The WFC Group Blog

Find Your Balance: How Standardization and Localization Both Benefit Workforce Management in Retail

Posted by Neil Shah on Aug 22, 2017 10:30:00 AM

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It's not uncommon for there to be tension between HQ and storefronts in retail when it comes to IT, HCM systems and mandatory processes. For regional managers, some degree of autonomy is seen as a way to succeed beyond expectations, while business leaders trust in tried and true solutions, viewing experimentation as a risk. These days, both are likely to agree that utilizing a strong workforce management system helps avoid common productivity pitfalls, but choosing between standard and local capabilities can be a battle.

Consistency Through Standardization

On a base level, keeping systems consistent across a business does promote general efficiencies. Take our implementation of Kronos Time and Attendance at convenience chain Sheetz for example. Giving leaders at the top more visibility into the flow and productivity of employees allowed for sweeping organizational improvements. Similarly, we helped The Container Store standardize task management systems to allow head offices to issue and monitor time-sensitive projects more effectively.

Agility Through Localization

For many regional managers, being able to deviate from certain procedures can actually help them outperform typical branches. Being able to maintain some manner of control over how they empower productivity and retain talent through customized features, like mobile applications or scheduling flexibility, can be a make-or-break contributor to managers' ability to lead efficiently. The more a chain grows, especially across borders, the more variation branches will face when it comes to matter of compliance — creating a real challenge to complete standardization. Choosing a platform that allows for configurability can help storefronts meet the needs of HQ while remaining competitive and compliant.

Implementing the Right Balance

Fortunately, both are not at complete odds with each other. When skillfully configured, wide-reaching systems can meet the needs of leadership in HQ while giving regional storefronts necessary flexibility. Kronos VP of New Business Charlie DeWitt finds that a strong, foundational solution that's 60-70% standardized across global retail operations can give comfort to the head office while allowing individual stores or regional branches to strive to be at the top of their game. We know Kronos is particularly well-equipped for this, since it's built with (and recognized for) ever-changing compliance expectations in mind.

Topics: Kronos, Retail, Workforce Management