All stores are implementing new health and safety standards due to COVID-19. Learn how this chain store saves time and money by using online task management.
Endless disinfections. Strict guidelines. Lost revenue. Like most stores, the french video game retail company, Micromania-Zing, faces a new reality due to COVID-19.
Micromania-Zing is a chain of 400 stores; implementing the new COVID-19 standards regarding health and safety isn’t done by the flick of a hand. The area managers can’t be in each store every morning, ensuring that everything is adequately disinfected and that everybody is wearing masks, etc.
But Micromania-Zing has found a way to uphold the COVID-19 standards without losing unnecessary amounts of time and money. The solution is online task management. Curious? In this case study Anthony Barbaize, Merchandising Coordinator at Micromania-Zing, gives you all the details.
The challenge: Keeping people and the brand safe
Since COVID-19 became a pandemic, getting people to buy your products starts with getting them through your doors. To do that, you need to promote health and safety even before the customers step inside.
“We have had to change the routines in our stores dramatically due to COVID-19. We needed to make sure that everything was ready and safe for the customers and staff to return. We now have to make sure that there aren’t too many people in the stores at the same time. The staff shall systematically disinfect all critical surfaces, and the mask stock has to be full at all times. And that’s just the basics,” explains Anthony Barbaize.
All the measurements are not only about keeping people safe.
“Of course, we need to keep customers and employees safe, that’s the most important at all times. But we also need to keep the brand safe. Nowadays, a picture on social media of, for example, a member of our team without a mask, could cause Micromania-Zing a lot of problems,” says the Merchandising Coordinator.
The goal: Aligned information and feedback
To keep all stakeholders safe during COVID-19, Micromania - Zing wanted to give all employees in all 400 stores the same information in terms of guidelines and daily tasks. The management also needed a way to ensure that the staff follow the guidelines and execute each task.
The solution: Online task management and self-monitoring
Micromania-Zing has been using a task management application delivered by Instore Excellence for the past five years. The collaboration became even more valuable when the company suddenly had to implement the COVID-19 standards.
“The application allows our management to create online checklists based on the COVID-19 objectives. Every morning, each store’s responsible employee goes to the Instore Excellence application via an app or a web link. He or she then answers a series of simple “yes/no” questions, uploads a picture if needed, hit send, and the report is sent directly to the area manager and management. That enables the area managers to know what is going on in each store without leaving his or her desk,” explains Anthony Barbaize.
Here’s a couple of examples of questions in the task management checklist:
- I checked the stock of indispensable products (gel, masks, visors).
- The cash register has been cleaned (keyboards, computer mouse, screens, scans).
- The bottle with hydroalcoholic gel for customers is on the desk.
- The floor stickers are placed with a distance of one meter between each strip.
- I confirm with the team that the checklists are validated every day, and I warn the team in case of observed irregularities.
Anthony Barbaize adds:
“For me, the task management application is an amazing tool because it’s effortless to use, and that’s what makes it so efficient. Doing this kind of self-monitoring that runs in a scheduled routine and structure makes my job 100 times easier. Without the system, we couldn’t handle all our stores without investing huge amounts of time and money, especially during COVID-19. Because of the daily reports from each store, I know exactly what is working and what needs to be optimized, and I can address problems the moment they occur.”
The daily reports are also a valuable tool for Micromania-Zing’s management to ensure alignment throughout the company.
“The task management application gives back control to the management. The word ‘control’ often brings out many negative feelings, but in a company like ours with that number of stores, control is essential. Without control, the management can’t be ensured that all stores are the same regarding cleaning, safety measurements, etc.,” states Anthony Barbaize.
But how do the employees feel about this kind of ‘control’? According to Anthony Barbaize, buy-in from the employees is not an issue.
“They know that it’s vital that everything is done right in each store during COVID-19, so it’s not a problem for them to respect online task management and checklists’ daily use. Plus, it makes their job much easier because they can do self-monitoring. The checklist is right at hand, and they don’t have to spend a lot of time on paperwork or mails to document that everything is done correctly.”
The result: Time, money, and lives are saved
The result of using a task management application; It makes the job of the area managers and employees a lot easier because they save time. Simultaneously, the management knows what’s going on in the company and saves money due to fewer staff hours. And last but not least important, all customers can feel safe in the Micromania-Zing stores because the checklists every morning ensures that all is done right and according to the COVID-19 standards.
Micromania-Zing, formerly Micromania, is the largest video game retail company in France. It was founded in 1983 and was in 2008 purchased by GameStop. In 2017 the company merged with its sister company Zing Pop Culture, which specializes in game franchises’ derivative products. After the merger, the company changed its name to Micromania-Zing. The consolidating merge addressed the decrease in gaming revenues.