Workforce management helps Greggs transform from bakery retailer to food-on-the-go business

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Greggs is transforming its business from being a bakery retailer to a food on-the-go operation and workforce management is a key cog in the process.

Speaking at RBTE 2014, Neil Parrish, retail productivity manager at Greggs, said: “Without  the right people in the right job at the right time, customers won’t have a great shopping experience.”

Parrish told delegates how Greggs has moved from self-developed systems, largely manual processes and reporting to working with a JDA Software solution geared to managing costs as well as growing sales in a low growth environment.

Greggs had key requirements, said Parrish. These included to develop a simpler system for managers; which removed tasks but empowered them; improve employee engagement by being fair and providing payroll accuracy; improve customer service by reducing queues and providing a faster service; and better business performance by improving the sales and wages ratio.

The solution also need to be intuitive, provide auto-scheduling of employees and better integration with existing systems, capture time and attendance, improve forecasting and be capable of configuring different labour models.

JDA’s solution was piloted in 10 stores in Birmingham city centre and resulted in savings versus a comparable group of shops, said Parrish.

“The business case was very compelling,” he said. The pilot delivered a 50% improvement in hours deployment, 35% payroll reductions – as hours were flexed in line with demand – and 15% task reduction.

The pilot was signed off in June 2013. Since then Greggs has been configuring the system ready for roll out, said Parrish.

The solution went live in the first store three weeks ago and 15 store managers are currently being trained ahead of an area roll out. The full roll out will commence in May and it is anticipated to be completed across the Greggs estate of 1,671 shops by September/October 2014.