Progressive Grocer

JAN 2017

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108 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | January 2017 Supply Chain Workforce Management S ticky-note scheduling is now a thing of the past at Scar- borough, Maine-based Hannaford Bros. Co., a regional grocery banner belonging to the recently merged retail conglom- erate Ahold Delhaize. Over the past decade, Hannaford has revolu- tionized its workforce management procedures, thanks in large part to technology from Kronos Inc., based in Chelms- ford, Mass. Not only has schedul- ing become easier, but customer service has benefited, too, according to Jeremy Stevens, Hannaford's manager of labor productivity. "is workforce management solution has enabled us to use more information and make more informed schedules than ever before, and the 'associates at the right time' capability has enabled us to increase our service levels to customers and grow our sales," he tells Progressive Grocer. In this post-recession economy, more grocers are likely to follow in Hannaford's footsteps and increasingly rely on workforce management systems as they earnestly seek competitive differentiation through better customer service and improved employee engagement. A Study in Scheduling Hannaford, which today operates 179 stores in the Northeast, first used Kronos' scheduling solution, Workforce Scheduler, back in 2004. At that time, the grocer was interested in improving the customer service experience in its front end and deli departments, so it decided to invest in optimized scheduling. "At our deli counter, it was critical that we had the right associates available to assist customers," explains Stevens. "Kronos' solution helped us think Right on Time Retailers can increase service levels and grow sales by using workforce management technology. By Jenny McTaggart about customer-facing service counter associates and production associates separately. In addition, we were able to take advantage of department-specific customer traffic patterns and the ability to define when certain fixed activities occur, to ensure that we had the associates we needed to meet all the demands in this department." Pleased with the initial results, Hannaford deployed the solution to all of the departments in its stores over the next several years. One of the greatest differences that the sched- uling solution has made at Hannaford is improved accuracy, says Stevens. "Our workforce manage- ment solution has allowed our schedules to be more customer- and associate-focused than we could ever have managed with paper," he notes. "We use dozens of data streams to feed volume and traffic information into Kronos. is allows us to consider more inputs more accurately than we ever could have reasonably managed on paper. Us- ing the forecasting engine, we can easily schedule registers day by day and hour by hour, always considering the right mix of customers and items." So, for instance, the retailer can schedule associ- ates in its deli, seafood and meat departments spe- cifically based on service counter traffic. In addition, Our workforce management solution has allowed our schedules to be more customer- and associate- focused than we could ever have managed with paper." —Jeremy Stevens, Hannaford

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