Check Your List
We’re all settled after Trek World and we had a great time meeting retailers and listening to your feedback. If you weren’t there (or just couldn’t make it to our seminars), this week we’ll cover best practices to get the most out of your Ascend system.
- Maintain a complete record for every product you sell: At a minimum, ensure Description, MSRP, Cost, Category, and UPC are entered. Use Ascend-formatted spreadsheets (available on www.ascendrms.com) to add products to your system. In Options > Ordering, check the Check for missing product attributes option to prompt for missing information when creating or receiving orders.
- Maintain an accurate quantity on hand for every product in your store: Always use UPC barcodes, and always scan barcodes instead of manually searching for products. Perform regular Cycle Counts, and at least one Physical Inventory Count per year. Run the Negative Inventory and Ascend Health Checkup reports regularly. Use min/max values for products which must always remain in stock.
- Track serial numbers through all touch points in your store: In Options > Ordering, check the Prompt for Serial Number When Receiving option and enter all serial numbers at the time they are received on an order. Enter a serial number for every serialized item sold, repaired, or transferred to another location.
- Maximize your margin and inventory turns: In Ascend Analytics, regularly review the Category Health Summary and monitor the Inventory Turns metric. Regularly run the Inventory & Sales History and Aged Inventory reports.
- Streamline, schedule, and track your work from start to finish: Enable the Prompt for Serial Number option for work orders and enter a serial number for all repair items, regardless of whether it was bought at your store. For accurate reporting, enter all items related to a repair in the Work Order Details screen and use the Estimated Time field and Progress Timer to accurately track the amount of time expected and actually spent working on a repair.
- Track all employee activity in your business: Set up user accounts for all employees and assign a gender for each account. Assign User Permissions to restrict employees’ access to areas which are not required for their job. In Options > General, check Force Login to require employees to log in to access sensitive areas.
- Monitor employees’ productivity: In Ascend Analytics, monitor the Team page and coach employees whose results fall short of the goals, and set up user accounts for all employees to view the overall store results. Regularly review the Sales by Gender and Customer Data Capture reports. And require all employees (including salaried employees) to punch in and out using the Time Clock in order to accurately track productivity.
- Encourage your employees to become Sherpas: Have all employees set up accounts on Ascend University (existing Trek University accounts work, too!) and incentivize them to complete all modules. Review the full release notes (accessible directly from Update Ascend) before every release to learn about all changes. Review the online help for step-by-step instructions on all Ascend functions.
- Capture complete customer information for every transaction: Scan a customer’s driver’s license to quickly and accurately enter customer information. In Options > Sales and Returns, check the Prompt for Customer, Force Customer for Pre-Sales, and Require Gender Selection options. Regularly run the Customer Data Capture report.
- Communicate with your customers to get them back in your store: In Options > Services, configure Email and SMS preferences for personalized communication. Use the Customer Query tool to market to customers based on their interests, group membership, or demographics.
- Track the effectiveness of your customer communications: Export your customer email list and use an email service to connect with customers. Regularly run the Customer Group Snapshot report to view sales to a group or the Coupon Use History report to view coupon redemptions. If you participate in the Trek Connect Retail Marketing program, use the TCRM Marketing Metrics report to view campaign performance.
- Give your bookkeeper all the information they need to provide you with timely and accurate monthly financial statements: Monitor the Activity Summary daily for errors. Ensure your sales, cost of goods, purchase orders, and inventory adjustments values are accurate so that they can provide you with a valid Profit & Loss Statement and Balance Sheet. With Fall 2016, set a delivery schedule for select reports to automatically email, save, upload, and/or print results. If your bookkeeper uses QuickBooks®, configure your system for integration and simply export a file at the end of each day for them to import.
- View our Recommended System Maintenance checklists for a full list of tasks to perform daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly to keep your system running smoothly.
Tax-Free Weekends: Does your state or locality have a back-to-school special where sales tax is waived? First, contact your local tax authority to determine whether tax is waived for all products or just certain categories. Then adjust the appropriate rates accordingly (see the Configure the Default Tax Rate help topic for details on removing tax for all products, or the Configure Category Tax Rates help topic for details on removing tax only for specific categories) – just remember to change the rate back when the weekend ends!
Trek Connect Retail Marketing: Did you sign up for the Trek Connect Retail Marketing program at Trek World? Make sure you’ve set up all the necessary coupon codes so you’re ready to go for the entire year – check out our Trek Connect Retail Marketing help topic for details. Check out Dexter for more details on the program, or to sign up now.Tags: best practice, best practices, TCRM