ALEXANDRIA, Va.—On this week’s episode of Convenience Matters, “How Do You Measure Up With Your Competition?,” NACS hosts Jeff Lenard, vice president of strategic industry initiatives, and Carolyn Schnare, director of strategic initiatives, peal back the curtain with Jayme Gough, NACS analyst, on the tools NACS offers to help retailers and suppliers benchmark their performance.
“Benchmarking is essentially discovering what the best performance out there is and then using that to identify gaps in your own organization’s processes in order to gain a competitive advantage,” Gough said. Retailers can then “take advantage of what they’re doing really well and then use maybe what they’re not doing well to really boost your business. Essentially, given the opportunity to articulate your strengths and suggest areas where you might want to improve in your business.”
Retailers can benchmark against their competitors or even the entire industry. From store-to-store within a company to different channels, like quick-service restaurants and dollar stores, benchmarking allows retailers to gain key insights into their own growth and performance patterns in comparison to similar retailers. The NACS State of the Industry Report of 2018 Data provides the numbers and data retailers can use to benchmark.
“It is extremely robust,” Gough said. “It starts with financial performance; operational efficiency; merchandise, which breaks down the sales and gross profit dollars for the different categories; and foodservice.”
For retailers who might be just starting out with benchmarking and need guidance on where to begin, Gough recommended “making sure you’re setting goals and targets for the areas you’re investing in. Once you’ve got those targets set, you can look at what the industry average is….Basically, you’re using the data to make better business decisions.”
Each week a new Convenience Matters episode is released. The podcast can be downloaded on iTunes, Google Play and other podcast apps and at www.conveniencematters.com. Episodes have been downloaded by listeners more than 60,000 times in 80 countries.