We can learn a lot from elite sportsmen and teams.

In every city and town, on any given weekend, we see people pitting their fitness and skills against each other to see who can be called the best.

The underlying characteristic of an elite athlete is that they are focused on the details that lead to better performance as the sum of the attention to detail lead to the competitive edge required to win.

This quest for being the best has driven the development of technology to assist in capturing data on sporting performance. GPS and motion sensors are but a few ways in which performance data is being captured. Capturing data electronically then allows for in depth performance analysis as well as the ability to compare performance across athletes to understand the differences in performance.

Despite the great similarities between sport and business, it is surprising that the focus on improving performance in business generally does not match the focus of professional sporting activities but in reality there is no reasons why there can’t be.

Besides making the performance of your business a priority, there is also technology that can assist business mangers in understanding the performance of their operations.

Building a culture of reviewing the captured data can give you a clearer direction as to the right decisions that needs to be made to improve performance.

When it comes to managing a retail business, there is no better data capture tool than a point of sale solution. After all a POS system will track everything from sales, stock movements and much more. Even better, a POS solution gives you access to data in real time meaning that at any point in your working day, you have the power to accurately assess your business performance to make the highs higher, and the lows go away.

So let’s take a look at some of the data that you can review with your POS solution.

Sales data

The first and often most common performance data most retailers check is sales data.

Not only can reviewing sales data track what is selling and how much revenue has been generated but often, more importantly, you can also highlight products that are not selling well.

Running sales reports by product as well as by revenue can be a great simple way of keeping abreast of what is working in your store.

Stock movement data

Closely tied to sales data is tracking stock movements.

Stock moves in an out of stores and between stores in multi-store operations.

Purchasing stock involves a financial outlay so ensuring you have the best stock levels is critical to ensuring you maximise your return on investment in reasonable time frames.

Tracking movements into your store is imperative to giving you accurate visibility as to what you have to sell and from that point you can also accurately track what is in stock after taking into considerations stock that has been sold.

Tracking stock movements as well as sales data will allow you to more accurately predict stock levels that must be held, not only in one store but across multiple stores.

Customer data

An area that retailers sometimes neglect is tracking purchases against customers.

Understanding the behaviour of your customers assist in many ways from understanding loyalty, products categories that are the most popular against different demographics as well as understanding the habits of the demographics in your store.

The data can help your merchandising, marketing and loyalty programme initiatives as well giving you a better understanding of the reach of your store.

Accessing reports on customer behaviour will allow you to identify your best customers as well as start to determine the average value of them.

A POS system is live and by this I mean that the data is constantly being captured and can be accessed in real time.

This real time access gives you accurate data as it is happening which allows you to react to changes more effectively.

When used right, real time data will help you compete just like an elite athlete and you too can be winning gold medals every time!

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