Improve Operations

The Problem No One Wants to Talk About

A client, who I’ll call Mary, is the owner of a small natural foods store. A new bookkeeper had been on the job for several months before Mary studied the bank records and realized $15,000 had disappeared. Mary confronted the bookkeeper, who sobbed that she'd "borrowed" the money to pay [...]

By |March 23rd, 2018|Categories: Improve Operations|Tags: , |

Aiming for Continuous Communications Improvement

By Sarah Dahl 191 July-August 2017 No one is a perfect communicator, and no co-op experiences completely effective communication at all times. While some co-ops may do better than others—at least as reported in more than 200 staff surveys conducted by CDS Consulting Co-op—communication issues are nearly always on the list [...]

“Better safe, than sorry!”

"Better safe, than sorry!" If one were asked to summarize an Emergency Preparedness philosophy in a succinct, no-nonsense maxim, "better safe, than sorry" would definitely be it. Defined simply as: "a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action," responding safely and effectively to any emergency requires thoughtful planning [...]

Open Book Management: Now is the Time!

By Melanie Reid Co-ops continue to face an increasingly tough marketplace. Competition for employees is as tough as it is for food dollars. One strategy for attracting and retaining talented and passionate staff members is to build a culture of strong employee engagement. Open Book Management (OBM) has the potential to [...]

Bridging the Gap. Interim General Management

Like any business, cooperatives need capable management at all times. Emergency management succession planning is essential but despite this planning, sometimes a co-op finds itself in need of a steady experienced hand to manage the co-op during a GM transition. Interim General Managers (IGMs) provide stable and competent management allowing [...]

Make Your Produce Holiday Season a Success

Traditionally a time of community events and gathering together to celebrate the bounty of the season’s agricultural harvest, the Thanksgiving holiday is a great opportunity for food co-ops to stand out and highlight what they have to offer! Here are a few seasonal suggestions to help make your produce holiday [...]

Safety Training That Works

An Interview with Paul Feiner As a Loss Prevention Certified (LPC) professional, Paul Feiner works full time as Store Support Manager at Sacramento Natural Foods in Sacramento, CA.  On the side, he and his brother Michael manage a consulting business that helps small businesses develop proactive loss prevention programs to [...]

Distinguishing Characteristics: Utilizing the Power of Produce to Stand Out from the Crowd

By James Morrell 190 May-June 2017 Keeping it fresh: a vibrant and fresh produce department is a key part of most natural food cooperatives, and a positive produce experience is the primary reason given by shoppers for their choice of a specific store or location. A healthy produce department offers a [...]

Telling the Board Story Through the Co-op Marketing Department

By Rebecca Torpie 190 May-June 2017 Co-op boards and marketing teams can be like two ships passing in the night. Chances are they’ve crossed paths during election season and annual meeting planning, but contact beyond that can be very limited. At many co-ops, neither the board nor the marketing team truly [...]

Fresh Convenience is Recipe for Growth

Customizable meals at fast-casual restaurants that offer made-to-order tacos or noodle bowls have found a sweet spot among consumers who want variation, portability and convenience at a great price point.  Likewise, this same demand has made its way into the grocery retail sector, blurring the lines between retailing and food [...]