The Ability to Pivot & Adapt

during a Crisis is Critical

Today’s retail landscape is changing drastically

Many of us had varying levels of emergency preparedness plans in place, however, when we came face to face with this crisis, things quickly changed. For most organizations, there were obstacles that we never anticipated. Most of us didn’t realize the enormous scale of what we were dealing with until we were in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.

In addition to pivoting & adapting here at ThinkLP, we have been working with our clients to help manage this changing environment. Some issues many retailers are dealing with include; store closures, legislated operational changes, supply chain fluctuations, infected employees and customers, product hoarding, civil unrest, social distancing, opportunistic criminal activities, furloughed associates, and the list goes on. This new reality has exposed new challenges in our emergency planning. To make matters worse, change has come quickly, and companies have had to adapt with little or no warning.

Our customers have quickly come to rely on ThinkLP for their rapidly changing operations. Companies are leveraging the flexibility of the platform to react quickly and modify their monitoring, reporting & audits. They are employing innovative solutions including: COVID-19 infection tracking & heat maps, store closing checklists, social distancing audits, modified store reporting, civil unrest incidents, emergency alerts, cleanliness/sanitation audits, critical response team communications, critical supply shortage reports and much more. We are all facing this together and our clients are sharing ideas and helping each other in order to survive this crisis.

Just what are the ways ThinkLP customers are pivoting and adapting in this new reality? Here is a list of ways they are able to lead their organizations using our platform:

+ COVID-19 Infection & Illness Reports: Locations can report cases of employee illnesses, COVID-19 infections and suspected infections to know who is affected and take action to help and continue to monitor status.

+ COVID-19 Heat Mapping: ThinkLP customers are using the multi-location feature to track affected locations, employees and services right within the case form. This allows them to view the magnitude and status of the outbreak on a heat map right within the case itself.

+ Sick Leave Pay Tracking: Many organizations are requiring employees to self-quarantine at the first sign of COVID-19 symptoms. Often, the organization provides compensation to the employee through insurance, company policy or sometimes under the law. ThinkLP customers can require each store to report when an employee is compensated for lost time through an incident report. This allows the organization to understand the financial impact from sick leave that COVID-19 is having on each store, region and the company as a whole.

+ Social Distance Audits: Creating a subset of audit questions that can be checked via CCTV for stores and conducting those audits remotely via camera. This reduces the risk of on-site visits and makes use of social distancing.

+ Store Closure Incident Report: Stores can report when they are required to close by government order, are optionally closing or are reducing/changing services of stores. This allows ThinkLP’s customers to understand the full impact of the outbreak on their organization.

+ Store Closing Checklist: When organizations are directed to close stores by Government order or choose to do so voluntarily, it can create havoc. To ease that tension, ThinkLP clients can create a Store Closing Checklist to ensure that stores are closed in an orderly manner and that everything is taken care of including; last-minute armored cash pickup, security alarm adjustments, keys are collected from non-essential staff, water lines are turned off, registers are turned off, heating/cooling/lighting schedules are adjusted and anything else that needs to be addressed for long term closures.

+ Regulatory Visit Incident Report: Stores are visited by regulatory bodies in many jurisdictions on a frequent basis and this is even more prevalent now with the new rules, laws and regulations in the effort to control the spread of COVID-19. Organizations are using ThinkLP to track these visits, fines levied, actions assigned and more; to understand the impact of regulations on stores, regions and the entire organization. Track visits from law enforcement, municipal governments, inspection agencies, OSHA and more.

+ Civil Unrest Incidents: Many of ThinkLP’s clients have Civil Unrest forms for reporting unruly customers, nearby incidents or anything that may be putting employees and/or customers at risk. This can help the leadership of organizations make decisions to employ security, limit store hours or close stores in more extreme cases.

+ Emergency Alert Communications: Customers are able to send out emails to all employees & key stakeholders at locations within affected areas in one action. This speeds the communication to locations, allowing organizations to respond to the changing environment quickly and easily.

+ Cleanliness/Sanitation Audits: ThinkLP customers recognize more than ever that keeping stores clean and sanitized is key to curbing the outbreak. Many of our customers have created and are conducting cleanliness audits to ensure proper sanitation is happening in all locations.

+ Health Check Audits: Some ThinkLP clients are employing simple 3-5 question audits to evaluate the risk of a customer or employee before entering the store. This allows the stores to turn away those that may be deemed higher risk. In the case where a customer is turned away, alternative purchasing options can be exercised remotely.

+ Automated Critical Response Team Communications: ThinkLP’s customers are also using the built-in customizable workflow engine to automatically notify all stakeholders based on escalation criteria. For example, the Critical Response Team is notified every time there is an incident report of another infection. Another use case is to inform the team when a location is required to close or change its hours due to government order.

+ Crisis Response Dashboard: Pull together various reports into a single dashboard to illustrate the current status of the crisis. This can include cleanliness audit scores, areas of concern within cleanliness audits, locations with the greatest impact, store closure lists, infection reports and more.

+ COVID-19 Employee Response Training: Clients that use ThinkLP’s training add-on module are able to respond quickly and provide specific training on how to deal with COVID-19 related activities such as: proper cleaning techniques, proper handwashing practices, social distancing strategies and more. Then using a quiz they are able to measure knowledge retention to ensure that employees understand the strategies and can continue to deliver services safely and effectively, minimizing the financial impact on the organization.

+ COVID-19 Supply Shortage Report: Many of ThinkLP’s clients have warehouses to provide cleaning supplies to their network of locations, often using a standard ordering system to fulfill orders which can push important supply orders into a queue that does not consider the urgency of the current outbreak. Using ThinkLP, customers can create and deploy an order form for those highly urgent supplies and send to the appropriate resource for immediate fulfillment.

+ Store Opening Checklist: Many stores have been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic but eventually those stores will be permitted to re-open. Using ThinkLP’s Audit platform, stores are preparing for that eventuality by creating Store Opening Checklists. Items on such checklists include order store cash float, setup new alarm codes, turn on the water, set schedules for alarm/heating/cooling/lighting and more.

+ Store Hazard Mitigation Assessment: As life begins to return to normal, it will be imperative to assess the risk of re-opening a store. As the prospect becomes a reality, ThinkLP customers are encouraged to create and deploy a risk assessment to evaluate potential hazards, confirm that deep cleaning measures are conducted before and after opening, ensure the store is prepared for a potential second surge of the virus, validate employees awareness of new pandemic practices and establish that each store is and can be ready for new policies and procedures implemented during this crisis.

+ Financial Impact Analytics: Do you wonder how COVID-19 has impacted the bottom line of your organization? With a COVID-19 impact form, customers can ask stores to provide all the stats on the impact COVID-19 has had on their business including sales reduction, additional staffing costs, additional cleaning services, sick leave pay, cleaning supplies, regulatory fines, store modifications, and more. On the other side of the equation are costs that were not expended like reduction in electricity costs, heating costs, service cost reductions, in some cases reduced rent, etc. And by already collecting the reports noted above, organizations would already have a lot of this information and simply create a dashboard in ThinkLP to visualize the overall impact by store, region or for the entire company.

If you need assistance, want to share ideas or circulate challenges your team is facing, feel free to pick up the phone and connect with us. We are true partners of the industry and would love to help you as we face these uncertain times together! 

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