SOP - A Systematic Approach to the Retail Business
SOPs (standard operating procedures) have become an indispensable tool in the management of a Retail enterprise in order to execute various business functions smoothly.
1. Identification of Retail Processes
Every Retail function consists of important processes like inventory management, merchandising, HR management, Accounts and audit. A perfect execution and integration of these processes is essential for an effective functioning of the Retail industry.
2. Identification of Operations
Every process in turn consists of several operations, for eg:- Inventory process includes purchase and reorder of stock, return of goods, quality inspection, storage and warehousing, transportation, recording inventory etc. Employees carry out these processes with or without ERP.
3. Identification of Operational Activities
Each operation is further divided into certain activities which must be completed in a sequence and whose control function is pre-decided. For eg:- a purchase manager's decision is required to purchase fresh stock which he/she sends only when the inventory reaches the pre-determined re-order level.
4. SOP Format Selection
There must be an easy to refer format for each SOP. For eg:- a purchase SOP can be prepared which consist of necessary details and conditions which are to be met for ordering some material(reorder level,purchase quantity, name of supplier, authorization etc,)
Ideal solution for SOP format selection is customization.
5. Identification of the People Involved
People are at the heart of any Retail activity. Responsibility, authority and accountability must be ascertained to people in advance. This will help in designing Retail SOPs and in conducting Retail SOP training.
6. Training and Communication
Once the SOPS have been designed, it is necessary to imbibe the culture into the employees through a robust SOP training.
Writing Retail SOPs requires professional knowledge as well as vast practical experience, as poorly designed SOPs can backfire and hurt your business instead of proving advantageous for it.
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