How do you overcome specific retail productivity challenges with technology? We explore the leading-edge products that make it possible.
In retail, previously predictable footfall and spending patterns can no longer be relied on.
Changing shopping habits, wage pressures and political turmoil have created a recipe for uncertainty.
As Chris Love, Managing Partner Workforce Transformation at REPL, explains: “Understanding and reacting to this evolving retail landscape is crucial. Planning and execution has to be more precise and more detailed than ever before.”
Here we explore how to meet these ongoing challenges head-on with cutting-edge technology products that boost productivity and deliver positive profits all year round. We cover:
- Meeting demand
- Sorting schedules
- Streamlining stock
- Tracking Time
CHALLENGE #1: MEETING DEMAND
From barbeques and bikinis in summer to turkeys and tinsel at Christmas, demand for products will ebb and flow throughout the year. Demand for staff delivering the very best experience of your brand will also fluctuate, as will the number and type of people you need on the shop floor.
Together, they create a perfect storm of potential headaches if you don’t deliver a seamless service. One that meets and exceeds customer and employee expectations.
Dealing effectively with this demand involves:
- Aligning staff availability with shifting patterns of demand
● Modelling periods of time effectively based on accurate data
● Motivating and scheduling temporary staff
● Streamlining in-store stock with warehouse availability
● Capitalising on existing data from previous corresponding periods
SOLUTION #1: ADAPT
Your historical data is becoming obsolete. Based on shopping habits and footfall patterns that are changing rapidly, insights from five or even two years ago will become less and less relevant over time.
The answer is to introduce cutting-edge software that processes enormous amounts of data and equips you with the detailed insight you need to shine.
REPL’s ADAPT is a full suite of products designed to predict demand and forecast with unprecedented accuracy.
Harnessing the power of artificial intelligence, and specifically machine learning, ADAPT produces unprecedented granular insights and exceptional forecasting accuracy.
ADAPT will arm you with the powerful data you need to manage day-to-day demand and cope with peaks throughout the year. It will also meet the needs of not just millennials but Gen Z who will increasingly make up the majority of your staff and customers.
This ultimate labour modelling solution will transform your operations and profits for years to come.
CHALLENGE #2: SORTING SCHEDULES
Who, when and where is always important to your store. On peak trading days, you also need to manage more staff, longer opening hours and increased stock levels.
Dealing with holiday requests, especially on busy Bank Holidays and during late night opening, and matching those to the demands of the business is an extra job to juggle.
Get it wrong and you’ll be left with dissatisfied staff, disgruntled customers and distracted managers.
SOLUTION #2: WFM CONNECT
The best software allows you to schedule with confidence and puts power back into managers’ hands.
REPL’s WFM Connect gives you control over every aspect of scheduling from viewing and editing timesheets to seeing demand for specific roles.
For example, if you find yourself five team members down on a Saturday morning, you can quickly access information, swap shifts and contact employees via your mobile to get numbers back up again.
By creating custom workflows, WFM Connect improves decision-making, boosts employee satisfaction and facilitates great customer service.
Empowered by having control over their schedules, staff will be driven to work more productively.
CHALLENGE #3: STREAMLINING STOCK
Keeping on top of stock is almost impossible if done manually.
Error-prone, time-consuming and a chore that diverts your attention away from the rest of the business.
Balancing efficient stock administration with exemplary customer service is vital to store success.
And if you don’t know precisely what stock you’ve got, implementing your discount strategy will be plagued with extra difficulties. Poor stock data will compound an already-complex decision-making process.
“Discounting will continue to feature heavily in 2019,” adds Chris Love. “If you have a clear view of what stock you have to shift, your sales strategy will be significantly easier.”
SOLUTION #3: ESO CONNECT
The days of relying on outdated stock control and manual recording are over. No forward-thinking retailer can count on inefficient systems that compromise productivity and profitability.
REPL’s ESO Connect introduces seamless stock management to your operations, creating a fluent connection between departments.
It transforms stock counts by using tools such as real-time functionality, barcode scanning and mobile flexibility to ensure entries are error-free.
Its efficiency leads to fewer out-of-stocks as you can order and replenish items swiftly and accurately. The result? Fewer disappointed customers leaving your premises empty-handed, more sales and more profit.
CHALLENGE #4: TRACKING TIME
Alongside regular shift patterns, tracking temporary staff hours, overtime figures, Bank Holiday pay rates and flexi-time requests can be complicated.
The admin burden of accounting for all this time can easily eat into hours you need to assess stock, deal with staff issues and meet customers on the shop floor.
SOLUTION #4: RTA CLOCKS
You can take control of time with the latest physical and mobile clocking solutions. REPL’s RTA Clocks range incorporates cutting-edge tech to speed up capturing punches and improve clocking flexibility.
Operated centrally and mobile-friendly, you can easily access all employees’ time records to monitor attendance and compliance. Updating to RTA Clocks can simplify an unavoidable task, saving time, and improve data accuracy, saving money.
In December 2018, online purchases accounted for 20% of total retailing, up 13.9% compared to December 2017. The online onslaught will only continue.
Future-proof your business now with game-changing tech and you’ll be one step closer to competing with and outshining the competition.