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Revolutionizing employee planning in retail: The power of unified workload forecasting 

Jan 30, 2024 3 min

Hyper-busy stores are a problem retailers would theoretically love to have. After all, bustling storefronts lead to more sales — at least, so long as enough workers are scheduled to stock shelves and serve customers. 

In reality, a retailer’s success in achieving higher profitability and customer satisfaction hinges on optimally allocating their workforce. This is easier said than done, especially for major retailers overseeing an army of staff.  

Retailers are increasingly turning to innovative workload management solutions that go beyond traditional sales-driven labor planning to ensure seamless operations. A comprehensive understanding of expected workloads powers this shift, with companies utilizing diverse data sources like replenishment data to complement the old ways of working.  

This unified workload forecasting holds transformative power for retailers, allowing them to unlock a new era of precision in workforce planning. 

The power of diverse data sources 

Traditional labor planning often relies heavily on historical sales data. This myopic approach too often fails to capture the intricate dynamics of a retail environment.  

Integrating various data sources changes the game, with replenishment data emerging as a key component. Replenishment-related activities often make up to 40% of the total work in retail stores. Retailers can analyze incoming deliveries to stores and subsequent actions within those stores to gain a holistic perspective on the ebb and flow of products.  

From there, store operations can enhance forecasting accuracy while laying the foundation for a proactive workforce strategy as opposed to a reactive one. A proactive strategy ensures that store labor and the upstream supply chain can work in unison instead of in separate silos. 

The advantage of a unified workload forecasting solution  

The RELEX unified workload forecasting solution is a cutting-edge tool designed to revolutionize how retailers plan and allocate their workforce. RELEX seamlessly integrates replenishment data alongside other crucial data sources, empowering retailers to make informed decisions that go beyond the limitations of conventional sales-focused forecasting. Harnessing data from multiple sources offers a more nuanced understanding of the workload, enabling retailers to allocate resources efficiently and respond swiftly to store workload fluctuations. 

With staffing costs accounting for up to 15% of retailers’ turnover, labor planning has never been more critical. Workload forecasting lays the foundation for accurate labor planning, helping drive down costs while raising service levels. 

Major retailers can use the RELEX unified workload forecasting solution to anticipate a surge in demand leading into a popular holiday period, which causes store labor requirements to spike leading up to and during the special event. Traditional methods can fall short in predicting this, leading to retailers failing to change the labor curves during weeks and days leading to the events. Such failures lead to understaffing and a potential loss of sales. 

However, the power of unified workload forecasting enables retailers to foresee the surge and proactively adjust their replenishment and workforce planning. This ensures shelves are stocked and customer service remains top-notch throughout the event. 

Future-proof your labor planning with unified workload forecasting 

The embrace of innovative workload forecasting solutions becomes paramount as retailers face the ongoing challenge of workforce shortages. The paradigm shift from sales-driven labor forecasting to unified workload forecasting enhances accuracy and future-proofs labor planning. The RELEX unified workload forecasting solution stands at the forefront of this revolution, offering a global solution that empowers retailers to harness the full spectrum of relevant data.  

The era of precision in employee planning has dawned. The only question that remains: Will your retail strategy evolve to meet the demands of tomorrow? 
Make data-guided decisions with RELEX Unified Workload Forecasting 

Written by

Max Mononen

Director of Product, Workforce at RELEX