The client is a leading US retailer with 2000+ stores and offers basics and differentiated merchandize at low prices.
The need for a superior customer experience is driving a massive transformation in the retail industry. Retailing is undergoing huge pressure on costs and hence improving employee productivity has become an imperative. Interestingly, store labor operations (trailer unloading, backroom stocking, promotion execution, pricing updates, customer service) mark the second largest pie on the retailer’s cost, after COGS, amounting to around 7-15% of the sales. This is compelling retailers to rethink on their existing store labor allocation approach. Analytics has emerged as a key tool enabling retailers meet this strategic objective.
The dynamics of the industry currently challenge the client to maintain workload- workforce levels in tandem with the demands. The problem client faced was that the corporate sales forecasts, labor plans, and budgets did not reflect the on ground staffing, scheduling, and operational needs of individual stores. This lack of collaboration made it difficult for store and area managers to meet corporate goals regarding productivity, improving retail customer service, and sales. Hence, the client was looking to find an optimal balance between the store staffing level and revenue growth potential.
Wipro proposed an analytics based approach to precisely determine the payroll need (workforce allocation) for the store’s expected workload to increase the likelihood of meeting their corporate sales goal. The client used to have an ad-hoc method for payroll allocation/store where in a simple average of historical sales data was arrived at, by the corporate team, to allocate man hours required per store without considering the factors affecting individual stores.
While the client had followed a top-down approach based on sales forecast, Wipro recommended a bottoms-up framework, that factored in the needs of each store, work centers and workload drivers (like number of pull trips, number of returns, Number of Items in Planograms etc.). Instead of relying only on ‘sales’ as the single payroll driver for the stores, Wipro’s framework reviews other factors in store which impact the payroll.
Payroll Optimization Framework
Key highligts included:
Wipro optimized payroll hours to the right store at the right time for the right task to meet the corporate productivity goals by gaining sales and improving customer experience. we helped the client in terms of:
Designing a new operating model:
To enable adoption of the current dynamics of the payroll allocation according to the current performance, corporate goals and sales
Redefined the business processes for the corporate level payroll in order to percolate at the store level and provide remove a comprehensive plan for remove store planning.
End- to-End Solution Architect:
Provisioned the solution from identification of the problem to implementation of the solution by creating forecasting and regression models.