Coop Värmland Adopts Advanced Workforce Optimization Software to Improve Operational Efficiency

Mar 15, 2018 3 min

This press release refers to a project implemented together with Zenopt which was acquired by RELEX Solutions in June 2019.

Zenopt and RELEX Solutions to provide Coop Värmland with a cutting-edge solution for workforce optimization.

Coop Värmland, a Swedish consumer cooperative that runs around 60 supermarkets and employs 1,700 people, aims to optimize its staff schedules to reduce idle time and improve the customer experience.

Workforce optimization specialist Zenopt, which RELEX invested in last year, will use the forecast data RELEX’s solution already produces for the retailer to match staff shifts to the workload based on incoming goods flow and customer footfall.

Zenopt’s software will help the retailer to plan its staffing more cost effectively and smooth out its workload in order to reduce stresses on staff. By centralizing and automating many aspects of shift allocation, Coop Värmland can spend more time focusing on staff development and wellbeing.
Coop Värmland will be able to use data about goods arriving at store to make sure the appropriate number of shelf-stacking staff are on hand when needed, but are not on shift when there’s no work to do.

Another benefit of using the Zenopt and RELEX systems in tandem is the ability to use sales data to allocate customer-facing shifts as efficiently as possible, so that staff are on hand to work on counters, checkouts and in other consumer-support roles according to the number of shoppers visiting stores.

As a pre-study, RELEX and Zenopt worked together to submit a detailed analysis and proof of concept project. The business case was set up with precision and provided considerable insights into the benefits of using the system. The projected results were impressive and Coop Värmland decided to move ahead with the project.

“We are excited to be working with Coop Värmland,” says Mika Halme, Zenopt’s CEO and co-founder. “It’s a dynamic and forward-thinking company that understands the challenges of modern retail. We’re confident that together we can deliver a process that puts Coop Värmland at the leading edge of workforce optimization.”

By automating planning, we will liberate staff time and secure better end results while respecting workers’ rights and employment law and making best use of Coop Värmland’s resources

“Simultaneously taking all the legal constraints into account, while at the same time matching resources to the workload for each and every 15-minute period, is very challenging. Doing that all over again whenever the situation changes would be next to impossible without good algorithms and an easy-to-use user interface. By automating planning, we will liberate staff time and secure better end results while respecting workers’ rights and employment laws and making best use of Coop Värmland’s resources.”

Coop Värmland has already established a good working relationship with RELEX and says it hopes the project with Zenopt will produce similarly worthwhile results.

“We surveyed the market for workforce planning systems and decided Zenopt was, by far, the most advanced and the best fit with our business strategy and culture,” says Coop Värmland’s Head of IT, Thomas Berglund.

About Coop Värmland
Coop Värmland is a local consumer cooperative association owned by its more than 160,000 members. Its head office and board of directors are located in Karlstad and it has around 60 supermarkets across the Värmland region, including the cross-border grocery stores MaxiMat and the discount chain Pekås. The association employs approximately 1,700 people.

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