Blog Post

How to Choose the Right Retail Workforce Management System, and Get it Working For You – Right Away!

Posted by: StoreForce on September 22, 2021 in Workforce Management

The retail industry is moving at a fast pace. Technological advances have allowed customers to shop on their own terms. This change was invoked by the recent drastic changes in customer behaviors. Retail customers, in particular, have become more discerning and demanding in terms of the ease with which they want to shop. Their expectations of the speed at which they want to receive the goods they have purchased have also increased. In short, customers want what they want, when they want it.

This is evident when we look at the rise of e-commerce over the last few years. In 2020 alone, e-commerce saw a 40% increase, accounting for 21.3% of global retail sales. This rapid increase has created a whole host of new activities that stores are now responsible for. The demand for quick delivery of goods has forced stores to participate in the distribution of their goods. This has resulted in new digital non-sell activities performed in-store. These new activities include BOPIS, endless aisle, and curbside pickup. 

If customers can sit in the comfort and safety of their own homes and purchase products online, why would they go into the store to buy them? They go to the stores because they seek that human connection, and they want to experience your brand. This is something that e-commerce will never be able to substitute for. And although the physical store has become just another channel to shop in the retail operation, it is still the most preferred way to shop.

That is why having the right people working at the right times is imperative in retail. Your store associates are the face of your brand, and they must embody the qualities you wish to express in your brand. Keeping your workforce engaged and content will ensure they do the best job for you in the store.

Implementing a WFM is always a good idea, especially in Specialty Retail, where your store associates are the face of your brand. - Quote by Melissa Cacador

Implementing a WFM system is a good idea when you run a brick-and-mortar store. A WFM solution can help to ensure that you have the right people working at the right times, and in the right quantity. This will allow you to deliver your brand promise across your entire estate.

Implementing a WFM is always a good idea, especially in Specialty Retail, where your store associates are the face of your brand. Because retail moves at such a fast pace, many of the problems retailers face are mercurial. Today’s retail-specific problem may no longer be a problem six months from now.

Many vendors have long implementation times – some taking up to a year or more – to implement their software. Since the retail industry moves at such a rapid pace, the problems of today may be obsolete tomorrow. For this reason, a quick and effective implementation becomes more important. A rapid implementation ensures that the problems you are looking to solve, actually get solved.

StoreForce can be implemented and deployed in as little as 6-8 weeks! - Quote by Melissa Cacador

StoreForce can be implemented and deployed in as little as 6-8 weeks! In fact, our shortest implementation was completed in 5 weeks. StoreForce can be easily integrated with other systems, via file exchanges or APIs and software systems.

The process starts with a kickoff call to determine the scope of work and project outline. StoreForce works with your team to determine the business requirements and help you tailor your WFM to your specific needs. The IT and business requirements are determined and a detailed project plan with due dates is established. A dedicated project team is with you from the kick-off meeting until go-live.

Systems are deployed rapidly and efficiently creating an application that is tailored to create a look and feel that is comfortable for each individual client - Quote by Melissa Cacador

Systems are deployed rapidly and efficiently creating an application that is tailored to create a look and feel that is comfortable for each individual client. Integrations are smooth. The data that StoreForce needs is high level and readily available for clients to access and provide. Services used to import data are flexible and allow you to easily import and access KPI information from across all your channels. Both live and vitally important historical data is easily imported, allowing you to see and act on all the data you deem important to running and growing your business. That is why we can deploy so quickly. Going forward, the flexibility of our services also allows you to easily adapt to meet the changes and challenges to your needs as they arise.

Not only is StoreForce a workforce management solution, but we also specialize in performance management, store execution and employee engagement. This means that we can help you coach your teams, manage the completion of all your new non-sell activities as well as your cross-organizational communications, and help keep your employees trained and informed on your organization’s policies and procedures.

All our Client Engagement Managers, Project Managers, and Support Specialist have a retail background - Quote by Melissa Cacador

Another added benefit is that all our Client Engagement Managers, Project Managers, and Support Specialists all have a retail background. They have all worked as Store Managers, District Managers, or Workforce Management Planners in Specialty Retail, so they understand the kinds of problems our clients have and what we need to do to solve them. We know what is involved, and we speak their language. This goes a long way when implementing a workforce management solution, as it simplifies the project when there is a mutual understanding.

With StoreForce, the sale does not end at the sale. We are with you long after, providing you with training, service, updates, and a real partnership that helps your operations thrive and grow. After the implementation, StoreForce provides you with complete hands-on training, as well as a distance learning program for your staff after the rollout. StoreForce also provides you with a dedicated Client Engagement Manager, so that you may always have somewhere to go with system-specific questions, as well as retail advice (since we are retailers first). “It was a very simple process, and it was a very fluid process.” Tom Froehlich, Vice President of Information Technology, Snipes.

Implementing a WFM can be a daunting task. There are many factors to consider, and many options to choose from. One of the most important factors – especially in retail – is that it needs to be a quick deployment because the retail industry moves at such a rapid pace, and the problems you are addressing today may be obsolete in a few months from now.

Working with StoreForce is fast and efficient. The integrations are simple. The project teams are knowledgeable and speak “retail.” The support you will receive from StoreForce is unmatched. Your teams will have everything they need to begin using WFM+ in just 6-8 weeks! 

StoreForce can help you to achieve your retail goals and labor planning effectiveness. Interested in learning more? Contact us and engage with one of our retail experts as to how we can future proof your overall retail store management.

Author:

Melissa Cacador, Client Engagement Manager, StoreForce

Melissa Caçador is a Client Engagement Manager at StoreForce. She brings 15+ years of experience, working for large Specialty Retailers in several roles including Human Resources and Store Operations. Melissa is a subject matter expert in store facing technologies such as POS, Traffic Counters, Labor Scheduling and WFM systems. Melissa helps clients utilize the StoreForce solution to support their operational initiatives, as well as delivering it through involvement with functional design, support, client training, and project management.

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Ray Franklin is a Project Manager and IT Lead/Integration Specialist with StoreForce. He has over 35 years of experience working IT for retail, many of those spent on the Client’s side of the fence where he held positions ranging from basic programmer, to Director of POS & In-Store Systems for a major retailer. Ray has guided several StoreForce clients through the integration of their systems with StoreForce.

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