Operational Integrity more vital than ever

What does your site do when pumps or point-of-sale stop working? What about when your site is offline for mobile payments or ordering? What happens when loyalty prompts don’t display properly or when all your credit card processing is down? The lifeblood of any retail operation is the transformation of consumer interaction into cash flow. Making sure that this is working flawlessly and efficiently is key to ongoing success. Building an organized approach for monitoring and continuous improvement should be a pillar of operations. In today’s increasingly digital and data-driven world, information systems and data play a crucial role. Understanding the weak points, vulnerabilities, and risks is the critical first step in making the system as robust as possible.

Pat Raycroft, Partner at W. Capra Consulting Group, shared, “As technology is pervasive at retail locations supporting more offers and consumer engagement options, the resiliency of this technology must be monitored and assured. Making sure that products are available, priced correctly, and that consumers can transact with prescribed offers, earn loyalty and use desired payment is critical to the business. Consumers expect consistency and security and are more and more impatient and fickle, given the many competitive options. They may completely abandon a site, or sometimes an entire brand, based on a poor experience.”

Priorities!

Raycroft added, “Operational Integrity is not as glamorous to a retailer as something like a new loyalty program or product offering. Following recent investments in EMV, retailers want to invest in new offers and consumer engagement technology for revenue generating programs.  Ensuring Operational Integrity is often ambiguous and complicated, involving multiple teams: infrastructure, applications, security, vendors, all with different project slates.  It is difficult but very necessary.”  

Seems complicated – where do I get started?

At W. Capra, we work with our clients to complete an initial Operational Integrity assessment to help them identify major risk areas and quantify the impact of operational issues. For instance, lack of redundancy in payment acceptance or pumps not working at a retail fuel site would have a far greater economic and customer impact than your ice cream freezer breaking (a quick ice cream discount doesn’t solve every problem, but certainly some!).  Raycroft expounded, “An assessment not only identifies risks and potential mitigations but helps to align stakeholders on the priorities of improving the resilience and support processes.”  

Following the assessment, the daunting mission of executing your Operational Integrity program is critical and W. Capra has assisted numerous clients across various retail verticals.

Pat Raycroft is passionate about leading W. Capra clients in tackling Operational Integrity head-on. For further discussion, contact Pat Raycroft at raycroft@wcapra.com