The eyewear retailer VIU has expanded rapidly since it was founded in Zurich, Switzerland in 2013. It now operates 49 stores across Switzerland, Germany and Austria, which calls for a comprehensive and scalable task management system.
When talking to VIU about the changes that have taken place in the company in recent years, one word comes up time and again: “Growth”.
Because of VIU’s large and rapid growth across European borders, there has been a steadily increasing need for both professionalisation and optimisation of workflows at all levels of the business.
“Before, we used to have our shift plans in separate excel sheets, which was kind of okay since we were a small business with only a few stores. As we grew and expanded internationally, we migrated shift planning to Google Sheets, but implementing local time recording was not possible. I used to work with several different tools. Fortunately, I do not do that anymore,” says Josef Konrad, Head of Retail and Expansion at VIU.
Therefore, Josef and VIU chose to go to the market to find a workforce management system that could help them, not just with the ever-growing Excel sheets, but with a thorough optimisation of the entire company.
“It was important to us that we found a provider who could help us optimise and professionalise the entire company. We did not want to invest in a handful of new systems but were looking for a solution that could do it all. And when we found SameSystem and researched the solution, it was very clear that this was the solution we were looking for. ”
For VIU, there was no doubt that they had found the right solution to the challenges they faced, both now and in the future.
“SameSystem’s solution is so comprehensive that we could see that it would be able to optimise broadly throughout VIU. Both in the stores in the form of shift schedules and daily overview, but also at HQ and in HR, where many work tasks concerning, for example, contracts and payroll have become much easier, ”says Josef Konrad.
Among the features that would undoubtedly be a great help in daily work was SameSystem’s automated payroll, which is always updated with all national laws within the payroll area.
“It saves our payroll department an incredible amount of time that they do not have to enter and change values manually in an excel sheet. Everything is in the system already, and everything is automatically included in the payroll run.”
The fact that SameSystem has national legislation integrated into the solution also saves VIU’s payroll department time and resources on other tasks.
“Something like holiday or time recording related legislation is complex, and every country in Europe has its own system. When you, like VIU, work in more than one country, it is really important that you have a system that can capture these complexities. So it is fantastic that SameSystem does it all for us, ”says Josef Konrad.
Anna Ebenbichler is Retail Operations & Expansion Manager at VIU and works closely with the staff in the individual stores. She therefore also knows how much usability and functionality is valued by the staff when it comes to e.g., shift schedules and an overview of working and holiday days.
“The overview has generally improved a lot since we switched to SameSystem. All employees can access their own shift schedule and holiday accounts directly in the app, so there is never anything to be in doubt about, neither for themselves nor for the store managers. The shift schedules are simple and easy to see, which eliminates the small misunderstandings that might otherwise arise.”
At the same time as the overview has improved significantly, VIU has switched to running many of its businesses differently than it did in the past. Earlier on the store personnel typically worked with fixed shift schedules and 40-hour weeks. However, over the past year, VIU has to a greater extent switched to store personnel working flex time, so it is easier to guarantee optimal staffing in the stores during busy periods.
“We implemented this transition to flex time during the COVID-pandemic. We would never have been able to do it without SameSystem, as all laws and regulations in the area are already integrated into the system. It saved us an enormous amount of time and work, ”says Anne Ebenbichler.
In countries such as Switzerland, Austria and Germany, where VIU operates many stores, the demand for Swiss designer glasses is high, and VIU does not intend to slow down in the future. New stores will be opened and new markets will be conquered.
“We consider expanding to new countries in the future. That is why it is also incredibly important for us to have such a secure solution as SameSystem. It gives a great deal of security to know that SameSystem works across borders and can be quickly implemented in new stores, ”says Josef Konrad.
As Head of Retail and Expansion, it is Josef’s responsibility to open new stores and ensure smooth operations once they are open.
“Companies and staff who are used to working in e.g. Excel can save an incredible amount of time and resources by using SameSystem as the entire business gets optimised. Today, we run a much more streamlined business, and many of our internal workflows have been thoroughly professionalised,” says Josef Konrad.
VIU is disrupting the eyewear market by offering customers high-end design and superior product quality at an attractive value across multiple purchase channels.
VIU challenges the status quo for both design and production, offering signature eyewear with a modern twist that is authentic and timeless. Partnering with traditional and independent manufacturers in Italy and Japan, VIU’s superior quality is guaranteed without compromising sustainability.
From prescription frames to sunglasses, every model has a signature characteristic: VIU eyewear collections celebrate individualism through design, and leverage authentic Italian Acetate, robust Japanese Titanium and – with the latest innovative collection – 3D-printing technology.
Eyeglass prices start from € 165 including prescription lenses and sunglasses from € 145. Visit shopviu.com to meet all characters of VIU and find out more.