Organizing Dilemma – Storage Area (Retail Store)
In a busy work environment there is limited time to devote to organization, and it doesn’t take long before things can get out of control. Disorganization is often a direct result of not having systems in place and/or not dealing with issues as they arise. The back work area in this retail store had become very disorganized. This creates stress, because customers may be kept waiting longer than necessary while you search for a product or sales aid. When staff must devote time to redundant tasks, their productivity is compromised, and when items can’t be found, it can also cause double buying which is not cost effective.
Organizing Solution (note: only the client’s existing storage supplies were used)
- All items in the store were gathered together and grouped into categories.
- Within each category, all outdated or unnecessary duplicate items were discarded/recycled.
- Each category was organized according to the way staff accessed the items – some alphabetically, some by subject, and some by date.
- All categories were assessed to determine which items were most often accessed, and those items were placed in an area with the easiest access.
- The process does not end when you have put an organized system in place. Regular maintenance plays a very significant role in keeping the system organized – that is, you and your staff must commit to learning the systems and returning items to their proper place as soon as they are finished with them.
- If there is no incentive for individuals to do this on their own, consider having staff place used items in a designated area such as a shelf/box, and rotating the responsibility of putting those items away to a different staff member each week/month.
- Most importantly, acknowledge how much more efficient an organized work environment is, and that maintenance of these systems is a valuable use of your time, in order to maintain excellent customer service and to reduce staff frustration and increase their morale.
Note: To further improve on the appearance of this space, the client could purchase matching baskets or boxes to hold product brochures on the shelves.