Retailers: How Safe are You From Compliance Risk?
How Much is Compliance Impacting Retailers?
Compliance risk for retailers is growing at a rapid pace. In 2016 alone:
- Municipalities are instituting bans against plastic bags, resulting in fines as high as $500/day.
- Stores are facing increased penalties over sanitation, elevator, and fire safety violations across America.
- Several high-profile retailers have dealt with individual store or regional shutdowns over patterns of noncompliance.
A marked increase in local regulations governing real estate, assets, equipment, and licenses has made it imperative for retailers to elevate their visibility into compliance issues. Any organizations who fail to meet this challenge may be open to major liability, both financially and to their brand.
Interestingly enough, most retailers aren’t aware of their compliance risk across all locations. Knowing exactly what’s going on at all times in every store may be a daunting task, but being in the dark when it comes to compliance is worse.
Failing to recognize and respond to a trend of noncompliance can lead to any of the previously mentioned scenarios: fines, shutdowns, bad press, or all of the above.
Automating Compliance and Store Ops as a Best Practice
That said, there’s one best practice many retailers have employed to mitigate their compliance risk, and gain oversight into chain-wide operations: automating compliance and operational data. Here’s how it works:
- Issues are Captured at a Storewide Level – Capturing violations, rule changes, expirations, and requirements on the ground floor of your locations is critical to passing information up the chain. Implementing a consistent form of capture at every store is key to taking this important first step.
- Centralized Compliance Platform – Making sure all that information is stored in one place for immediate accessibility into “the big picture” of overall compliance risk across your company.
- Access to Regional Expertise – Within that centralized framework is applied knowledge for each specific region. This way, leadership based in the midwest will know what teams in NYC are dealing with, and how they’re supposed to manage it.
- Standardized Process & Workflow – Automated alerts for reminders, renewals, and expirations create calls to action for operations and facilities management. Tasks are assigned and completed efficiently, making sure to-do’s get done.
Automating the process by which you handle compliance-related items helps minimize risk, and identify problems before they become big headaches. Store-by-store visibility and accountability ladders up to a more compliant organization at large.