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4 Ways Crowdsourcing is Changing Retail Facilities Management

Believe it or not, many retailers are still spending thousands of dollars and hours on site visits. This is inefficient and unnecessary. Crowdsourcing services, like Quri (manufacturing), Field Agent (Merchandising) and iVueit (Facilities Management) deploy independent locals armed with a smartphone and a task list, to deliver real-time photographic verification and insights into products, in-store displays and external property status, with the click of a button. These services enable retailers to quickly ‘see’ hundreds of locations without leaving their office
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1. More site visibility with less site visits

A recent Retail Dive article, “The Top Issues Facing Facilities Management in Retail” cites a growing list or responsibilities for today’s FMs who are given less resources and even more deliverables. According to RD, “Today’s Facilities Managers are simply wearing too many hats to be truly effective at overseeing all aspects of operations in person and through manual processes.”

“Imagine the time, effort and cost it would take (even for a large field team) to visit 4,600 Walmart stores.” – Alan Madrigal/Wiser

Believe it or not, many retailers are still spending thousands of dollars and hours on site visits. This is inefficient and unnecessary. Crowdsourcing services, like Quri (manufacturing), Field Agent (Merchandising) and iVueit (Facilities Management) deploy independent locals armed with a smartphone and a task list, to deliver real-time photographic verification and insights into products, in-store displays and external property status, with the click of a button. These services enable retailers to quickly ‘see’ hundreds of locations without leaving their office. In the case of iVueit, the platform is of equal value to exterior service providers who can also use the crowdsourcing app to provide on-demand verification of work performed. More on that next.

2. Improved compliance with Service Level Agreements

As Retail Facilities Managers are increasingly tasked with doing more with less, that pressure is often passed on to their service partners. In the case of exterior services, like parking lot sweeping and striping, signage, lighting,  landscaping, and snow removal, most retail Service Level Agreements require photographic verification of work performed. This is a challenge for many service aggregators, who often rely on outsourced partners or subcontractors to complete the work. Even self-performing contractors have difficulty meeting this request 100% of the time. By crowdsourcing this function, service providers can quickly and efficiently document proof-of-presence on the locations they service.

3. Get the customers’ POV, ASAP

In the early 80s, retailers would hire market research firms to utilize mystery shopping services like Secret ShopperBestmark and Marketforce to cull detailed information about the in-store retail experience. Today, companies like Intouch Insight, and Mystery Shopping Services, offer a crowdsourced spin on these services delivering more rapid feedback from customers at more affordable rates. In facilities management, crowdsourcing services can be used to quickly capture customer insights in regards to the condition of the property and how it relates to the brand.

4. Improved Customer Service

It’s not only Facilities Managers who are under pressure to manage retail locations from afar. Service aggregators and service providers are equally challenged with providing superior, cost-effective customer service and data collection for a far flung portfolio of retail properties. Being able to conduct monthly location audits via crowdsourcing enables service providers to get out in front of reactionary work and proactively address repair and maintenance issues before the client calls.

Are you using crowdsourcing to be a more efficient Facilities Manager or Service Provider? Share your solution with us so we can share it with the industry!

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