Retailers are under more pressure than ever before. They’re expected to do more with less, to reduce costs while growing sales and at the same time provide their customers with an exceptional experience.
The two most precious resources they have are staff and time. And we know that when retail stores manage both of these resources more effectively, they have happy customers and strong sales.
That’s why, for retailers, understanding how time is spent is essential when it comes to optimizing their business. And workforce management solutions are one of the tools many retailers now use to do this.
Simon Hedaux, CEO of ReThink Productivity, helps retailers develop their understanding of where they spend their time and how much time they spend is ineffective. He also helps retailers find the best workforce management solutions to use and shows them how to make the best use of them.
He says it’s the detail and visibility a workforce management solution gives which brings the biggest benefit to retailers.
“The biggest impact is visibility,” he says. “Every retailer should know how much they spend on wages each week or each month as typically payroll, salary and hours form the biggest number on any P&L other than property."
“A workforce management tool provides them with that ‘next level view’ of where money is being spent, whether they have the right skillsets in the right areas and how this aligns to customer demand.”
Further to this, here are three essentials every retailer should know about workforce management…
1. Use it to control costs
A good solution will gives stores unprecedented control over costs, a benefit that’s taken on even more importance in the UK since the implementation of the National Living Wage, an increased minimum wage for employees aged 25 and over.
“One of the biggest challenges facing retailers is the National Living Wage,” says Hedaux. “The cost of staffing for most retailers is going up. And because they are now paying the same employees more for doing the same job they are having to be tougher on performance management.”
2. Use it to manage resources better
Hedaux adds: “The transition to omni-channel, online shopping away from traditional bricks and mortar stores means retailers are having to work people harder, with less managers, less colleague and a higher manager to colleague ratio.”
It’s for this reason managing resources well becomes critical and a good workforce management solution allows retailers to do this.
3. Accept it’s not like other IT systems
One of the key points ReThink Productivity and Simon Hedaux make is retailers need to be aware that implementing a workforce management solution is not like other IT systems; the more it’s used the more insight it gives into the business and areas that can be optimized. This can include bringing to light potential problems retailers may not have been aware of.
What’s clear a workforce management solution can bring a huge number of benefits to retailers, especially ones that reach a certain size.
Hedaux concludes: “As a retailer, once you reach a critical mass, there’s no reason at all not to invest in a workforce management solution and, with everything going mobile, it opens up a whole world of benefits from shift clocking to holiday booking. And this includes having the solution in your warehouse, for your picking and supplying, as well as in your stores which many retailers fail to do.”
Speak to one of our experts to see how Quinyx can help your store.