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Implementing Workforce Management Technology in retail

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Balancing the high cost of labour, with the ever increasing standards of service being demanded by consumers, has meant that retailers are increasingly in need of a workforce management system, to help them effectively schedule and manage their workforce attendance in real time.

In its new report ‘How Advances in Workforce Management Technology can meet the Retail Sector’s Business Challenges’, Softworks outlines how best to manage workforce flexibility while maintaining low labour costs and a high level of customer service.

Softworks helps companies automate and streamline processes and increase productivity while reducing costs through improved management, scheduling and utilisation of labour resources. Softworks offers reliable, proven and intuitive solutions for Time & Attendance, Labour Scheduling and Absence Management, allowing organisations to better ensure compliance, reduce errors, eliminate redundancies and improve reporting while promoting a safe, positive working environment for all employees.

Softworks works with large retail operations such as Selfridges, Tesco Ireland and Games Workshop which all have a large and diverse workforce at each site. It also works with symbol group operators such as Centra, Spar, Supervalu and Applegreen Service stations, which have a large number of locations, with smaller groups of employees at each site. It offers retailers on-premise licences and cloud/hosted subscription options to cater for the diverse nature of the industry.

The company has recently been awarded the contracts with Links of London and Clas Ohlson which will both go live in October 2012 and only this week another nationwide retailer has chosen to work with Softworks as it expands its scope.

Modern integrated Workforce Management (WFM) Solutions give retailers the tools and processes they need to balance the high cost of labour, tight budgets, variable staffing needs and complex labour laws without putting customer loyalty, compliance, employee satisfaction, or profitability at risk.

In the whitepaper the company examines business challenges across the retail industry including:

  • Forecasting demand and determining employee supply based on this demand.
  • Employee scheduling and real time adjustment of schedules as required.
  • Satisfying budget requirements and constraints while still delivering high levels of customer satisfaction.
  • How advances in WFM technology are driving retailers business performance and competitiveness.
  • How WFM solutions are benefitting retailers in relation to branding, customer experience and the recruitment and retention of key employees.

Commenting on the results, Softworks CEO Andrew Ferguson explained the significance and benefits of the technology.

“All our software is event driven, easy to use and highly intuitive,” he told Retail Gazette.

“I remember one global retailer saying to me “we want our managers, on the floor, customer facing, not sitting in a back office messing with a computer”, so everything we’ve developed is based on the principle of providing users with the tools to get into the system fast, simplify what they need to do whether it’s changes to a schedule or approving holidays and get back to the other priorities of the business.

“I put our success down to the fact that we that we can ramp up fast, which is expected in the fast paced retail environment. For example we were tasked with getting one of our larger customers live in less than 6 months - 16,000 employees in 170 stores, that’s over 7 stores, on average each week.

“I recognise it’s not easy out there at the moment for the retail industry, however I believe those organisations who are looking past today and building platforms for future growth, will be the success stories of tomorrow.”

To read the full Softworks whitepaper on this topic, please visit the Softworks website by clicking here

Published on Friday 07 September by Editorial Assistant

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