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Written by Ruby Topzand-O'Rourke
on October 30, 2018

Every retail manager knows the pain of roster organisation. Predicting staffing requirements and accommodating everyone's needs can be a major headache. In the rapidly changing retail landscape, traditional rostering techniques take up precious time and can hold organisations back from achieving their best results. Workforce management (WFM) software works with retailers to manage rosters efficiently – and ultimately grows productivity and profits.

Three areas retailers notice a significant improvement with WFM software are rostering and labour forecasting, time and attendance and employee leave.

Rostering and Labour Forecasting

Building the staff roster is one of the most challenging and complex tasks for supervisors.

WFM takes the guesswork out of roster planning, reducing the risk of under- or over-staffing. The software gathers real-time information which is used to predict staffing requirements based on factors that impact demand, such as foot traffic and weather.

If a staff member calls in sick last minute, managers can cover their shift with the touch of a button. The system sends a text message to all employees and they can then reply directly to the message indicating their availability.

Time and Attendance

With WFM software, timesheets become automated, retail time and attendance processes become streamlined and organisations can customise their clock-in method based on their unique needs. Options range from a simple password to cutting-edge biometric fingerprint technology. Managers no longer waste time checking timesheets, as they are automatically notified of any irregularities.

Comprehensive reporting also provides insight into labour costs and helps organisations ensure they are following labour laws. Supervisors can opt-in to receive alerts when their employees are about to work overtime.

Planned Leave and Unplanned Leave

With WFM, the process of applying for leave is simplified organisation-wide. Gone are the days of employees filling out forms and then waiting as managers try their best to juggle multiple requests. Employees can log into the company portal and view their leave balance, post their availability and apply for time off. Managers are then able to make decisions based on the wealth of real-time information at their fingertips. The store-wide timesheet is automatically updated based on the manager’s decision, eliminating the possibility of clashes due to human error as is often the case with traditional timesheets.

WFM software gives organisations the power to optimize their systems, leaving retailers with more time and resources to put towards providing excellent customer experiences; in the end, isn’t that what it’s all about?

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