In this post, we share 3 major benefits of using a retail scheduling software. Your retail business can only serve the general public to the best of its ability if it’s fully staffed. If your store doesn’t have enough employees, your customers won’t get the help they need when they need it. This means fewer sales. Moreover, you may not even have the workforce necessary to stay stocked. Setting up schedules for shifts is vital, and your business can benefit from automating this process with centralized scheduling software. Here are 3 ways it does so.
1. Online shift scheduling in retail saves time and money
Retail is one of the industries where shift scheduling is incredibly important, especially if you’re a major grocer, for example. Simply stated, managers need to be sure that the appropriate amount of staff will be on hand at all times (a point we discuss a bit more later). An understaffed business will likely lead to upset customers who walk out the door or avoid coming back. Thus, it’s vital to take some uncertainty out of your staffing.
Proper scheduling goes beyond the staff on the sales floor. Your retail business needs to keep its shelves stocked to ensure that your customers can buy what they want. Thus, you need to distribute shifts among different types of employees so that your entire business runs well, particularly on your busiest days or at your busiest times. This is why many businesses rely on labor metrics like sales to labor hour.
There are several other reasons why your business could benefit financially from using retail scheduling software. Your foremost consideration when opting for scheduling software is efficiency. This will both improve your operations and save you money. An investment in this software can pay for itself over time by freeing up your employees, including your managers, to do other things. Why require your managers, some of your highest paid employees, to spend two or more hours on a schedule when a good software can create amazing schedules in seconds?
2. Centralized scheduling makes life easier for your employees
A centralized scheduling model also makes things much easier for your workforce. After all, your employees have an interest in efficient scheduling. They have their own lives and may want to trade shifts with other employees if they need some time away. Software for labor management makes the process much more manageable and less stressful by giving your employees some flexibility through shift swaps.
Labor management automation allows your employees to simply go online and search for someone they can trade shifts with. This is much more effective than just approaching co-workers randomly or on site and asking to swap work time. Labor management software could help keep your employees satisfied and increase productivity on the job.
Retail scheduling software also increases the flexibility for your managers, too. The software allows for management to be done remotely. This means that you can oversee your staffing function even when you’re not physically in the store.
Your managers could deal with various staffing tasks while working from home. Not only can they supervise the shifts work schedule, but they can also run functions like payroll. The flexibility to plan from anywhere increases your managers’ options and allows them to respond quickly to anything that arises.
3. Retail scheduling software helps ensure your business is always appropriately staffed
One of the most important advantages of good management software is ensuring that you always have the employees you need, when you need them. Any possible gaps in your workforce schedule can be identified ahead of time, especially when you integrate your labor and sales. This, combined with accurate sales forecasting, can greatly improve your planning and efficiency. You could even know weeks out when you may have to take measures to line up additional workers, based on how your business operated at the same time last year.
Employee shift management software can also facilitate your planning for busier times of the year. Especially during the holiday season, retail businesses are often pressed to have all hands on deck. It is vital to ensure that your sales floor is fully staffed. Not only that, but you must also make sure that you have the necessary staff to support your operations. This includes supply clerks and other staff members who keep your business running. Ultimately, a well-built schedule means that your store is never over staffed or under staffed, so you’re always getting the most bang for your sales per labor hour buck while balancing the needs of your customers.
So sure, you can use a free grocery store schedule template to schedule your employees, for example, but it won’t be nearly as effective as retail scheduling software.
Protecting Your Bottom Line
In sum, centralized scheduling for retail can actually help your business increase its productivity. In the end, this will help you make more money. By way of explanation, the more time that your managers need to spend on shift scheduling and related functions, the less time that they have to do the other aspects of the job for which they were hired.
When your managers and supervisors get tied up doing administrative work, it distracts them from their main focus. Not only do they have to take extra time to handle these tasks, but dealing with human resources related issues, such as high employee turnover, can be quite frustrating at times. The more your business can automate while keeping employees happy (think: shift swaps!), the more you can allow them to focus their efforts on their jobs. Ultimately, this increases your business’s productivity. The more you can automate, the less you’ll have to worry about. Having to manually do something can slow down your employees and distract them from revenue producing activities.
Beyond making and enforcing schedules, retail scheduling software helps you manage your workforce in other areas. Labor management automation streamlines team communication with your entire workforce. Sending messages to everyone is an easier task. You can communicate with one employee or your entire workforce no matter where you are.
With a retail business, you need to stay on top of events as they happen and respond seamlessly. When you’re running things manually, this becomes increasingly more difficult. The time that you spend handling administrative matters will only slow you down and keep you from responding. Employee management software is a rapid means of exerting centralized control quickly and effectively.
How TimeForge Can Help
TimeForge provides a workforce management (WFM) solution that can help your business increase productivity while making scheduling easier on your managers and employees. We hope you’ll give it a try! In the meantime, if you found this article helpful, you may also like our post on labor management in the grocery industry.