Remember the old concept of the “suggestion box”?

Depending on your age, because the concept is so antiquated, you might have only seen reference to this in an old classic movie or a 1970‘s sitcom.  The concept of leveraging one’s own workforce to improve your operations isn’t new.

Rachel Emma Silverman wrote a great article a few years back in the Wall Street Journal about how most of the new innovative product ideas come from a company’s own employees, not from outside consultants or the executive ranks. She highlighted one specific example from IdeasAmerica.  This is an association for “suggestion administrators,” who manage suggestion submissions that come in through a variety of work flows. They surveyed 31 of their 125 members and found that submitted ideas saved respondents more than $110 million dollars in time, materials, labor, or energy, an average of $1,256 per suggestion.

To one degree or another we have all heard at least one great story where a million dollar innovation sprang from an unexpected place in the company.  The most common is the story of the 3M employee who ultimately was credited for the invention of Post-It notes.

All companies look for ways to increase revenues or implement more efficient ways of managing their business.  What if there was an easy way to utilize one’s employees to gather field intelligence or retail insights when these employees are out and about in the retail stores where this company’s products are being sold?  There is…

In today’s world with the prevalence of smart phones, all a company needs is to use a simple yet powerful application built by companies like GoSpotCheck to enable their employees to deliver million dollar insights.  Simply put, this type of tool puts the ability to capture real time information about what is happening with your products or operations in the hands of every one of your employees.

All too often people talk about the horrors of merchandising efforts not being rolled out correctly (or even at all) when a new campaign is launched. Or alternatively, about “On Shelf Availability” being different from what the retailer thought it was.  Without the products on the shelves or the promotions in place, the investments made in these campaigns are tossed out the window.  As companies deal with the balancing act of increasing revenues while keeping costs low, the ability to see what exactly is happening in the retail stores is a low cost investment that when launched to one’s employees can quickly turn into a path towards million dollar insights.  If just one of your employees uncovers an execution miss for merchandising or an out of stock on a SKU that is still sitting in a warehouse somewhere, it is easy to see how this 5 minute feedback process can turn into a million dollar insight nationwide.

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