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We’re all familiar with the uphill battle faced by charity shops over the past few months. They have the massive task of attempting to catch up with almost a whole year of forced downtime and upping productivity again.

Now’s the time where the sector has to roll up its sleeves, optimise how it works, and secure as many donations and as much revenue as possible. But there will always be those little tasks that eat into your time. Time that could otherwise be spent boosting revenue.

This period of recovery is a great opportunity to tighten your operation and make some changes to help you recover and thrive for years to come. Let’s look at 3 factors that might be stealing away some of your charity’s time and productivity.

A lack of remote capabilities

You and your staff won’t always be in-store and able to access your systems. But that shouldn’t stop you doing your job. Perhaps you’re a manager who spends multiple hours each week travelling around the different stores in your area. Or you have volunteers collecting donations at a car boot sale in the middle of a field. Remote capabilities allow your staff and volunteers to continue doing their jobs no matter where they are. 

Mobile dashboards can provide managers with operational and sales information on any compatible device, meaning they can monitor store and area performance in real time and on the move. Remote Gift Aid sign ups allow volunteers to secure that extra bit of revenue. Without the need to hunt down an internet connection.

Inadequate stock control

Across retail businesses, inventory is accurate only 63% of the time. Unfortunately, this trend will extend to charity retail, too. Meaning you might be making important stock decisions based on inaccurate information.

Improving real-time visibility of your stock will help to streamline your operations and keep your shop running smoothly. With the right system in place, you can track transfers throughout their journey, preparing for new stock to arrive. If you balance in-store and online channels, you can minimise the risk of accepting online orders you can’t fulfil. Or you can use estimated stock analysis to determine how much stock you will need over the coming days and plan deliveries accordingly.

To secure as much revenue as possible, you need to have stock to sell. So maybe it’s time to develop a more robust, accurate inventory system.

System vulnerabilities

What your charity doesn’t want is a security breach throwing a spanner in the works of your recovery plans. 26% of charities report having a cyber breach in the past year – a scarily high number.

But rather than hoping for the best, waiting to react to a cyber attack, why not be proactive and reduce your risk before they can strike? Vulnerability assessments will highlight any flaws in your existing systems and infrastructure, helping you reduce your risk and keep your organisation more secure. They can also be valuable at quantifying different risks, helping you to prioritise investment in new systems according to a risk/benefit analysis.

To continue operating at your best, you want your operational, sales, customer, donor, and staff information to be as safe and secure as possible.

While these 3 issues might not seem like end-of-the-world problems, all that forced downtime or missed revenue adds up. Any way you can tighten up your internal processes will do amazing things for your charity and its cause.

CHARiot is a feature-rich EPoS system that can make your charity retail operation more efficient and profitable in no time. Remote capabilities, accurate, real-time inventory management, and minimising system vulnerabilities are just a few of the ways we can help. To find out more, call us on 01204 706 000.

After the pandemic kept us all locked away for over a year, we’re back in action. And soon, we’ll return to as close to normal as we’ll ever be. For a charity shop like yours, who suffered the brunt of the economic damage, this is a crucial time – one you’ve no doubt all been waiting for.

But being closed for so long inevitably means you’ll have lots of work now your doors are open again. A flood of donations to organise. Customers to serve. COVID regulations to adhere to. We think tech can be your secret tool to help you stay productive. After all, the average UK employee is only productive for 2 hours and 53 minutes in a working day. Here are our four tips for staying on top of your game and delivering your best – and the tech you need to do it.

Keep communication clear

Clear and consistent communication is probably the easiest way to keep your charity shop productive. And it can have amazing results. Improving team communication can actually increase productivity by up to 25%

So how do we use technology to keep communication effective? While you always have email, instant messaging apps are a great way to get the message out immediately. You could opt for a popular one like WhatsApp, or go for something designed more for business, such as Slack or Microsoft Teams. With the latter two, you can share files and messages all in one place so your team isn’t bouncing between email, text, and whatever else you might use. The key is to keep it as simple as possible.

Train staff regularly

Your team will be much more productive if they’re trained on how to use important systems. With regular training, your staff will be able to do certain tasks themselves instead of having to wait for a senior team member to complete it for them. This could include paperwork or more complicated administrative work.

While it’s best to train staff on your specific systems, they can learn other important skills too. There are thousands of online videos and courses dedicated entirely to upskilling and essential workplace skills. Your staff can stay productive and also develop skills that could benefit your shop in the future. If you’re looking to move into the 21st century and modernise your offering, it might prove key to have these employees in your back pocket.

Reduce error where possible

Mistakes happen. Sometimes it can’t be helped, and it isn’t always your staff’s fault. So to keep your shop productive, give them the tools to reduce as much error as they can. EPoS systems can do much of the heavy lifting nowadays. Need to calculate total prices and change? It does that. Need an accurate stock count? It can do that too. At the end of the day, do you need a sales report? Simple.

The less mental strain on your staff having to track all of this themselves, the better they can carry out other duties. They can provide a better service to customers. They can make more sales. And if you use a system with Gift Aid integration, you can even draw as much money for your cause as possible.

Stay organised

Being organised is crucial to productivity. If your staff don’t know what they’re supposed to be doing that day, how can you possibly expect them to be productive? You can’t have one without the other. 

Technology can help us organise our day to day. With just a few clicks, you can add important dates to your calendar or create a to-do list on an app that helps you keep track of what needs doing and when. Monday.com is a great example. You can set tasks and assign each to specific members of your team with dates for when each task needs to be completed.

Productivity is essential for any charity shop and is something we should always be working to improve. And with so much tech out there, it only makes sense to take advantage of it. More than that, it means you can do more good for your cause and change more lives.

Looking to streamline your shop’s operations? Our bespoke EPoS system gives you complete oversight of all operations, with hundreds of management reporting options as standard. Keep your shop productive and doing its best. To talk about your EPoS needs, get in touch with us on 01204 706 000.