Right On Time

Retailers can increase service levels and grow sales by using workforce management technology. Sticky-note scheduling is now a thing of the past at Maine-based Hannaford Bros. Co., a regional grocery banner. Over the past decade, Hannaford has revolutionized its workforce management procedures, thanks in large part to technology from Kronos.

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Not only has scheduling become easier, but customer service has benefitted too, according to Jeremy Stevens, Hannaford’s manager of labor productivity. “This workforce management solution has enabled us to use more information and make more informed schedules than ever before, and the ‘associates at the right time’ capability has enabled us to increase our service levels to customers and grow our sales,” he tells Progressive Grocer. In this post-recession economy, more grocers are likely to follow in Hannaford’s footsteps and increasingly rely on workforce management systems as they earnestly seek competitive differentiation through better customer service and improved employee engagement.

The concept of employee engagement is generating a lot of buzz in retailing circles. In the early 2000s, people invested in workforce management and scheduling because they wanted to control labor costs, and they were worried about compliance risk. But since the recession, the focus has shifted to the customer satisfaction side and the employee side.  People are fundamental to everything the industry does, and if you have empowered, engaged workers, they’re going to drive sales, conversion, average transaction value, and so forth.

This article appeared in the Progressive Grocer, January 2017 edition