3 Strategies for Solving Your Labor vs. Workload Puzzle
I recently spent four great days at the FMI Midwinter Executive Conference talking to leaders in grocery retail about what they are seeing in their stores and in the market. They all had unique and compelling stories to tell, but everything pointed towards some specific trends.
Grocery retail continues to undergo significant changes as customers look for exciting and fresh retail experiences. While online grocery shopping is only making small gains, other trends, such as prepared foods, in-store restaurants, cooking and food demonstrations, and healthy food options continue to appeal heavily to newer generations.
Store managers and associates play an important role in all of these trends. They’re the ones that have to ensure that healthy foods and prepared meals are stocked on shelves, and that traffic from in-store restaurants and cooking demos are converted into sales. This is all in addition to the everyday tasks they have to accomplish: setting up promotions, helping customers, and ensuring the store is clean and orderly.
This is a puzzle that grocery retailers have to solve. With all of these new tasks and projects, how do you ensure that your store associates are in the right place at the right time, accomplishing the right things? The key is optimizing your labor scheduling and providing store associates with tools that simplify what they have to do in the store.
Here are 3 strategies you can use to solve your labor vs. workload puzzle:
1. Simplify Work for Store Associates
Work doesn’t just originate from a few sources anymore. It’s coming from a variety of systems and IoT devices, from new initiatives and trends impacting stores, and from new lines of business. It’s incredibly difficult for store associates to keep up with new work coming in from all these different sources, especially when it takes time to figure out what exactly even needs to be done. With a real-time task management solution, store associates can view a prioritized list of tasks that tells them exactly what needs to be accomplished at any time. Whether it’s removing expired foods that were discovered during a store audit, placing up signage for a new food promotion, or opening an additional check-out line during a busy period, real-time task management solutions ensure that store associates can focus on completing what needs to be done in the store.
2. Align Labor Scheduling with Task Workload
If labor schedules don’t account for new grocery initiatives, then store associates will have trouble finding the time to restock prepared foods or convert sales from customers that just watched a cooking demo. By using a retail work platform of task and workforce management solutions, labor budgets, forecasts, and schedules can account for all tasks that need to be completed in the store. This platform also enables you to account for associate roles when creating schedules, so every department—deli, seafood, prepared foods—is appropriately staffed to maximize customer service.
3. Enable Communication from Anywhere
Every second is important when there’s so much that needs to be accomplished in stores. When store associates have to track down their managers for approvals or clarifications on a task, it takes both the associate and manager away from other priorities. With a retail work platform that offers the ability to communicate on mobile devices, store associates can simply send messages and immediately communicate with store managers, district managers, and other staff as needed. This can save millions in labor costs, dramatically cutting down on the time it takes to accomplish critical tasks.
With the Reflexis ONE platform of mobile-first solutions for real-time store operations and workforce management, you can put these strategies into action, optimizing your labor spend and simplifying your store execution.
To learn more about how the Reflexis ONE platform streamlines work in stores, contact me—Grady Barnard, National Account Manager – Retail Grocery, at Grady.Barnard@reflexisinc.com–or read our white paper on how grocery retailers can excel in today’s retail ecosystem, “Retail Operations Strategies to Win Repeat Customers.”