January || Off to a Good Start!

The Good: In January, we exceeded our revenue, jobs, and training goals, putting us on track for a successful year ahead.We had more agents return after the holiday break than ever before, which helped start the year off strong.

Also, an exciting highlight in January is that we have started using Salesforce to track our inventory and sales. Each branch manager enters sales information into Open Data Kit (ODK) on an Android phone and this information is sent directly to Salesforce. With Salesforce we are able to see up to the minute reports of total sales numbers, where the sales were made and who made them, how many of each product we sell, etc. Having this data available at our finger tips will help us make data-driven decisions that can improve our sales and increase our revenue. We worked with Vera Solutions on the implementation of ODK and Salesforce over the past few months. This partnership was made possible through a generous subsidy from The Segal Family Foundation, one of our strongest supporters.

The Challenges:  We have been trying hard to maintain the quality of our trainings as we expand the number of branches we have. Two of the main challenges have been getting enough interested people to attend the trainings and then converting those trainees to sales agents. To address these challenges, we evaluated our trainers and store managers and decided to let two of them go after finding that they were not meeting performance expectations, particularly punctuality. This also meant that we had to hire another trainer and store manager. While this was a tough decision, we ultimately think that it is important to maintain a high level of staff performance across the organization in order to ensure that we deliver quality training and support to the youth and women we work with.