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 with the flick of a hand. The area managers can’t be in each store every morning to ensure 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 time and money. The solution is online task management. Curious?
Anthony Barbaize, Merchandising Coordinator at Micromania-Zing, gives you all the details in this case study.
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 must promote health and safety even before customers enter a store.
“We have had to change the routines in our stores dramatically due to COVID-19. We needed to ensure everything was ready and safe for the customers and staff to return. We now have to ensure that there aren’t too many people in the stores simultaneously.
The staff shall systematically disinfect all critical surfaces, and the mask stock must always be full. 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 thing at all times. But we also need to keep the brand safe.
Nowadays, a picture on social media of, for example, a team member 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 regarding guidelines and daily tasks.
The management also needed a way to ensure that the staff followed the guidelines and executed each task.
The solution: Online task management and self-monitoring
Micromania-Zing has used a task management app 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. They then answer simple “yes/no” questions, upload a picture if needed, and hit send. The report is then sent directly to the area manager and management.
That enables the area managers to know what is happening in each store without leaving their desks,” explains Anthony Barbaize.
Here are a couple of examples of questions in the task management checklist:
- I checked the stock of indispensable products (gel, masks, visors).
- The cash register (keyboards, computer mouse, screens, scans) has been cleaned.
- The bottle with hydroalcoholic gel for customers is on the desk.
- The floor stickers are placed at 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:
“The task management application is a fantastic tool because it’s effortless to use, making it so efficient. 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 vast 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 app gives back control to the management. The word ‘control’ often brings out many negative feelings, but control is essential in a company like ours with that number of stores. 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 mail 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 ensure that all is done right and according to COVID-19 standards.
Micromania-Zing, formerly Micromania, is France’s largest video game retail company. It was founded in 1983 and was purchased by GameStop in 2008. 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 management needed a way to ensure that the staff follow the guidelines and execute each task.”
“It makes their [the staff’s] job much easier because they can self-monitor.”
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