Woods Supermarket

In this customer success story, Woods Supermarket gains real-time visibility into its sales and labor, reduces overtime, and controls labor costs.

Table of Contents

About Woods Supermarket

Established in Long Lane, Missouri, in 1947, Woods Supermarket has been serving its community for over 75 years and is known for its high-quality foods at competitive prices. The company strives to be more than a grocer – an everyday partner that provides quality goods and services to the community.

A Certified Great Place to Work, Woods Supermarket is regarded by employees as a place where you can grow.

The Challenge

A reactive approach to managing labor is inefficient and costly

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Woods Supermarket faced several challenges due to rising costs and an increasingly tight labor market.

While the company had managed to get by with its existing labor management solution, the system simply wasn’t designed to meet the demands of the grocery industry. It lacked critical labor budgeting tools necessary for today’s grocers and was unable to provide operations with access to real-time sales and labor data.

This created 2 problems for Woods Supermarket:

  1. Inability to pivot quickly due to lack of visibility into operations.
  2. Unnecessary expenses due to preventable overtime.

Together, these two problems meant that Woods was unable to proactively manage labor or control costs effectively.

Unfortunately, Woods’ current solution provider was unable to build out the reports that were needed to close both gaps.

Tom Trussell, VP of Administration at Woods, knew that the business couldn’t afford to wait.

“We’re too reactive instead of proactive,” said Trussell at the time. “We need to be able to see where we’re at with overtime and where we’re at with budget versus actual.”

A proactive approach is key to controlling labor costs

Because Woods Supermarket lacked real-time reports and alerts, it was stuck in a reactive cycle: by the time operations knew about an issue, it was already too late. This meant that they were spending money on preventable expenses like overtime.

The problem was compounded by the fact that Woods’ labor management system and its POS system were not integrated.

In order to get daily sales, operations had to go into the POS system and print out a report. It wasn’t possible to monitor sales and labor in the same system, receive automated overtime alerts, or easily generate schedules based on anticipated sales volume.

“To be honest, it was a pain,” said Merry Baker, Operations Support Manager for Woods, commenting on the limitations.

Ultimately, the lack of real-time visibility into sales and labor was preventing Woods Supermarket from budgeting and scheduling effectively.

The Solution

Real-time sales and labor reporting through a centralized operations dashboard

To survive and thrive in today’s retail landscape, Woods Supermarket needed a better way to manage labor and control costs. The business needed a solution that would allow managers to be proactive.

While on the lookout for a new solution, the company heard about TimeForge.

TimeForge is a full-featured employee scheduling and labor management software designed to help businesses proactively control costs. The system integrates with over 60 leading POS and payroll providers and features a centralized operations dashboard with real-time sales and labor metrics. 

In recent months, TimeForge has received several accolades from grocery retailers for ease of use, value, functionality, and outstanding customer service. It was ranked as a top workforce management product based on user reviews in 2022.

Advantages for Woods Supermarket

For Woods, one of the main advantages of switching to TimeForge was the centralized operations dashboard with real-time sales and labor information, including the ability to view budgeted vs actual labor costs throughout the day. This would give operations crucial visibility they were currently lacking.

Another advantage was TimeForge’s proactive alerts that warn managers about potential overstaffing, understaffing, and overtime situations.

After speaking with other grocers using TimeForge and learning more about the product, Woods Supermarket committed to a pilot at 2 of its stores.

During the pilot, the Woods team saw noticeable improvements in their ability to monitor the business, budget their labor, and proactively manage employees and schedules. The pilot was considered a success, and Woods Supermarket decided to roll out TimeForge to all stores.

When asked about her experience switching to TimeForge, Merry Baker said, “Learning TimeForge was really easy! I love the seven-day schedule report with positions, and I use the overtime report every day.”

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Other important benefits for Woods Supermarket

Although initially focused on real-time reporting, Woods Supermarket soon experienced the benefits of TimeForge in other areas, as well. For example:

  • Improved schedule coverage across stores thanks to TimeForge’s ability to transfer shifts between locations
  • Fewer discrepancies in attendance hours due to comprehensive built-in checks and accurate timekeeping methods with TimeForge Attendance
  • Increased employee satisfaction due to self-service options, such as time off requests and shift swaps via the TimeForge employee mobile app

“I see a lot less errors when I do payroll audits at the end of each week,” said Vanessa Morgan, Operations Manager at Woods, while commenting on the amount of time saved by using TimeForge.

“The payroll export is really easy, and the process of approving payroll is really smooth,” said Amber Leonard, Payroll and Benefits Manager for Woods. Leonard also noted that she enjoys the paperless aspect of TimeForge, which keeps her desk from becoming cluttered with reports.

Woods Supermarket looks forward to continued success with TimeForge

By implementing TimeForge, Woods Supermarket was able to achieve its goal of becoming more proactive. The business also gained the visibility needed to effectively control labor costs.

Another thing Woods gained: a valuable, responsive labor management partner that truly understands the grocery industry and is prepared to help them work through industry-specific challenges.

“The TimeForge team has been great to work with,” said Vanessa Morgan when asked about her experiences during implementation. “They always respond very promptly.”

As Woods Supermarket continues to save on labor, they look forward to expanding their usage of TimeForge to take advantage of even more functionality and benefits.

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