Retailers all over Europe are in the process of organising post-covid retail. Many of the largest retailers in Europe are our customers and have a long history of working closely together with our retail advisors.
We have asked our retail experts what questions are currently being asked in the companies across sizes and segments and would like to share their thoughts with all retailers in the desire that the entire retail industry performs as well as possible after the pandemic.
Right now, we help our clients make the best decisions about how their operations can be planned going forward. And everywhere, we look at how to cut right to the bone and best run retail after covid.
Questions that you as a retailer can advantageously ask yourself to prepare for the future:
Is our planning completely optimised and based on the right data? Are we planning based on customer traffic forecasts?
When fully focusing on rentability, when your staff is working is a critical factor that can heavily change your income and expenses. With stores back up and running, you want just the right staff to ensure potential buyers are not leaving the store because they cannot get help. But you also always want the minimum necessary staff, not paying for staff you could have done without.
- Do we have accurate data and the right prognosis and tools for our managers to plan accurately according to when there will be people in the store?
- When outside changes affect our customer count, do our managers have the tools to react quickly and adjust the planning according to both long-term and short-term prognosis?
- Do our prognosis tools also allow us to publish expected traffic in the individual stores so our customers can see when it is optimal to visit the store?
Maximize growth and reduce costs with SameSystem ➜
Can we communicate agilely with all our employees, even those who are at home or do not have a company email?
Changing times require fast communication channels. The days when announcements could be pinned to a bulletin board are long gone. Retail conditions are changing so quickly that you need to know that your central management and district and local managers can communicate quickly to all employees and ensure that everyone will see the information within minutes.
- Do we have a way to communicate easily to all employees, or even select groups within our organisation, without relying on updating and maintaining contact information databases that will often include outdated information?
- Do our communication channels also reach those employees who might only work three hours a week, or even more sporadic, in our stores?
- Do our communication tools allow us to check who has seen and/or verified they have read the information?
Perfect SameSystem communication tools ➜
Can our employees keep track of what’s happening via the web or an app?
The uncertainty is great for the employees, and one of the things they would like to keep up with is what their plans look like.
- Can our employees see all their current and future shifts directly from an app or website?
- Are the shifts they can see updated in real-time, without delay, so they know that all changes can be seen immediately in their schedule?
Ultimate retail toolbox in the hands of the employees ➜
Do we have a complete digital overview of our contracts?
In many countries, the pandemic resulted in government aid packages and schemes, where companies must make up-to-date contracts for reimbursement. Other companies had to regulate or terminate large groups of employees and are now facing rehiring.
- Does our company have a complete digital archive of all employment contracts and addenda?
- Do we have the possibility to search in this archive for groups of employees, e.g., all employees with specific seniority, employees with a particular title, or employees with a specific hourly wage?
- Can we make addenda to the contracts in groups, e.g., make one addendum that is automatically produced for an entire group of employees and which employees can sign digitally afterwards?
- Do we have an overall updated digital overview of who must sign an addendum, contract, or termination so that it can be followed up continuously and dynamically without having to go through piles of communication?
Quick and error-free contract processing ➜
Retail after the pandemic
Retail after Coronavirus is Part-time
There is no doubt – when we talk to successful retailers of all sizes and industries, one message is consistent: Our future planning will be based on fewer full-time employees and more part-time workers that can be called upon as necessary. In the past, where you had people on your sales floor when they were not needed because you had a contractual obligation to give them those hours is not how we are growing.
One downside of this could seem like complicated planning, so to implement this strategy, you need planning tools that have been designed to handle this type of planning with ease, as well as the traditional full-time planning.
So, to prepare yourself for the future, the questions you could ask yourself are:
- Do my company have the resources to base our planning on inflexible full-time contracts?
- Does my planning solution allow my manager to easily plan with part-time resources that can be planned more flexible, on short notice, and when my data tell me they are necessary on the shop floor?
- And as mentioned earlier, do I have an intelligent A.I. system that can tell the managers accurately when we need and do not need those people to work?
The right staff all the time ➜
Maybe now is a good time to investigate the answers to these questions
Perhaps now is when you have time to look into how to optimise your planning, and maybe now is also when it is necessary to look at all possible options on how to cut your costs while ensuring you never have customers leaving your stores because of inadequate staffing.