More proof of the importance of training

More Proof of the Importance of Training

With the economy being what it is nowadays, some companies are trying to reduce their overhead by trimming their application software training costs. While this might seem like a good idea at first, most often it has the opposite effect. 

One primary area of concern is lack SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) for standard daily software tasks, and/or lack of a formalized training program.

One way to detect what is going on is to listen for the following often heard comments:

  • "I don’t have the time to do this" –  (May be a time management issue, or related to staffing levels)
  • "No one showed me how to do this" – (Limited or no training, poor retention)
  • "It takes too long to do this" – (lack of understanding, time management, lack of motivation, etc.)
  • "I tried it once, but the software doesn’t work, so I don’t do at all now" – (lack of training,lack of understanding of task importance)
  • "I thought that (insert name here) was supposed to do all of this" or "It’s not my responsibility to follow-up", "I’m not going to do this", "They aren’t paying me enough to do this" – (Attitude issues, and/or possibly work ethic issues, and/or a managerial delegation issue).

Here’s a recent example type of scenario…

Customer Statements:  "Our inventory is all screwed-up!  The computer quantities don’t match the physical quantities. When I scan some bar codes the wrong items come up. The sales history shows that we’ve sold more of numerous items than what we physically had on hand. When we do a physical count, it’s always way off, bigtime!"

The Analysis:  It was later determined that the staff was doing ALL of the following:


  • Some Receiving transactions were being put on the shelves without barcode labels.
  • Some Receiving transactions were simply not received into the software, however, the items were put on the shelf.
  • New inventory items were added incorrectly.
  • When new items were entered into the system, the manufacturers barcode for a specific size/color was assigned to the wrong item.
  • The internal barcodes used during the auto-assignment process (for gridded items) that was supposed to be initiated by the user who was adding a new item, was not done. This means that the primary item would be selected when the barcode was scanned, however, the specific color/size would not be.
  • Barcodes for legitimate items were put on the wrong items before being placed on the shelves.

The end-user response (from all persons involved) was: "I don’t have time to do this", and "It takes too long to do this".

Point of Sale…

  • Clerk scans a barcode, which pulls up the wrong item number (meaning a set-up issue).  User ignores the issue, and sells the wrong item anyway.  Because the price coming-up is for another item number that what the clerk has in their hand, a price override is done.  The clerk makes no documentation of the issue for follow-up.  Issue continue to re-appear on future sales.
  • Clerk scans a barcode, which indicates that the item is "Not on file". In order to complete  the sale, the clerk then picks the first random item in the look-up screen, and then does  a price override.

End-user responses were all of:  "No one showed me how to do this", "It’s not my responsibility to follow-up on this", "It takes too long to do this".

While some of the above comments may point to both training and negative  work attitudes issues, often they go hand-in-hand… Proper training can go a long way to correct both issues.

For assistance with training your staff, and/or setting up your own software SOP, and dealing with the above data issues, please contact CCS Retail Systems Support department.


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