Why You Should Focus on Capacity Planning
When it comes to properly planning the flow of task to stores, the stakes couldn’t be higher. When workload exceeds available labor, store execution suffers, there are projects left undone, store associates frustrated and overburdened, and a sharp decline in customer service. Any one of these problems has the ability to put a serious burden on store performance. All of them together can be the difference between being a successful or a struggling retailer.
Focusing on capacity planning, where retailers measure and distribute projects to stores based on budget, staffing levels, or other metrics, is one way to avoid falling victim to these issues. Capacity planning ensures that your stores are optimizing their store execution and that store associates can properly complete everything that needs to be done in the store.
Here are just a few of the benefits of focusing on capacity planning:
1. Increased Employee Engagement and Retention
A great deal of money is wasted as a result of high employee turnover. When a store associate quits, a new one needs to be recruited, hired, and trained before they can operate at the same capacity as your existing staff.
Store associates feel overworked if they are given too many tasks to complete, and are more likely to look for employment elsewhere. This turnover can be reduced by focusing on capacity planning. When you have a comprehensive understanding of how many projects are being sent to stores, as well as how many labor hours they take to accomplish, then it’s easier to align store workload with labor scheduling and to send an optimized, prioritized list of tasks to store associates.
2. Improved Store Execution
With margins shrinking, retailers need to get more out of their labor budgets than ever before. This means ensuring that your district managers, your store managers, and your store associates are completing projects as efficiently as possible.
By focusing on capacity planning, you can accurately assess what your employees are capable of completing during their shifts in order to prioritize the critical projects that are essential for stores to complete. By doing this, you can maximize the utilization of your payroll and make smarter decisions about what projects your store associates should prioritize during their shifts.
It’s also critical to gain real-time access to KPIs such as task completion rates and average completion times at a store level, so they can be monitored as capacity planning processes are put into place. Measuring the effectiveness of your retail stores is key when trying to understand whether your capacity planning initiatives are working or not.
3. More Powerful Customer Experience
When employees are more engaged and projects are completed efficiently, it’s easier to provide customers with the quick and effective service they desire. By properly planning your workload around available labor, you can ensure the work that needs to be done in the store gets accomplished. This enables store associates to be more focused on providing customers with an outstanding retail experiences. Store associates also have the time to execute important omnichannel initiatives such as endless aisle and buy online, pick-up in store, ensuring that customers that want to take advantage of tech-driven in-store services are able to do so.
A real-time task management solution has the ability to help you properly execute a capacity planning initiative. After you define your labor standards and use a real-time task management solution to design a cohesive capacity planning process, you can implement a pilot in one key department before expanding and testing in other departments. The sooner you begin this process, the sooner you can simplify work at your stores and deliver an excellent customer experience.
To learn more about how Reflexis and I – Jim Will, Senior Director, Functional Consulting – can help you with capacity planning, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. If you’re a Reflexis customer, we’re running a series of webinars on capacity planning and real-time task management, so reach out to your Customer Success Director and learn how to join the next one!