Archived Article about tying staffing to increased sales

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Rather than simply predicting what volume of merchandise will sell in a certain period and scheduling more or fewer labor hours accordingly, it is possible to observe the actual flow of customers through stores and make adjustments—even in real time by moving additional employees to the sales floor or redeploying them to higher-traffic areas.
Our studies have shown the wisdom of this: stores that manage labor levels in light of store traffic rather than sales forecasts achieve substantial sales increases without extra costs.

This sounds cool but I'll be damned if I can figure out how it would work IRL.
wouldn't it be more profitable though if we could just make a lot, and I mean a lot more sales, with fewer, and I mean a lot fewer payroll hours???


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This sounds cool but I'll be damned if I can figure out how it would work IRL.

With the way people blow their money at Target (at least in my store, anyways), I don't see why it wouldn't work when half the team makes minimum wage. It's not like every guest is just gonna walk into the store and buy no more than just a candy bar or bottle of pop (NOT soda where I live).
idk - as far as predicting the flow of where customers will go this seems doable. it depends on how high-tech you want to get. you know what is on ad and if you have any barn burners there. you also know your hot times of day. lunch - right after work lets out, etc. so that is something you could "manually" adjust to on the floor. you want to be more high tech - get a program to analyze the store footage and have a program that just tracks moving bodies through the store. you want to go super high tech you could try something with RFID chipping the carts and baskets, but no matter what you would have to have the staff physically in the building in any case in order to actually move them around to make adjustments and right now we don't have that.
The lost potential was evident in the long lines observed at checkouts and the poorly stocked shelves; undoubtedly many customers left the store without buying. But for any manager looking only at receipts and staffing, the end of the day brought vindication: sales, indeed, were low. Isn't it remarkable how prophecies can fulfill themselves?

Best part of the article at the end there.
Thus, it becomes extremely challenging to
forecast sales: if sales are driven by staffing levels, any past observations of sales will be dependent on
past staffing levels and there are, to our knowledge, no existing tools that take this issue into

Yes, there are. It's called the PAST.
This sounds cool but I'll be damned if I can figure out how it would work IRL.

It would actually take a little time to implement... what they'd have to do is watch the actual traffic for a specific period of time. The article mentions streaming video, which has privacy issues, but you can get around that by drilling down and looking at sales by time. For example, I know in my area food stamps are big, so the first 3 days of the month are going to be heavy. I also know that two of the major employers in the area pay bi-weekly, one on thursday and one friday. So by digging a little deeper in to time of sales, you'll see that on the 1st 3 days of the month, traffic is heavy from 9am -11am and then again from 3 pm to 6 pm and the sales are mostly market. Looking at the thursday and fridays, you see from 4pm to 7 pm are heavy. So if you follow the traffic, the schedule should reflect the core times and have the coverage not just for cashiers but in all areas of the store. from making sure there are as few outs as possible to everything being pushed early to tm's available to help.

The information is available, it's just how they use it. And, imho, all you really need to do is be observant. If you notice heavy sales on the 2nd of the month, look at the break down of sales, see if it happens every month. Plus talk to the tm's on the floor, they know the guest traffic.
There is that but also you can allot hours based on the amount of work needed to get done such as zoning the store, setting pogs, managing guests, and expected traffic along with anything else you can think of. Just divide the amount of work that is needed to get done by department and assign appropriately. Their current approach of just slashing hours because it looks good on paper is just such a killer in terms of work management because they are using the equivalent of a hammer for brain surgery. Getting rid of the sales floor while maintaining coverage in the required areas costs so much more money than it's worth. Take for instance, theft.

Theft has become a huge issue at our store because they got rid of the sales floor, it doubled in less than a year. Our AP team hours doubled because of that. However, we cannot afford to have AP go around our store without acting like a salesfloor person. We literally do not have the hours to afford to use AP to the best of their ability. So they basically just transferred the hours from our store to the AP whom get their hours from district. They moved the numbers from one column to another and say it's cost effect.

The single largest controllable expense a company has is not payroll. Payroll is credit which enables a company to get the work it wants done. Inventory is the single biggest problem a store has. Every time something goes on clearance here I think about how wasteful it is, especially when the problem was the fact that we couldn't get to the floor on time. Either people were too busy to take the items from the backroom and fill the floor or it was being stolen too fast to be properly stocked. An example of this is candy. We sold some dark chocolate peanut butter m&m's (I think). We eventually clearance'd them out of the backroom because, what we believe, were bad sales. Turns out that wasn't the problem. The label had been covered up from a sign that was torn out and nobody every checked it again. So we missed out on the additional sales because nobody was around to check it out. We missed out on 30% of the profit margin for said product.

Now you compare those missed sales to the fact that this company has an aneurysm when somebody may clock out 5 minutes past their scheduled shift. There is a huge cost differential in values there.

/I also love the article is talking about how sales could possibly be completely related to things that cannot be predicted. It's as is if it was all relative or or something...
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