Scheduling Processes that Help Drive Revenue
Your labor scheduling processes ideally empower your stores to maximize sales while controlling labor costs, but this can be easier said than done. Many retailers still rely on dated technology and processes, like paper schedules, in their labor management. With increased pressure from pure-play online retailers, new regulatory concerns like predictive scheduling, and high customer expectations, many retailers are looking for ways to update their scheduling processes to ensure they’re driving revenue and adding to the bottom line.
Reduce Friction for Store Managers
Crafting schedules can take store managers hours every week. A lengthy scheduling process means that managers have less time to focus on other responsibilities in the store and makes it difficult for them to respond to last-minute changes like call outs.
However, with the right workforce management solution, store managers can get optimized schedules in a matter of minutes. Advanced solutions use retail-specific algorithms to autogenerate optimized schedules that account for labor forecasts and budgets. Store managers can also ensure that the store will be adequately staffed for anticipated workload and store traffic, while balancing associate availability, skill set, preferences, and factors like labor rules and regulations. Store managers just need to make small tweaks and revisions to get the final schedule, reducing a process that used to take hours to a matter of minutes.
Store managers can put that time back into training store associates, engaging customers, and other work in store that helps drive sales.
Get Buy-In from Store Associates
The scheduling process should also be easy for store associates; when associates are happy with their schedules, they’re likely to be more engaged at work and less likely to call out or request changes that make more work for managers. Research has shown that unplanned absences can end up being costly for retailers, so getting associates’ schedules right and increasing their confidence in the process is key.
Employee self-service tools empower associates to engage with the scheduling process and help retailers fill open shifts effortlessly. With mobile-first self-service tools, associates can easily view their schedules from their phones, adjust availability, call in sick or request time off, swap shifts or bid on open shifts. They can ensure that their schedules meet their needs and managers can easily review and approve changes on the fly.
With employee self-service as a native function of the workforce management platform, these changes are automatically incorporated into the schedule. Managers are alerted if any proposed changes would violate labor regulations or store rules, avoiding costly penalties or overtime expenses.
Improve Forecasting and Analytics
Improving your forecasting and labor analytics helps you accurately predict staffing needs and recognize both short-term and long-term trends, ensuring that stores are staffed to maximize customer service and convert sales. Learning from past labor forecasts, actuals, traffic, weather, and other factors can contribute to the process of improving year-over-year same store sales.
One step towards accomplishing this is to ensure that your forecasts account for the total workload in stores, so you’re not solving just a piece of the puzzle. With a workforce management solution that operates natively alongside task management and store execution solutions, you can take ensure that your forecasts account for factors like task workload and upcoming events or promotions. With a total work platform for workforce management and store operations, you are able to ensure you have the right people in the right place at the right time to accomplish all work efficiently.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to drive revenue with your scheduling process, reach out to me, Kevin Tapscott – VP of Solutions Consulting, or read our latest white paper, “5 Tips for Solving Retail’s Real Labor Challenge.”