What’s the key to running a successful agri-retail location? There’s no one right answer, but the attendees of today’s Retail Management Workshop gained some fresh insights to help unlock the potential of their operations.

Mike Bossy explains the Kolbe A Index

The morning’s first speaker, Michael Bossy of Bossy Nagy Group Ltd., shared the benefits of the Kolbe A Index as a human resources tool. The index is designed to pinpoint the unique strengths and skills that each employee or candidate has to offer.

Curtis Richmond, customer service and agronomy representative from Orchard Transport, saw the system as a potential boon for hiring practices. “The Kolbe Index was pretty interesting,” he said. “I think it would be a good tool for hiring and team-building – you can work out who will get along with whom, and who will be best on a team together.”

Next on the agenda was Glenn Kehrer of Group Benefits, Inc., who shared with the crowd the various resources and programs available to CAAR members through the Group Benefits plan.

“In the (Group Benefits presentation), the human resources program is awesome; it’s a huge resource,” said Cassandra Morari of Rack Petroleum. “I just came out of working for a crown corporation, and we had access to everything – everything was at my fingertips, from templates to tools. Now, working for a smaller family-run business, we don’t always have access to those templates. So the items that are available through that are great, and probably a big time-saver for us.”

Following Group Benefits was an overview of Emergency Response Assistance Plans (ERAP), explained from the perspective of both a retailer who implemented their own plan, and the response assistance provider essential to the ERAP system.

Kevin McNicholls talks retail safety

Kevin McNicholls, safety officer at Rack Petroleum, outlined his organization’s process of developing their ERAP, as well as insights from Rack’s emergency response exercise. Shaune Zeleny of Envirotec provided the other side of the equation, offering response services to support a retailer’s emergency plan.

Rob Forrest, general manager at GDT Ag Services, was interested in learning about the different ERAP solutions being used in agri-retail. “We’re currently operating one plan, but we are always looking for opportunities to maybe change it, or stay on top of what’s up in the industry,” said Forrest. “I think it’s interesting that it’s still left up to interpretation, and there are still a lot of variables and different ways to get to the same outcome. The industry is constantly evolving, and we have to be ready for change if it comes about.”

Finally, Justin Funk of the University of Guelph took the podium to lead a two-hour workshop on The Producer Perspectives on Agricultural Salespeople – a retailer-focused adjunct to tomorrow’s speaker session on retailer understanding versus customer needs.

Justin Funk discusses sales challenges

Funk, along with the rest of tomorrow’s speakers, will participate in a panel discussion tomorrow at 11:20 am to explore the common themes within their presentation topics. Join us at TCU Place to take in the discussion and gain a deeper understanding of the opportunities available to Canadian agri-retailers.

Not yet registered? Click here for walk-up registration information.

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