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Ohio Food Chain Adopts Workforce Management Software to Improve Employee Scheduling

February 28, 2011

Workforce management software is quickly becoming a must-have solution for businesses with complex labor needs, including those that employ a large number of workers who get paid on an hourly basis.

Buehler Food Markets, a privately-owned retail grocer operating 13 different stores in Ohio, is one of these businesses. Back in 2004, Buehler was utilizing multiple, non-integrated applications to oversee its scheduling and workforce management processes. This time-consuming system resulted in difficulty controlling overtime and trouble comparing an employee's scheduled hours to their actual hours.

To remedy these issues, Buehler Food Markets decided to adopt an integrated and comprehensive workforce management solution. Within seven months, the food store chain and a workforce management company called JDA had implemented the system in all of the company's locations.

Using the software, Buehler is now able to monitor the each store's sales-per-labor hour numbers and make staffing adjustments as needed. The solution uses POS and customer traffic information to forecast potential workforce needs in 15-minute intervals.

Buhler effectively reduced its labor-scheduling process by as much as 75 percent and lessened overtime by more than 4,000 hours in the first quarter of 2009, according to a JDA case study.

Furthermore, the chain of stores was able to use the workforce management software to lower labor costs by 10 to 15 percent due to a "minimum hours" policy that was instituted.

"The best practices supported by JDA Workforce Management enable us to manage our labor more effectively, better serve customers and react quickly to issues as they arise," said Terri Huntley, a project manager and analyst at Buehler's project manager and analyst.

Buehler also reported that the workforce management software helped increase store manager visibility, enhance worker productivity and accelerate checkout time. In addition, the solution was found to improve customer service by assuring that an adequate number of employees are always on the floor and at the registers.

Beecher Tuttle is a TMCnet contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin

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