Northwest Outfitters is a small retail chain tackling the obstacles of selling in the competitive outdoor sports industry. Managing a specialized staff across 5 locations became their focus as an opportunity to significantly reduce costs and gain a competitive advantage.
Workforce Management is a key sore spot for retail organizations with multiple departments. Northwest Outfitters’ primary challenge is keeping unique departments staffed with the right people while reducing costs with viable cross-department coverage. They also wanted to address one of their largest budget troubles; last-minute overtime.
Except for a small team of supervisors, all sales associates are part time. When there is a staffing pinch, it can be nearly impossible to keep part-timers from working forty hours or more. Holiday breaks and year-end staffing has added scheduling complications and compliance pressure with the burden of tracking and reporting.
Workforce Management Suite Integration Creates Savings
With TimeSimplicity, the scheduling solution in Workforce Management Suite, department managers designed standard schedule templates for busy and slow sales periods, which vary from department to department. With the standard schedule in place, managers can drag and drop to react to changing conditions. This has been a vital time saver for managers, and with pre-defined alerts, has provided a meaningful reduction in unexpected overtime.
SOLUTION — Workforce Management Suite
- TimeSimplicity for expedited scheduling and mobile coordination.
- TimeSource Plus for integrated time and attendance tracking.
- Mobile access provides employee access and management control.
Before Workforce Management Suite implementation, employees continually contacted supervisors about shift modifications, time card errors, and PTO accruals. With Employee Self Service (ESS), employees clock in/out from their mobile device, handle their own time cards, submit time off requests, and monitor accruals without having to connect with a manager. With the intuitiveness of PunchLogic, time card mistakes are no longer a considerable problem.
When employees handle shift changes, all managers have to do is confirm them on the Virtual Trade Board. TimeSimplicity even alerts the employees affected when a shift change is approved! With job codes and employee groups, team members with the appropriate skills are scheduled in the corresponding departments. This helps maintain superb customer service for which Northwest is known.
No More Compliance Headaches
With customized overtime alerts, supervisors are notified when part-time employees are approaching full-time hours, and full-timers are approaching overtime. They don’t need to be constantly monitoring time cards to keep associates working within the authorized hours. In the case of a DOL audit, reports can be produced instantly from attendance data that was automatically captured and recorded.
Northwest Outfitters is benefitting from reduced labor rates, improved scheduling, automated compliance tools, and staff members who are much happier with their jobs.