Intelligent workforce planning in retail: Path to lowering costs and keeping customers and employees happy

Intelligent workforce planning in retail: Path to lowering costs and keeping customers and employees happy

The Covid-19 pandemic has put immense pressure on the retail sector.

Stores are struggling to get their workforce in place, adjust quickly for frequent and unexpected lockdowns, re-assign employees between locations and ensure that day-to-day operations run smoothly.

Given the uncertainty and volatility in the retail space, workforce scheduling must be responsive demand based. For example, if a store has low footfall between 9 and 11 am on weekdays, store executives, cashiers, backroom clerks and managerial staff must be adjusted accordingly. If it has high footfall between the same hours on weekends, extra hands must be available.

Workforce management in retail is a complex task based on time of day, day of week, holidays, festivals, special promotions, seasons, weather, purchase behavior, employee qualification and availability.

Poor forecasting and errors in rostering – currently done in most retail stores using spreadsheets – can cause excessive overtime payouts, regulatory violations, poor quality of service and lost sales. On the other hand, using the right tools can result in fair scheduling.

Workforce Planning is the key challenge for CHROs in Retail.

The surge in online shopping also poses a fresh challenge, making it necessary to improve in-store experience. One study has shown that about 40% of CHROs consider workforce planning as the top challenge and consider business insights driven workforce transformation a top priority. The simple way out is to invest in an intelligent workforce planning solution.

ITC Infotech offers an intelligent workforce planning solution based on the Anaplan platform. It leverages data for dynamic and automated scheduling of staff while adhering to labor laws, organizational policies, employee preferences and forecasted footfall. It can re-distribute staff across stores based on predicted footfall—something that managers cannot do accurately using manual methods. Our solution introduces scalability, agility and flexibility into staffing processes, ensuring fair scheduling that employees love.

Our intelligent workforce planning solution has a proven track record.

It has optimized workforce costs with 100% visibility on talent requirements for a leading global organization with 20,000+ employees in over 60 countries. A workforce productivity solution along with a scheduling solution has enabled a 30% jump in sales productivity for another customer.

Retailers using our Anaplan-based solution can expect a host of benefits that include:

  • Optimize costs with 4% to 12% saving in resource expenditure.
  • Optimized staffing to reduce costs without compromising quality of service across stores
  • Data driven planning for optimal scheduling
  • Just-in-time resourcing to meet unexpected surge

Precise workforce management is what your business needs. Our solution is cloud-based and scalable and powered by Anaplan partnership. It has high availability and ensures that retailers do not have to maintain or upgrade their systems. The solution is designed to prevent under and over staffing and ensure your customers remain happy. Click here to know more about our workforce planning solution.

Click here to learn more about how ITC Infotech and Anaplan have partnered to solve this problem.


Amit Paul
General Manager, Intelligent Planning and Execution,
ITC Infotech


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