Leaning Out Labor


Sydney Australia grocer, Franklins, a subsidiary of South African Pick'n'Pay, employs 5,000 associates across its 78 stores. At the same time the parent company acquired Franklins' 50 stores, it also acquired 19 Fresco-brand grocery stores -- with each retailer using different time and attendance software.

As the company grew, Franklins required an upgrade from its DOS-based platform, and as a multi-site operation, it also needed the ability to view and consolidate data remotely in order to automate critical labor management processes.

The project team, made up of finance, payroll and administration senior management, as well as the IT department, selected Kronos Workforce Central v4.0 because of its compatibility with the company's existing software, payroll system and its ability to cope with the retailer's employment and scheduling conditions.

After successful pilots in three stores, Franklins began an implementation that took only eight weeks. "Groups of stores were phased in each week so we could buddy up trained team members with associates in stores just starting out," says Megan Lucas, Franklins' labor planning productivity manager.

The retailer expected to see between two to five percent savings in total wages of labor costs. "With greater visibility of the schedules planned at store level, we have been able to monitor and effectively reduce labor costs on a week to week basis," says Lucas.

Since the initial rollout the retailer has renegotiated scheduling conditions considerably and has been able to achieve an even greater savings by successfully translating these conditions into the new system's rules.

The biggest success for Franklins has been centralized daily monitoring of labor costs. With the solution, the system administrator can provide daily feedback to stores on errors made and can effectively coach and advise as necessary.

Franklins hopes to eventually use Kronos Time and Attendance as a full scheduling system. "We have identified that we need more advanced reporting tools that provide finer detail than what is currently available," says Lucas.

The retailer is currently developing a business plan to implement Workforce Scheduler and optimized scheduling to obtain a more accurate picture of where it can better utilize its current resources. "Ideally," concludes Lucas, "we'd like to achieve labor savings through reallocation of our associates to better match the needs of our customers."

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