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Sample Report


TO: Stewart Jensen, CEO

FROM: Gary Pence

DATE: October 23, 19XX

RE: Report to Reduce Communication Problems and Increase Sales


Last quarter, our sales dropped 14%. I believe a communication breakdown between sales associates and buyers has contributed to the decline.

In our company, most sales associates do not know their buyers. The sales associates I spoke with felt intimidated by and did not communicate with the buyers. The buyers, on the other hand, aren’t receiving the information they need to purchase the merchandise that the customers want.

In this report, I’ll provide more information on the problem and offer a solution that I believe will help improve communication and increase sales.

Statement of the Problem

Simply stated, the problem is a lack of communication between the buyers and sales associates. The sales associates, who work directly with the customers, know what shoppers are looking for and what they request. Now that the company is emphasizing customer satisfaction, it is more important than ever to have the merchandise that customers want.

For example, I have worked in the Young Men’s department for 18 months, yet no buyer has asked me what my customers want. I’ve noticed that the buyers for Young Men’s clothing are middle-aged men who are busy trying to get the best clothing deals they can, rather than finding out what the customers are requesting. As a result, we get good prices on clothing, but customers aren‘t buying because the merchandise doesn’t suit young male shoppers’ tastes. Because I get direct feedback from the customers on their preferences, I’m in a good position to help buyers purchase clothing that will sell. Unfortunately, we have no formal way for me to communicate with the buyers.

Proposed Solution

To ensure that our customers receive the merchandise they want, we need to set up a regular exchange of information between the buyers and the sales associates. This can be accomplished by having regular meetings and by conversations over the phone.

We could arrange meetings, which would require each department’s buyers to go to three stores monthly. Since there are 22 stores and two buyers per department, one buyer would visit each department about once every quarter. The meetings could be held in either the department’s office or in the store training room.

Between meetings, I recommend that sales associates call their buyers directly at least monthly.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Adopting the Solution

To save time and costs, I considered communication solely by mail or telephone, but I rejected these options because they lack timeliness, direct feedback, and face-to-face interaction. Without meeting and brainstorming, the quality of the discussions is diminished. Sales associates are used to working directly with customers, and they feel more comfortable meeting face-to-face.

Communicating by mail would be less expensive than having meetings, but it creates a time delay in any interaction. This delay could frustrate both the associates and the buyers, which could lead to reluctance in writing and a return to the original problem.

Communication only during the meetings between buyers and sales associates would not be effective simply because of infrequent interaction (every 3–4 months).

Other benefits of improving communication between the buyers and the sales associates follow:

  • Improved customer relations because we’ll be responding to their merchandise requests

  • A mutually beneficial working relationship between buyers and sales associates

  • Increased sales because we’ll be stocking merchandise that customers want

An added benefit could result when the buyers actually visit the departments of the sales associates and see the floor plans. With their merchandising experience, buyers might suggest alternative ways of arranging the products on the floor to increase customer traffic and encourage sales.



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