2017 Weekly Department Review . . . and More!

2017 Weekly Department Review... and More!

by Steve Bailey

The Garden Center Group prides itself on sharing information. Rightfully so, with the various GroupEs available, Fall Event, and the other activities that promote Owners and Managers communicating with each other.

Nothing typifies this more than the Weekly Department Review (WDR). The weekly sharing of numbers is a source of wonderment when I tell other traveling consultants about it. They can't believe any group or retail segment is as sharing as this one. Plus, they are envious.

Every year presents the challenge of "how do we make it better?" Notes are gathered from your comments during the entire preceding year, and used to reformat the tool you use. Your ideas build the WDR to a new level each and every year.

Which brings us to 2017. Back in May, The Group Admin team had a meeting in Atlanta with the express purpose of making The Group a better experience and value for all of you. In that meeting, I asked everyone how we could improve the compiled report. Amongst the suggestions was to include the WDR Summary in the Excel spreadsheet and make it the opening page in the report. In that way, if the recipient wants a quick synopsis of the previous week, it's right there to be used.


Another was to ask the centers that don't normally report to send in their numbers in the Special Year-End WDR. Through reporting and receiving, hopefully they would want to make it a regular part of their routine. True, that was in 2016, but it was an improvement worth noting.

The 2016 WDR report form added an internal report section for Centers to use in their weekly meetings. While the entire form was the basis for the Internal report, only the top end (Revenues) was used on a regular basis. The bottom section was too confusing for most, so it was dropped in favor of a more extensive and simpler Revenue comparison.
The main body of the 2017 WDR remains the same. Links take you from group to group, and also allow direct communication to other Group Centers via email links. And it's still arranged by Revenues in both the Sales and Regional groups.
That said, best-laid plans do sometimes go awry. We had an excellent suggestion from Lynnette Shonnard at Shonnard's, OR. It's always been a component of the WDR that the highest Revenue category was indicated by a bright yellow cell. Lynnette's idea was to highlight the second highest category in each Sales and Regional group. Ah-ha, I said, simple enough. Unfortunately, it didn't work as planned and was taken back out quickly. Like any Excel user, I see it as a challenge and will build it back in as soon as it is reliable.
We find every year that there's still room for improvement. And most of those ideas over the years have come from you. Shoot those to me, no matter the time of year, and I'll add them to my 'Next Year's WDR Wish List'.  Many will make the cut and make The Group's Weekly Department Review in the next year. We hope your idea and your Center are in there. But you don't have to wait until then to join in, you can begin at any time. Email or call me for details on how to begin.

The grand-pappy of the WDR, in terms of information derived from reporting, is The Group's 2016 Profit & Loss Study. There's still time to give and receive.
Danny mentions it elsewhere in this week's GROUPTalk, but I can't resist getting another plug in here. If you're not planning on reporting, give me a call and let's discuss how your Center can report and benefit. There's a LIGHT version that just might fit your reporting capability at this time with an eye on the full report in the future.
But you must HURRY, next Wednesday is the deadline for reporting - unless you let me know before that time. I might be able to eek out a couple of extra days. We want your Center to use all the resources available to you. Call me.

Got questions or need more information about the WDR, P&L Study or your profitability? 
Give Steve a call or email!

Steve Bailey
Tel: 618.319.9205
Cell: 618.521.5225
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