10th Annual iQmetrix Summit: How RQ Saved Christmas

"Starting today, there are only 37 days left until Black Friday 2014," warned iQmetrix Professional Services manager Kris Rogers, who led this session along with Account Manager Tashia Walters.

During the holiday season, Summit attendees:

  • Made 24% of their yearly net profits (2013)
  • Employees made 23% of their yearly commissions (2013).

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I'll spend the first four hours sharpening the axe.Abraham Lincoln

Top things in RQ to prepare for the holiday season:

  • Sales Orders: Pre-arrange your orders to avoid problems with pre-orders and direct fulfillment.
  • Stale Inventory Report: Inventory management is, of course, a huge help. The key to this report is its filters: e.g. daily average, stock out and in stock. Favorite and bookmark this report.
  • Min/Max Pricing Adjustment Report: Set you min/max levels, by location and product. The most important part? The Min/Max Calculator, which is based on sales history, delivery buffer, time until next order.
  • Merchandising - A Case for Collaboration: Avoid DOA stock. Consult with sales, management, marketing and purchasing staff in the ordering process.
  • Educating Seasonal Sales Associates: Get people ready in time before the holiday rush hits
    - Role Management: 'Suggested Videos' are great for prompting training material available to new staff (PAW, punch-in, cash-in module, etc.)
    - Customized Tests: RQ Intranet has a section dedicated to training. Create a new test -- it's as easy as filling in the questions you want to ask (e.g. discounting policies, refunds, cash out, etc.)
  • Location Master LIst: You can customize the sales invoice messaging by location, en masse.

How about during the holidays?

  • Stock Balancing: Auto Transfer In and Auto Transfer Out reports.
    - ATI: "Who was what my store needs?" report. If store A is short 5 iPhones and store B has 5 excess iPhones, you can request a transfer request to send the iPhones from A to B.
    - ATO: "What do I have that other stores could use?" report. Identify stock overages, assess ship to shortage and generate a transfer as required.
  • VMI: Could VMI have helped? (Too late now, but think about it for next year.)
    - Carry less and sell more. Link your inventory information directly to a vendor to enable automatic stock replenishment.
  • Inefficicent Purchasing & Transfer Order Policies:
    - Scan anywhere for receiving PO and TO: You can scan a barcode right in the RQ home screen. It will pop it up for you and let you take immediate action.
    - Receiving a PO gives you an added level of accountability for staff, and you can set this by role to avoid mix-ups.
    - Auto Complete function: Keeps things clean and organized. Closes purchases out so nobody is expecting stock that has already arrived.
    - Cancel Transfer: Keep an eye on the Purchase History Report to cancel unnecessary orders.
    - Barcodes: All invoices are barcoded, so don't be afraid to use the scan anywhere feature on the invoice and save you a few clicks.
  • Search Product Library:
    - Makes new product creating so much easier: product mapping, vendor mapping and manufacturer mapping.
    - Lots of great hyperli
  • ks your staff can click through to see specific product information.

Holiday Crash Kit

  • Crash Kit: A physical box in the store in case the system crashes: Special instructions, manual invoice, manual integration invoice, contact list, "old knuckle buster" credit card machine.

Fraud & Theft

  • Blind Inventory Counts: There is a learning curve here. You can phase it in. Do it by specific locations. In RQ security role settings, you can assign a "store clerk blind count" that you can turn on/off whenever you want.
  • Blind Cashouts: Learning curve here too. Again, you can phase this in: Create a "store clerk blind cashout." Give it a shot on a spot-check basis.

Customer Information

  • Don't let customer information go uncollected. Avoid missed RQ marketing opportunities.
    - Email and phone are the most important fields. It's optional, but try to force that.

Driving Accessory Sales

  • Coupons: Criteria based. (New) By product. (New) Copy functionality.
  • Marketing: Targeted effort. Demographic-specific. Attach coupons/promotions.
  • Compatibility: Easy for the sales rep. Show price and availability. Push high-margin products.

Post-Holiday Tips

  • Returns: Ensure reasons for returns are entered into the system.
  • RMAs: Minimize write-offs and unnecessary RMAs. Mass edit tool is also very helpful. See: "Restrict serialized products on RMAs to the original vendor" check box.
  • Write off check box is also helpful. Ask your Account Manager for more info.
  • How did you do? Reach out to your Account Manager to run a database review based on 2013 and see how you can set up strategies for 2014.

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