Are store manager edits costing you sales?

Automating workforce management, in whole or in part, can realise significant benefits for retailers, their managers, and colleagues. To maximise return on investment from workforce management (WFM) projects, change management must ensure that new systems are fully understood, trusted, and adopted by individuals across the business. Automated customer demand forecasting and labour scheduling provides a good example of this need for adoption and trust.

Stick to the plan!

When the 'out of the ordinary' happens, store managers need to be able to react appropriately. If staff are delayed in coming on shift, if revenues are expected to spike as a result of a special promotion, if a road closure will affect footfall, or any other expected or unexpected events impact the business, store managers must be able to adapt and edit forecasts and labour schedules accordingly to address the needs and constraints of the moment.

Such edits should be the exception to the rule, though. Data analysis by UKG customers consistently shows that when store managers stick to the system generated forecast and schedules, sales revenues and returns on labour budgets are higher than stores whose managers regularly edit the output.

Wasted investment

This is crucial, because, to optimise revenue potential and return on labour budgets, retail businesses and their workforce technology partner will have invested significant amounts of time, money, and effort to define an operating model that capitalises on the data science driven capabilities of their WFM solution, enabling accurate forecasts and schedules.

These investments are wasted when store managers unnecessarily circumvent system recommendations: such circumvention typically costs the business sales, degrades return on labour budgets and dilutes the value able to be delivered by the solution.

Improving understanding

The root issue is usually limited understanding by store managers of the capabilities of these systems, and the business operating models used to produce the output. Ironically, to free store managers of the burden of producing demand forecasts and labour schedules, so that they can focus their energies and efforts on their people, customers, and their store operations, it's vital that they better understand the systems, and the science at play behind the scenes.

Analytics can be a highly effective tool for helping to visualise and build such understanding, by illustrating the difference between potential sales revenues from system generated output versus manually edited forecasts and labour schedules. With this analytical insight, area and regional managers are able to objectively coach store mangers on how to improve their store performance, meeting sales and budget targets.

Admin-free, for better admin

Such illustration into performance and system operating models can significantly boost store managers’ trust in the automated WFM systems, and give them a clear view of the benefits these solutions can deliver. A “transparency and training” approach like this can be highly effective, especially when combined with incentives to encourage store managers to trust the system-planned forecasts and schedules.

To learn more about UKG for Retail solutions, including demand forecasting, labour scheduling and analytics - visit here


Published: Thursday, 13 May 2021