Solve My Problem: Regular Communication Between Staff From Multiple Stores Is Critical

Trisha Strouse, Moana NurseryWhat is the best way to get teammates together from multiple stores to share important company information and product information?

Trisha Strouse, Moana Nursery

Advice from Kate Terrell, Wallace’s Garden CenterKate Terrell, Wallace Garden Center

Good question. We have two stores about 9 miles apart (a 10- to 15-minute drive). It is difficult to get and keep both staffs on the same page.

We rely heavily on store managers to get memos, new ads, etc. from the main store and share it with their own staff.

During the spring, we have many meetings to go over new products, product knowledge and new procedures as well as customer service. We usually have them after closing so all can attend, and we usually provide food (pizza or subs) so no one starves to death during the meeting.

We try to have at least one all-store meeting for every season and rely on really good communication between managers in between.

It also helps that our office manager/bookkeeper does the bills and supplies for both stores, so communication with her is also crucial.

My challenge this year has been getting the staff to remember that we have another store. So instead of ordering refills on a product, we are transferring it from our other store so we’re not re-stocking inventory we didn’t really need. If I had a nickel for every time I said, “Did you check with Davenport (other store)?”

Lisa Kemeny, Wojos GreenhouseAdvice from Lisa Kemeny, Wojo’s Greenhouse

We get our managers together at the beginning of each month to go over what we call a scorecard. This scorecard has sales and hours goals per month. We are all busy during the peak selling time for our business, so we meet an hour before the stores open. We open at 8 a.m. during the spring so we meet at 7 a.m. We have three locations and yes, it’s early in the morning, but we value this communication and sharing of ideas.

Advice from Rich Christakes, Alsip Nursery

One way that we do this is by having weekly Skype meetings between category leaders from each store. These are quick meetings, and no one has to leave their store for a long period of time.

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