Understanding, experience and technology for success
Addressing unique challenges in the retail industry
Retailing is one of the largest industries in the United States and accounts for approximately 10 percent of our gross national product. The American retailing business has seen immense growth in recent years with chains and franchisees being recognized as national brands today. To stay ahead of the competition, retailers are involved in an aggressive price war, putting enormous responsibility on optimized infrastructure and operating efficiencies to keep the cash registers running. Also, to comply with regulations and to keep their business operations optimized, they need to have efficient auditing process in place - making transparent auditing a necessity from both legal and operational standpoint.
Understanding the challenges unique to the retail industry, MetricStream brings a comprehensive auditing solution for retail operations that streamlines the auditing processes and provides true business value from the audit function. The solution brings out unmanaged but potential risks and discrepancies supporting sustained compliance with policies and standards for improving the bottom line. Its web-based access enables multiple audits to be conducted simultaneously across multiple geographies.Challenges with Existing Audit Systems
In the year 2004 only, 27 participating retailers lost more than $4.7 billion to shrink.
This large integrated oil concern with a workforce of nearly 100,000 employees, has business activities and customers in more than 100 countries across six continents. There are over 2000 gas stations in the United States alone. Minimizing “shrink” at these sites is crucial to maximizing profitability and retail audits play a key role in this process. Field auditors, audit coordinators and contract auditors are involved in audits of these gas station convenience stores. The audits are conducted to ensure accuracy of accounting and inventory across all the convenience stores.
Before MetricStream solution was implemented, audits were being scheduled and carried out manually by an audit coordinator and the staff auditors once every nine months. Results were being captured in an MS Excel workbook which was then being posted to their corporate office.
MetricStream solution has automated the retail auditing process with streamlined workflows for reviews and approvals accelerating the audits and has improved productivity with online communication and collaboration. The system provides real-time access to actionable information for enterprise-wide visibility into the audit process and metrics on executive role-based dashboards for information. Reviewers from the corporate office as well as external auditors from overseas instantly get real-time access and visibility into the audit information while previously it took weeks as document were shipped through postal mail.
The solution has lowered the total cost of auditing and provides increased the productivity of field audit resources, enabling the company to increase the frequency of audits. The system is being used to conduct over 2,500 audits per year at over 1,200 locations.