Labor Optimization Trends That Bridge Customer Experience Gaps
July 2012 Integrated Solutions For Retailers
By Mike Steele, senior retail strategist, Workforce Insight, Inc.
Identifying the most valuable KPIs (key performance indicators) allows retailers to substantially improve the customer experience.
Retailers must continually find new ways to become more agile and proficient in balancing customer needs (which are ever more demanding) amid pressure to do more with less. With the emergence of social media and the rise in mobile technologies, retailers continue to make significant investments designed to boost customer engagement. For many organizations, the expanding flurry of marketing, merchandising, and omni-channel activity places new and often conflicting demands on store labor, making it difficult to align processes, systems, and staff to sustain an efficient, customer-centric operating model.
With labor representing the largest controllable operating expense for most retailers, substantial benefits can be realized by allocating the right people at the right time. This fact has made the business justification fairly straightforward for many retailers who have deployed — or are considering deploying — automated workforce management solutions, such as budgeting, forecasting, scheduling, timekeeping, and task management. However, for many retailers today, the most actionable opportunities for optimizing labor allocation can be realized by refining and reshaping current foundational processes.