How Schnucks Optimized Frontline Operational Workflows and Fine-tuned Flexible Scheduling
Schnucks partnered with Logile to develop and implement a comprehensive workforce management platform across all their stores and facilities in 2020. Starting out, the core objective was to deploy an automated, standards-based labor and task scheduling toolkit fueled by accurate, AI-based demand forecasting that also remained compliant with different labor and union laws across the four states.
Improving Forecasting and Freeing Up Time
Henry says Schnucks also needed an easy-to-use solution that could produce a 97%+ accurate daily forecast, regardless of seasonal, weather, and economic conditions, as well as forecast staffing needs at 15-minute increments for front-end, center store, and fresh departments. Ultimately, Henry says, Schnucks needed a workforce management system that would give associates back their time for more value-add tasks. “We need our store teammates caring for our customers, not sitting in front of a terminal, editing schedules,” Henry explains.
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“The pandemic, economic forces, and a changing labor market have placed high demands on supermarket employees while cementing their status as essential workers. For this reason, our WFM program must be a configurable, workflow-based solution that allows us to make configuration and workflow changes in real-time to keep up with the dynamic nature of the current business climate.”
In Logile, Schnucks found a partner that would collaborate with them on developing a system to tick all the boxes. The system also allows for advanced scheduling capabilities that “understand” the daily and hourly labor/task demands when producing schedules, meaning Schnucks can always have the right teammates scheduled at the right time to meet the needs of our customers. The technology also provides exception-based performance and compliance dashboards, allowing store and department managers to quickly address workforce issues and treat associates fairly when developing schedules.
Flexibility Is Key in the Race to Retain Staff
In terms of impacts, Henry praises how the WFM has remained adjustable and configurable as their needs have evolved over the years. “In addition, having this WFM option available helps us ensure we continue to provide our customers with superior service levels at the same time we’re navigating an evolving labor market,” he explains.
The collaboration with Logile has also allowed Schnucks to build much-needed flexibility into their offering and alleviate labor-shortage pressures. The ‘Flex Force’ solution enables flexible, gig-style scheduling opportunities for existing associates while opening available shifts to be filled by approved modern workforce gig-style workers. Schnucks has also extended the solution to encompass partial or overlapping bidding, meaning urgent tasks get completed without having to extend shifts.
“We support several configurations of Flex Force scheduling, including automated, union-compliant, flex bidding workflows that include an automated approval process and management notifications,” Henry explains. “The experience has been transformative. Our teammates are signing up for Flex Force shifts that allow them to pick up more hours when it suits their needs or when it fits openings within their schedules. Additionally, by tapping into the modern gig workforce, we have been able to fill available shifts, allowing us to better serve the needs of our customers.”
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