Batteries Plus Bulbs Daily Briefings Boost Morale
A Batteries Plus Bulbs staffer offers curbside delivery.
Every afternoon starting two weeks ago, Batteries + Bulbs CEO Scott Williams convenes a "war room" update over Zoom for his 20-person management and field staff, all working from home. It's fast becoming destination viewing.
"When we get together on this war room, everybody looks forward to 3 o'clock," he said from his Wisconsin home office in an interview today. First a PowerPoint is shared, giving information on state-by-state lockdowns and COVID-19 cases by locality.
Then daily sales figures, comps by state, top-moving items and similar stats across the franchise system are discussed, including what store owners can expect on the day before a lockdown, for example, and the days afterward.
Finally, "people share stories," like "we got a big hospital order in Michigan" for batteries, which helps to lift spirits. Thirty percent of Batteries + Bulbs sales are commercial, and the stores are categorized as essential businesses. Nearly all of its 720 stores are open.
"It's actually quite a bit of work," to pull together the info. "We have two or three folks who run our business intelligence and analytics," Williams said.
He believes ramped-up communication is essential in these times. "One of the things that happens is it gives you a real opportunity to lead every day," he said about the crisis.
"The other thing I've found is, during a pandemic, a day seems like a week and a week seems like a month. So, if you don't communicate daily with your team, and weekly with your franchise owners, it will feel like it's been forever."