Supply Chain Enabled

Harness data to schedule more effectively in retail

Published: September 27, 2023
Author: Lorcan Sheehan

Plans to migrate to target a ‘living wage’ in Ireland could see a series of increases in the national minimum wage close to €15 per hour by 2026.   Sectors such as retail are expected to face increased cost and margin pressures, and the focus is now on understanding how to schedule resources more effectively to meet the customer and service needs of the future.

Blunt cuts to schedules risk impacting the customer experience and frequently leave employees facing difficult choices that impact employee morale and service.

A more data-driven approach to the workload within retail can provide managers with the tools to understand the drivers of activity and present that data to them in a usable format when creating schedules.

This type of approach can:

  • Identify the range of roles and activities that need to be performed by staff, including direct customer service roles, receiving and putting away of stock, merchandising and shelf replenishment, store opening, closing, and administrative duties.
  • Use data from transactional systems to identify the shape of the task load across the week on employees and compare this to historic staffing schedules.
  • Present information in a usable format to managers so they can consider growth and customer service objectives when developing staff schedules. This allows them to reshape available hours to meet requirements, protect peak customer service needs, and reduce overscheduling in quieter periods during the week.
  • Identify non-customer-facing activities that consume significant resources that can be targeted for improvement actions: receiving, shelf replenishment, and administrative. Improvement projects can extend into how to
  • Optimisation techniques can identify shift configurations that, over time, would better serve the needs of the business while presenting attractive work schedules for staff.

Empowering managers to make better decisions with the resources available is key to driving improved performance within retail. A systematic approach can also provide central insights into future improvement opportunities through shift configurations, the use of technology, process optimisation, and collaboration with suppliers.

Our team is available to work with retailers to structure and harness the data within their businesses to deliver increased performance at a challenging time in retail.   Contact us for an initial discussion on how your data can unlock more effective performance.

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