By: Jason Bishop, Director of Client Service and Steve Seidel, Senior Business Advisor, NEST International.
When designing the ideal floor care program for your stores, it is important to understand how it will impact your budgetary goals as well as brand image and the customer experience.
Meeting Brand Needs
The first step when creating your floor care program is to consider your customers. What are their expectations of your brand? For example, discount retailers with a mostly male customer base and vinyl tile flooring will not have the same needs compared to a high end retailer with a mostly female customer base and wood flooring. This basic premise should be applied starting your design process. What customer experience are you striving to provide?
You will also need to consider the factors that will impact your design, which can vary by region. These factors include store traffic, climate, and entrance type, and will affect your program as it relates to service frequencies, as well as product and equipment choices. The critical step in this process is to customize your approach, depending on the needs of individual stores.
We also highly recommend that you take an active approach in store planning meetings. You can provide valuable information about the flooring surface choices that will be made for your brand. The design group may not understand the maintenance challenges that impact your budget.
Once you develop your program, it is also critical to develop a floor care policy for your store staff. This will help them understand their role in maintaining your brand’s flooring assets and their role in the overall customer experience. Developing a realistic and simple policy is critical to a successful floor care program. Safe and simple processes will yield big results.
While developing the right floor care plan for your brand, understanding budgetary goals of your company and realistic operating expenses of the program is important. The true operating expenses include chemicals, equipment and labor. Once you have done your research, you can plug these items into a formula to create a per-service cost that will help build your budget.
Key Elements of Implementation
There are two major phases to the implementation process:
Phase 1: Information Gathering, Budget Development, Program Design, and SLA Development
Phase 2: Store and Field Operations Communication, Scheduling Process, Quality Verification Process
To ensure that your program is producing the results needed to support your brand, you will need to also create Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) that are simple measurements of the expectations. Your KPI’s will therefore be very specific to support your unique brand and should be used consistently by those monitoring your store floor care program. Your service provider will be instrumental in providing the technology to gather this information and report it back on a quarterly basis to provide the best platform for your gap analysis discussions.
Strategically aligning with the right solutions provider when developing your floor care program will be the most impactful choice you make. A good provider will help you design your program, meet your budget needs, and guide you through the process. At NEST International, our professionally executed floor care programs are customized for each client and are designed to maximize the appearance and life of this important asset. We have developed detailed service specifications for each and every flooring type.