Power to the People: 5 Retail Trends impacting on Workforce Management


The retail landscape has actually changed substantially over the last decade. In particular, the development of omni-channel retail and globalisation has meant that retailers have needed to adopt more recent supply chain procedures and innovate both online and in-store to satisfy consumer demand. These modifications are also having a ripple effect on merchants’ workforces, which has actually implied that newer demands are being asked of them; if sellers are to survive in this brand-new world it is vital to understand exactly how they can manage their workforce better.



According to current study from Deloitte, 66 % of EMEA-based sellers now have operations worldwide. This has created a challenge for retail managers who have a workforce spread throughout the world. They should handle their workforce in such a way that meets the values of their brand, whilst adhering to the various labor agreements in all nations that they run in. Advanced workforce management options can help sellers to successfully handle their staff members, whist likewise ensuring they are compliant with regional labor contracts. Important to the success of any workforce management deployment is to work with a supplier that offers true international support and is adaptable to variations in regional working practices.


The increase in smartphones has meant lots of buyers frequently have much better product understanding than the sales associates serving them. In an effort to readdress the balance, sellers have begun equipping sales associates with mobile gadgets to boost in-store service levels.

However, mobility can likewise benefit workforce management practices, as merchants can offer workers with greater access to information about their work lives. Making use of a mobile gadget, workers can have higher visibility over their working hours and submit yearly leave demands. In addition, staff members can utilize their devices to access actionable jobs, without having to leave the shop floor. Making this information available not just drives workforce performance however likewise enhances loyalty, as workers get more control of their working lives. Sometimes, such processes have actually caused decreases in staff member turnover of as high as 35 %.

Establishment managers can likewise benefit from through having the ability to get easy access to everyday information, such as staffing levels data and directions from head office, whist on the shop floor. In the past, many of their time would be invested in the back office, instead of connecting with consumers and employees. Moreover, local managers are taking advantage of increased movement, as they can quickly access store KPIs and other business data without necessarily having to go to a store personally. This, in turn, can increase performance as they can spend less time on the road.


Scheduling and store management

Typically, using workforce management options in grocery stores had actually been restricted to the checkout because of the data-rich nature of the position. Nevertheless, retailers are starting to use them across divisions to help with worker multi-skilling across the store. Omni-channel retailing has actually lessened the standard supply chain silos in between online and in-store shopping. Subsequently, it has actually triggered new procedures, such as in-store picking, ‘Click & & Collect’ and online/in-store returns. This has actually developed even more pressure on sellers to ensure that they always have the right staff, in the right place, at the right time, in order to meet these new service requests as they come in. At the same time, store managers should also do this without increasing operating costs within the workforce. The latest workforce management solutions can enable retailers to do simply this.

Such tools are also now being used by sellers to transmit requests, such as variety modifications and planograms, from head workplace to individual stores. Using mobile technology, establishments can confirm changes by simply sending images back to HQ from their mobile devices, instead of having local managers visit to manually validate them.


Real-time operations

Even today, in-store workforce management and scheduling are activities that are recorded manually. In addition, schedules that advise staff members on everyday tasks are still being pinned to personnel room walls at the beginning of each week! However, due to the introduction of omni-channel retail, scheduling and responding to customer requests needs to happen in near real-time.

Workforce management technology can enable establishment managers to connect much faster with staff and respond much quicker to changing business demands. For example: when staff are absent or unavailable in-store, managers can quickly transmit shifts or assign tasks via mobile messages. This can help ensure productivity and service levels are kept.



Deploying a brand-new workforce management solution could be seen as a big burden to retailers IT departments, who are already under pressure to support other areas of business. However, we are seeing an enhancing number of sellers look to deploy such solutions from the cloud, with their supplier handling its management.

This permits merchants to mitigate the operational risk of IT services, meaning that they can remain entirely concentrated on forming workforce management process; the responsibility of configuring these processes then falls entirely on the software provider. Migrating to the cloud can also broadly reduce technical skill and resource constraints on the IT department. Further to this, cloud software providers also ensure that the technology is constantly kept updated and aligned to meet ever altering business requirements.



Retail is about people and supporting the brand name pledge. Eventually, it will be those merchants that adjust their workforce management processes to meet the demands of the changing customer that will reap the rewards today’s omni-channel world.

RMS Consulting is a team of experienced technical and business professionals whose single aim is to deliver the world’s best retail management systems. We understand the needs and deliver cloud-based, multi-channel retail management system that brings together POS, eCommerce, CRM and marketing, merchandising and order management, financials, and warehouse management into a single centrally managed solution. RMS Consulting serves client inside North America specifically USA and Canada while physically serving clients in the cities of Seattle, Toronto, Buffalo, Ottawa, Monreal, London, Kitchener, Windsor, Detroit. Feel free to contact us or Drop us a note for any help or assistance.



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