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Retail Technology, Retail technology News

The Co-operative revamps WFM systems

Tuesday August 14 2012

Completion of staff management update will increase operational efficiency for retail brand

Completion of staff management update will increase operational efficiency for retail brand


The Co-operative Group has rolled out the final phase of its new workforce management (WFM) system to improve operational efficiency at its 2,800 UK food stores.


The workforce management tool, supplied by IT software and services company Kronos, has now been introduced across its entire food store estate to accurately plan what staff are needed and when, to meet specific peaks and troughs in trading.


The roll out complements the Co-operative's system’s time and attendance tool (also from Kronos), which records the working hours of food store and logistics staff using biometric data collected at terminals, as well as keycodes and card keys, which has also been installed over the last two years. This information feeds directly into the payroll system to accurately record working hours and ensure the correct payment of salaries of all staff at food stores and distribution centres.


Cost savings and efficiencies


Sean Toal, The Co-operative Food chief operating officer, said: “The Kronos system has vastly improved our working practices and is delivering several benefits and efficiencies right across the food business, including cost savings and freeing up management time.


“The workforce management element of the system will dramatically improve customer service by effectively matching consumer demand with the availability of our store staff, which will ultimately improve their shopping experience.”


Kronos integrates several business-critical systems, including electronic point-of-sale (EPoS), payroll and the depot system to create the optimum staff schedule for each store. The key benefits of the system include faster and more efficient management of store staffing requirements, which can help reduce costs and also provide information on long-term staffing patterns and trends.


Processing huge information volumes


Mark Hale, The Co-operative Group chief information officer and supply chain director, added: “We needed a system that could process a huge amount of information, both accurately and efficiently, while also improving the store system by providing a scientific method of creating weekly staffing schedules.


“The workforce management system is helping all our stores run more efficiently and is also providing cost savings and freeing up management time enabling our colleagues to concentrate on our customers’ needs.”