24 July 2018

How Can Technology Ease Labor Problems in Retail [2/2]

As we reviewed in our previous article, labor could be a severe problem in retail. However, we have to differentiate between two major categories.

The first category we elaborated a few days ago, consists mainly of bigger stores like supermarkets, discount stores or warehouses. That’s often the case where there are tens of hundreds of employees per branch. The most effective way how to tackle labor problems specific to this sum of retail businesses is through several methods. One of them could be for instance redesigned approach to task-management of employees. We’re able to craft this readjustment through data extraction from our queue monitoring analysis.

Nevertheless, the one approach doesn’t and can’t fit all.

That being said, the process of helping subjects who don’t belong to the first group requires different methods. The pool of retailers whom we don’t classify to previously mentioned is more or less full of service providers.

We’re talking for example about telecommunications service providers and bank branches. They demand distinctive methodologies on how to optimize their operations. The main pillars of successful labor-tweaking strategy here are well-optimized shifts concerning ‘peak hours’.

The objective is always to have a sufficient amount of employees on-site serving the current influx of customers.

So to speak the adequate adjustment of the workforce during the week is needed.

The technology behind the Pygmalios Analytics is capable of measuring the precise customer intensity during each day through the week and monitoring the movement dynamics in the store. Detailed customer intensity data help better understand the current circumstances and help allocate the workforce more accurately. The silver bullet of a successful strategy is the avoidance of a notable rate of non-served customers and long queues.

A retailer is capable of observing the occupancy of the store throughout each day. The behavioral data of occupancy and service intensity provide the opportunity to refine the plan of work shifts deliberately.

Well adjusted work shifts always minimize the possibility of understaffing during ‘peak hours’.

It is important to note that work shift adjustment is not about longer working hours, but the change of the entire time frame to fit rush hours more accurately.

Work shifts optimization could also help when the opposite case is present – redundant work staff. Excess is the second example of how ineffectively set work shifts may look like.

Having an unnecessary amount of workers in the store throughout the low traffic time frame is a complete waste of resources (both human and financial).

By examining the moving dynamics, the service provider may recognize occupancy of the individual tables. The ones that are less attractive to the customers are better to pack with trainees. The most engaging areas, on the other hand, should be held by more experienced employees. By practical redirecting a retailer can significantly save the wasted service time. It also provides an opportunity to find out what kind of improvements the store needs for specific panels and tables.

Pygmalios is capable of providing a retailer with a compelling insight into those crucial operational elements.

Retailers have the chance to level up the overall customer experience which directly leads to higher revenue and make their labor more productive.

Some of the workers may have a few concerns about modified work time. However, the employees will spend their workday more purposefully (serving the less anxious customers), while it’ll pass a lot quicker.
At the end of the day, engagement in the meaningful activity, not boredom and idleness at work, is what makes us fulfilled.
 
 
David Borovsky, Marketing Intern


Read also:

Pygmalios from the Perspective of University Teacher

In-store Analytics Are the New Norm 

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