Business Transformation—A Game Changer
In one of my previous Avanti articles related to our old and time-consuming ordering system, I asked SEI for a more efficient and modern ordering system, and many of my fellow franchisees echoed that call. What do you know? SEI has finally acknowledged our request and has given us a new and very efficient ordering system that provides us with most of the tools we need to run our stores more professionally and profitably, especially during these critical financial times.
Unfortunately, some franchisees are not embracing the new Business Transformation (BT) program and are holding back their support for it, fearing it will add more labor costs to their operation. I sincerely believe this is a self-defeating approach on the part of those franchisees not to embrace the BT ordering system and implement it fully, because it provides all those tools we have been waiting for.
Here are some of the highlights of the new BT system:
- With the previous ordering system, it was too time-consuming to keep an accurate count of all the items we were selling in our stores. As a result, many franchisees would shortcut the system by ordering without an actual count of their inventory using guesswork, which caused inventory fluctuations and thus inaccurate control of their inventory. The new system keeps a very accurate count of each item since it automatically adds up the inventory each time an order is placed. You don’t have to spend time counting inventory when you place an order.
- The new ordering system offers a great tool to do item-by-item management, making it easier to get rid of slow items and replace them with new items based on each item’s sales.
- With BT, we have better control of our stores and can often detect both internal theft and shoplifting thanks to the regularly updated count of our store’s inventory. Low inventory variation and accurate inventory management definitely help our bottom lines. This is a great outcome for all those low-volume stores that are struggling because of the recent increase in minimum wages.
- Guided Replenishment is another great tool offered by BT, which recommends order quantities for all chosen items. It only requires a review and approval of its automatic recommendations. With this tool, we don’t have to think about ordering, outside of reviewing the recommendations and approving or modifying them (if you want to be creative).
Like all new systems, BT does have some kinks to work out, like when we return odd drinks in different sizes for credit and the replacement is one case of one drink in one size, from our major soda suppliers.
While it is true you will have to initially invest some time in the beginning with BT, we all should consider it an investment in our stores. You can ask your field consultant to help you when you convert from the old ordering system to BT.
I don’t deny there are learning curves with the new ordering system, but BT definitely has its benefits and I clearly see the light at the end of the tunnel. Let’s hope SEI continues to bring more timesaving and profit-boosting initiatives like BT to franchisees so we can all sing, “Oh, thank heaven for 7-Eleven.”