries warrants this.
Administration documents and materials need to be located in an area more secure than the general back room space. It also needs to be in office cabinets and units which can be locked.
A place for everything. Pens, pencils, tape, box cutters, scissors, paper, boxes, packaging materials – everything in the back room should have its defined space. This creates a safer and more enjoyable work environment. The better organization also encourages all others in the organization to be better organized. Lead by example.
Communicate clearly. Setup a notice board or a white board onto which you can communicate with all employees. This should be located next to the door which leads from the room to the shop floor. The noticeboard can share important information about the business as well as required health and safety notices.
Don’t hoard. Retailers are notorious hoarders, handing on to everything in case they need it one day. While it is easy to say don’t hoard, the reality is different. Here is a simple tip for retailers with space available. Set aside some space, hopefully somewhat hidden – where you put anything which you are not using and don’t think you will need but are not prepared to throw out. Not the date you put it there. review this space every six months. Items you do not use in six months should be thrown out.
Structure and discipline are the keys to a good back room. get these right and the business itself will become more organized as a result.
This is an example of practical business advice we provide at Tower Systems to our retail customers, advice beyond our POS software, to help our retail business partners get more from their engagement with us.