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3 Ways to Simplify Your Merchandising Process

Competition in the retail space is fierce. Ensuring the right product in the right place, and at the right price and time is key to every retail brand’s success. Savvy merchandisers with a simplified and streamlined merchandising process have the best chance of growing sales and maintaining the competitive edge. Here’s why…

90% of information sent to the brain is visual and 95% of our decision making process is subconscious, leaving only 5% to the conscious mind. Consumers subconsciously make purchasing decisions based on the visual and organizational layout of a retail store. Merchandisers are the brains behind the revenue-driving operation. They are the analytical, strategic, design savvy professionals who carefully plan and organize the customer experience to increase store traffic and grow sales.

These key players perform a crucial role in the success of retail brands, and their jobs are not always easy – especially with quick seasonal turnarounds, high competition, and hundreds of locations from coast to coast.

HERE ARE 3 TIPS AND TRICKS TO SIMPLIFY THE REMERCHANDISING PROCESS FOR MULTI-LOCATION BRANDS

 

1. Harness Your Data

Make data-driven decisions to consistently improve sales. Plan, organize, gather, and analyze your data before you start the remerchandising process. This ongoing activity will give you the best insights for profitability in the planning phase. Determine the most important metrics and use Sales and Observational Data to drive product placement. Know which items are likely to increase sales before you place them.

2 types of important data:

  • Sales Data is data gathered from your POS system. Is there a particular wood flooring that is selling quickly? Where is it currently shelved? Would moving the flooring to an eye-level shelf or endcap help drive even more sales? Test it with a split placement. Compare your sales data to observational data to learn more. Then test the new product placement against the old product placement to get a deeper understanding.
  • Observational Data is data gathered by paying attention to shelf placement and product flow. One example of this is testing a product on a shelf versus an endcap display in half of your stores. Let’s imagine you are a floor and tile store like Floor & Decor. Take a new tile design that is expected to be popular for the season and display it in your flooring section. In 50% of your stores, display the tiles on a pop-up endcap that adds a visual “wow” factor. In the other 50% of your stores, simply place the tiles on shelves in an aisle. Combining sales data with observational data, do you see an increase in endcap tile sales that make special endcap displays worthwhile? Or, is the difference in sales marginal and not worth the extra effort? Is there a product that would be better suited for the endcap? Observational data helps you make better, more informed decisions.

Combine your data analysis into an easy-to-view report or presentation, so you and your team can reference your findings throughout the merchandising process.

 

2. Keep an Eye on the Competition

Are you maintaining a watchful eye on your competitors? You should be. You can learn a lot quickly from their product placement, fixture displays and designs, and remerchandising timelines. Documenting your competitors’ strategies over time can reveal new ways to streamline your process that you may not have already considered. It may also expose some strategies you’re better off avoiding. Make a list of your top three competitors and make a conscious effort to check in and record your observations.

Some of the key strategies you may want to note:

  • How often do they roll out new merchandise?
  • Which products do they highlight on endcaps or special displays/fixtures?
  • Which products do they place on eye-level shelves?
  • When do they run sales to clear store inventory?
  • What is their lighting style?
  • What kind of collaborations or endorsements are they running?

 

3. Maintain Up to Date As-Built Plans

Help your merchandising team stay informed of store layout remotely. Big retail brands with nationwide locations have a geographic challenge in merchandising each store to its full capacity. Teams need a clear view of the current layout of each store location to make actionable and data-driven decisions.

Does your company have a clear, up to date set of As-Built Plans of each store location?  If not, you’re likely missing valuable space you could be leveraging to highlight your best products and increase sales. Accurate Floor Plans are the minimum As-Built Survey type your team should have on hand at all times.

The most common As-Built Drawings used by retail brands include:

  • Floor Plans – Commonly used by merchandisers, brand architects, and construction professionals to plan store layout and construction
  • Elevations – Commonly used by merchandisers, brand architects, and construction professionals to plan store layout and construction. The marketing team may also leverage these plans to gather window dimensions for promotional signs and banners.
  • Reflected Ceiling Plan – These plans are, as they sound, a reflection of the ceiling. They are leveraged by marketers to understand ceiling layout when hanging promotional material from above. They may be used by merchandisers to highlight store sections and enhance the customer experience.
  • Fixture Plans – These plans provide merchandisers a better understanding of built-in and moveable racks, gondolas, and displays.

Acquiring and maintaining current As-Built store layouts for all of your locations is an incredibly valuable asset. Partnering with a trustworthy As-Built partner who can streamline your store plans nationwide can substantially save time, increase efficiency, and drive revenue.

Although merchandising across hundreds of storefronts may seem like a daunting task, streamlining your process using these tips and tricks can alleviate a lot of stress and prepare you for smart, profitable decisions and a smooth process.

Do you have an upcoming project we can assist with?

Interested in learning more about Multi-Site As-Built Survey programs?

About Precision Property Measurements

PPM is the leading provider of retail As-Built survey and drafting services in the United States. We provide As-Built surveys (measurements on existing properties) including Floor Plans, Elevations, Reflected Ceiling Plans, and more to architects, designers, and contractors who are transforming retail space. We are the first step in a smooth remodel or renovation and a trusted partner among some of the biggest brands including Floor & Decor, Chipotle, and McDonald’s. Learn more about our Multi-Site As-Built services here.

Image depicting community gathering at a coffee shop
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How Unique Retail Experiences Are Successfully Fending Off The Internet

COMPETING IN AN INTERNET-DRIVEN WORLD

The Brick and Mortar Retail Challenge

It goes without saying that competing in our Internet-driven world is no easy feat for brick and mortar retailers. Amazon is now a household name and Prime members enjoy expedited shipping so swift there’s no need to ever leave the couch. It’s safe to predict that Amazon will continue finding efficiency in its process and retail experience. One-day delivery is now the default for Prime members, and the online giant is capable of one-day and same-day delivery for 72% of the total U.S. population.

Quick delivery is just one perk for online shoppers as e-retailers compete for better, faster shipping options. Consumers also enjoy easy price comparison, consumer reviews, and front door delivery of big box items that are difficult to transport from store to home. Not only are Amazon and other big box and niche retailers a click away, but they’re also serving up visually appealing advertisements that remind us of the shoes we perused for our best friend’s wedding or that sofa that would fit perfectly in our space.

So how do brick and mortars compete with online shopping and internet-driven consumer behavior? Smart brands are elevating the experience and shifting the tide. Strategic brands whose shopping experience feels less like a burden and more like an outing are developing a playbook worth following. PPM’s As-Built surveys have been the starting point for a number of retail brands looking to upgrade their customer experience and drive more in-store traffic. The first step in amplifying the customer experience is measuring your store so your architects and designers can begin reimaging the layout and experience. That’s where PPM comes into play, but first, let’s look at how some of our favorite brands have succeeded at a holistic retail experience.

Brands Who Crush The Retail Experience

TOMS, the shoe retailer famous for their Buy One, Give One model donates one pair of shoes to a person in need for every pair purchased. Since their 2006 launch, they’ve expanded to Buy One, Give One sunglasses and other retail items. But, most interestingly, they’ve reimagined three of their most popular retail locations into a space for coffee and community. “We believe in a better community,” reads their website. The coffee shop and community consumer experience aligns perfectly with their brand and brings neighbors together to enjoy TOMS Roasting Co. Coffee, live musical performances, and other community events like Ping Pong parties and clever collabs with like-minded brands. The earthy ambiance is also a great place to relax and unwind with a good read. Not only have they created a way to drive community, but they’ve also created another stream of revenue.

Ikea, the Swedish design and home furnishings company, was a pioneer in bringing experiential retail (and genius merchandising) to life. For the design-savvy or the not-so-design savvy, Ikea has done a great job at inspiring and driving purchase behavior. For anyone who hasn’t visited an Ikea, the floor layout brings customers through a maze-style showroom with bedrooms, bathrooms, living rooms, and kitchens designed with Ikea furnishings to get the interior design juices flowing.

After the showroom, the maze continues through merchandise organized by room type. Heavier items like sofas, desks, and kitchen shelves are packaged and organized warehouse-style near the checkout. Ikea’s checkout line is similar to many retailers where they stock smaller household items you may have forgotten to add to your cart. We can only imagine that those last-minute temptations are a major source of revenue for Ikea. And their retail experience and merchandising strategy don’t stop there. Their brilliant post-checkout experience leads visitors through a cafeteria and market where you can grab a quick bite of Swedish meatballs and gravy, a slice of pizza, soft serve ice cream or Swedish novelties to go. If anyone has thought thoroughly through the retail experience, it’s Ikea – a retail experience all retailers can learn from.

And then there are brands that take it to the next level. If you’ve ever stepped inside a Bass Pro Shop, you’ve experienced a truly unique consumer destination that draws more than 200 million visitors annually and may literally blow your mind. You might compare it to stepping into a wildlife museum. Each location is tailored to its region with dioramas of landscapes and wild animals – many with ponds and incredibly tall trees. The Las Vegas location has featured a mermaid swimming in a giant aquarium with live fish, while other locations boast an ocean themed bowling alley and sport fishing themed seafood restaurants. Do yourself a favor and stop by a Bass Pro Shop next time you pass one. Or, make a day out of it. It’s a retail experience you don’t want to miss.

Outside The Box

While the brick and mortar retail experience is being challenged, the opportunity for reimagination and growth is on an uprise. Consumers will travel and buy based on how the retail experience makes them feel. In the era of smartphones and endless screentime, now is the time to connect with people on the next level and remind them that shopping is an outing and not a chore.

PPM has helped brands prepare for renovations and remerchandising for over 10 years. Our nationwide network of surveyors and drafters provide measurements such as Floor Plans, Elevations, and Interiors to begin your renovation or remerchandising project right. It’s the very first, and most important step, in the renovation process. Smooth renovations, especially across multiple locations, begin with accurate, streamlined As-Built plans your architects, designers, and contractors can trust. For high-volume projects, we’re able to draft and survey 50 locations nationwide per week beginning with our signature Pilot Program. Learn more about our Multi-Site As-Built programs to begin your renovations and amplify your retail experience.

Do you have an upcoming project we can assist with?

Interested in learning more about Multi-Site As-Built Survey programs?

About Precision Property Measurements

PPM is the leading provider of retail As-Built survey and drafting services in the United States. We provide As-Built surveys (measurements on existing properties) including Floor Plans, Elevations, Reflected Ceiling Plans, and more to architects, designers, and contractors who are transforming retail space. We are the first step in a smooth remodel or renovation and a trusted partner among some of the biggest brands including Floor & Decor, Chipotle, and McDonald’s. Learn more about our Multi-Site As-Built services here.

The PPM Multi-Site As-Built Survey Process
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The PPM As-Built Multi-Site Survey Process

A NATIONWIDE AS-BUILT PARTNER WITH A BULLETPROOF PLAN FOR MULTI-LOCATION PROJECTS

Ensuring accuracy, speed, and service on a larger scale

Renovations across multiple locations require careful planning and a well-developed process. At PPM, we bring a team of professionals who ensure your success through a carefully designed Multi-Site As-Built Survey Process. We make sure your program’s architects, designers, and contractors can begin renovations, upgrades, and re-merchandising with As-Built plans they can trust. Worry-Free, every time.

When working on Multi-Site programs, we take a strategic approach to completing a few locations to begin what we call a Pilot Program. Our pilot program typically includes three to five locations, which gives us, and our clients, enough information and feedback to make sure we are delivering exactly what our client’s need, including the drafting specifications and standards, the scope of work, and scheduling protocols for all projects. Here’s a look into our carefully crafted Multi-Site process that ensures your project begins and ends with communication and accuracy, on time, and on budget, every time.

1. GATHER PROGRAM DETAILS

The first step in any Multi-Site As-Built survey program is to fully gather and understand your objectives, As-Built scope, number of locations, timeline, and any other important details we should know. Your dedicated project manager works closely with you and your team to stay organized and communicate your project each step of the way. He/she will also be available for any questions you may have.

Gathering Program Details

2. CREATE PROGRAM DOCUMENTS

After we fully understand your needs, we create and confirm the written scope of work, checklists, CAD template, and other project deliverable guidelines. This step ensures each program location is delivered to your exact specifications.

Creating Program Documents

3. ASSEMBLE SURVEY TEAM

Based on the program requirements, the team will include your dedicated program manager, surveyors, drafters, Quality Assurance staff, and executive support. Team members are carefully paired with your project based on their expertise in your needs.

Assemble Survey Team

4. PILOT PROGRAM

Up to 5 pilot locations are surveyed, drafted, and delivered. Communication and feedback are gathered from the client to confirm any final revisions to the scope details and deliverable preferences. Pilot locations allow us to take our time on the first few and get detailed feedback from our clients, ensuring all program details are answered and confirmed before ramping up to full capacity, at which time we’re able to survey and draft up to 50 locations per week.

Pilot Program

5. FINAL REVISIONS AND TRAINING

Based on the results of the pilot surveys, scope documents and templates are updated as needed, and the entire team is trained on program standards and processes. This ensures all locations are drafted and delivered with the same file types and plan specifications making it easier for your architects, designers, and contractors to move between locations.

Final Revisions and Training

6. SURVEY PROGRAM LIVE

This is where things really get exciting! All remaining locations are surveyed, drafted, quality checked, and delivered to you in the confirmed format, within the agreed upon time frame. We maintain regular communication to ensure you are always aware of the program status. This phase might last a few months or multiple years – it’s all based our client’s needs. We have worked on programs where we surveyed up to 50 locations each week.

Survey Program Live

7. POST-PROGRAM SUPPORT

Just because we’ve delivered your plans doesn’t mean we are done supporting you. Our team is always available to discuss any questions or additional needs throughout the lifecycle of the project. Although we are the very first step in your project, we are with you the whole way.

Post-Program Support

Our commitment to Worry-Free As-Builts for every size client is second to none. Our tried and true Multi-Site As-Built Survey Process ensures we get the job done right. Worry-Free Accuracy, Worry-Free Timeliness, and Worry-Free Communication are the three pillars of our Worry-Free Promise that we stand behind for every client. It is our mission to continue to be the As-Built provider you can trust as well as a reliable advisor in your program. We’d love to hear more about your project.

Do you have an upcoming project we can assist with?

Interested in learning more about Multi-Site As-Built Survey programs?

https://ppmco.net/the-ppm-as-built-survey-process/
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The PPM As-Built Survey Process

A BULLETPROOF REMODEL STARTS HERE

At PPM, we live and die by process. That’s because we’ve learned that having a well-thought-out process and executing it consistently is the best way to give our customers the most accurate As-Built surveys, on time and on budget.

Every challenge, every potential problem that could arise, every structure (old and new), PPM has experienced it, and this is why we developed The PPM Process – a tried-and-true seven step system that begins when we discuss your needs and continues throughout the life cycle of your project – even after the plans are delivered. After 17 years, we believe this process is bulletproof! And this is how we do it.

This process is designed for single location projects. If you are working on a project with multiple locations, you will find the best information here.

1. PRICING AND PROPOSAL

From the point of initial contact, our team gathers and assesses the details of your project. And, with almost twenty years creating precision As-Built surveys, we know that no two jobs are the same. Instead of generating a quick quote from square footage, we take the time to research your property on real estate sites to assess the shape, structure, and conditions. This way, we are able to provide a proposal you can be sure we’ll deliver on time, on budget and to your specifications.

Pricing and Proposal

2. PROJECT SCHEDULING

Upon acceptance of the proposal, you’ll be assigned a project manager. Your project manager provides a complete project timeline including site visit, drafting, quality assurance, and estimated delivery date.

Scheduling

3. SITE VISIT

Field surveying is coordinated directly with you or your client and varies in time based on the size and complexity of the project: one hour to several weeks. Most projects take 2-5 hours to measure by our professionally trained surveyors using precise 3D laser scanning technology, and larger scale projects such as hotels, shopping malls and other sizeable commercial properties need to be properly assessed and given a longer timeline.

4. DRAFTING

After the surveyor has accurately captured all of the necessary measurements in the field, the drafting begins. Your drafter will review the scope of work and draft your As-Built plans in your preferred format of AutoCAD or Revit. Then, additional details are added to the plans, including dimensions, labels, and any custom client standards.

Drafting5. QUALITY CHECK

We know the importance of this step. Using 3D point cloud data, photographs and As-Built surveying best practices, our Quality Assurance team executes a 10-step checklist, looking for any omissions or indiscrepancies. A careful eye ensures each plan leaves this stage with complete accuracy.

Quality Check

6. PROJECT DELIVERY

When the quality check is complete, your project manager will deliver your files in your preferred format of AutoCAD or Revit, as well as other project deliverables such as a PDF sheet set and digital photographs.

Project Delivery

This home is an example of a 3D Revit model drafted from a laser scanned point cloud.

7. POST-PROJECT SUPPORT

Just because we’ve delivered your plans doesn’t mean we are done supporting you. Our team is always available to discuss any questions or additional needs you may have throughout your project lifecycle. Although we are the very first step in your project, we are with you the whole way.

The entire PPM Process for As-Built surveys takes most single location projects between 15 and 22 days. But, if you have a tight turnaround time, let our team know. We’ll do our best to accommodate, and always feel free to reach out with questions at any time. We’re great advisers and enjoy helping you in your remodel journey.

Do you have an upcoming project we can assist with?

Seeking As-Built advice?

If you are managing a survey program with multiple locations, learn more here.