A Well Furnished Workforce

Providing a positive in-store customer experience is as important as selling great products at attractive prices. To accomplish this, a retailer must have the right personnel in stores at the right times.

In IKEA's U.K. locations, store optimization topped the priority list. Sweden-based IKEA wanted a fully automated employee scheduling system that was easy to use and time-saving. After a thorough search, it implemented an application from Kronos. The application complemented a previously deployed system from the same supplier. The existing product keeps track of time and attendance.

The private label home furnishing retailer now gains a thorough analysis of historical trading data, projected sales figures, labor standards and employee availability. In addition, the system enables the store to match its staffing levels to trading requirements at different times of the day and week. Historical trading data that was recorded at 15-minute intervals, dating back five years, has been transferred from the POS system into the Kronos product, along with the labor standards data and projected sales figures for the store. Other key benefits include shorter queue times and the ability to easily identify over-staffing and understaffing problems.

"IKEA can now more easily accommodate employee preferences when creating schedules," says an IKEA U.K. spokesperson. "Some unnecessary shifts have been removed as part of IKEA'S goal to create schedules which mirror the unique trading environment of each store. IKEA can now more easily see where staffing gaps are and transfer employees between different areas of the store."

IKEA's 22,700 sq m to 37,000 sq m U.K. stores each employee an average of 1,500 people. Thus far, the system has been rolled out to IKEA's 17 stores in the U.K. The company, however, plans to install the product in all 260 of its locations by August 2008. In 2007, more than 583 million people visited IKEA's stores.

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