By Hayley Nicholson, Store Manager, Beckfield store
If you ask any store manager what causes the most stress about losses; newspapers and magazines would feature. I know I experience that, both in my current role, and in previous ones.
When we receive new editions of newspapers and magazines, all the old, outdated copies get returned. The suppliers then give us a credit for them. It’s a complicated process that’s both paper and time intensive. Often it involves searching back through reams of old paperwork to check the returns.
Our colleague Rosie did a phenomenal job of owning the process. Thanks to her determination, she helped to save hundreds of pounds in lost credit. But this often meant taking paperwork home and matching up credits and invoices in her own time.
In my eyes, even if it’s only a couple of pounds each week to chase, if that’s multiplied over the months and year, it all mounts up. Considering the number of stores we have; it doesn’t bear thinking about how much we could be losing as a whole.
When my store received the chance to take part in the trial for the News and Mags app, I jumped at it.
My team were cautious to use the new technology, but I reassured them it was a positive thing for us. Not only would we have the chance to learn something new, but our feedback would help shape the final app, it was a win win.
News and Mags is an app on the hand-held terminals (HHT). It has the same look and feel as the other ones we use like date code, so everyone immediately felt familiar with it. After the first use, it became clear it’s very intuitive. The whole team can use it, which is brilliant from a development perspective. In fact, they had a total change in attitude and were soon singing its praises.
This app completely alters the previous process. Thanks to the returns section, knowing what to return and when, is now much easier to manage. There are pop-ups on screen to prompt you, making it difficult to get wrong and helping to cut losses. By managing everything digitally, like chasing credits in the app, the only paperwork now is what we receive from the suppliers. In time, that will also reduce so there’ll be a positive environmental impact too.
It’s been great to be part of the trial. It’s empowering to see first-hand that changes are actually made based on our feedback. By listening to store opinions and colleague experiences, these tools get built in a way to help us do our jobs as easy as possible. Now News and Mags has become another process that’s easy to do, by anyone.