Magazine Article | October 25, 2011

Use Audits To Build Knowledge And Take Action

Source: Innovative Retail Technologies

By Andrew Wren, Wren Solutions

Ignorance is negligence. Pleading ignorance of problems, threats, and hazards in this day and age is risky at best — and potentially detrimental to retailers. With so much threat, legislation, and litigation, retailers can suffer greatly and be taken to court or convicted by the court of public opinion over something as simple as a light out in the parking lot or as devastating as a terrorist attack. With the 24/7 news cycle, instant access via smartphones, and a mix of business and personal comments splattered across Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, information is both traceable and unstoppable, making it difficult to plead ignorance.

A much more effective strategy for dealing with risk is to collect as much information as possible in an attempt to fully understand risks and prioritize action. Accessing consolidated, consistent information from the field can be a challenge. Audits are an easy, cost-effective way to gather information, verify compliance, and identify problems. Well-designed audits have the advantage of delivering information in a consistent format that is easily comparable across locations. It is also documented, whether on paper or electronically, for tracking and reference purposes.