Innovating Retail Operations: AI’s Role in Enterprise Workforce Management

December 5, 2023

by Malysa O’Connor

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In the fast-paced and ever-evolving retail industry, managing a large workforce across hundreds or thousands of locations and omnichannel operations can be challenging. On top of that, balancing customer demand with labor costs while ensuring optimal operational efficiency is no small feat. The need for effective enterprise workforce management has never been more critical to protecting your bottom line and ensuring overall business success.

Legion Workforce Management software is designed to streamline staffing processes in enterprise retail companies. Legion WFM enables intelligent automation to make data-driven decisions that maximize labor efficiency and employee engagement simultaneously.

  • Precision Forecasting: By accurately predicting customer demand, you can align staff schedules effectively, reducing instances of understaffing or overstaffing, which could lead to wasted resources or poor customer service.
  • Labor Cost Reduction: With accurate forecasting and optimization capabilities, retailers can avoid unnecessary labor expenses associated with overstaffing situations.
  • Better Customer Service: When you have the right number of employees at the right time, customers receive prompt attention, improving their shopping experience and boosting your top-line revenue.

Navigating these complex tasks manually often results in guesswork rather than strategic, data-driven decisions. That’s where modern solutions like Legion WFM come into play—utilizing advanced analytics and intelligent automation to take the guesswork out of staffing decisions so you can create optimal schedules that match business needs with employee preferences and skills.

Understanding Enterprise Workforce Management

Enterprise workforce management can transform labor operations and the employee experience. Workforce management encompasses demand forecasting, labor optimization, scheduling, time tracking, and managing time-off requests.
It can also include modules to improve the employee experience, such as self-service tools to swap shifts and claim open shifts, modern communication tools, earned wage access, and performance and rewards geared toward the needs of frontline employees. Employees who are happy with their schedules and workload and have modern tools are more likely to be engaged in their jobs.

How Companies Have Historically Implemented Workforce Management

The world has shifted, and today, the employee experience matters more than ever. Traditional solutions don’t match today’s workforce, which demands increased flexibility and control over their schedules and pay. Legacy solutions were designed when employees were considered labor or personnel. Mobile apps and self-service capabilities were afterthoughts.

Built on outdated technology, these solutions lack mature data science, are not highly customized, are costly to maintain, and lack the flexibility you need to adapt to changing business needs. To compete, businesses must be agile and react quickly to adapt to consumer and employee needs. To evaluate your current workforce management strategy, you must look into performance metrics such as labor costs, employee productivity, and customer satisfaction. Also, look at the accuracy of your forecasts. Are schedules meeting the needs of employees? Are your managers spending too much time managing schedules? The data should help you see what areas need to be improved so you can put a plan into action.

A good strategy allows companies to improve operations, reduce costs, and increase employee and customer satisfaction. With its power to drive efficiency and effectiveness across the board, workforce management is an important aspect of successful businesses.

Workforce Management Is Crucial to a Successful Business

A well-managed workforce is essential for smooth operations, productivity, and your company’s success.

This is particularly true in an enterprise setting where teams are often larger and more diverse. Just as you wouldn’t ignore regular maintenance on your car, ignoring workforce management can lead to significant issues down the line.

The Benefits of Well-Managed Workforces

Effectively managing your workforce has many benefits, including saving money and reducing compliance risks. With a streamlined system, you can feel confident that you’re scheduling the staff you need when needed—no more, no less.
You might also notice that your employees are much happier, leading to better customer service and satisfaction. Satisfied customers are more likely to make repeat purchases, increasing sales.

The Risks of Poor Workforce Management

Conversely, poor workforce management can seriously affect businesses. It’s likely to cause unnecessary costs and even non-compliance with labor regulations. Poor WFM can also result in attrition due to a lack of schedule flexibility or stability, an inability to easily trade or pick up shifts, or poor communication.

Inefficient scheduling may result in too many workers during slow periods (leading to wasted wages) or too few during busy times (resulting in poor customer service).

If this continues unchecked, it could create a ripple effect in high turnover rates. Replacing employees isn’t cheap; it involves recruiting expenses and training time that might be better spent elsewhere within the business.

How AI Optimizes Enterprise Workforce Management

The adoption of AI in workforce management brings significant benefits to businesses.

Labor efficiency directly impacts the bottom line. When companies use AI for tasks like scheduling and time and attendance tracking, they can better use their staff resources and reduce overall labor costs.

Managing employees, in general, becomes a smoother process with AI-powered tools. Scheduling shifts, monitoring time-off requests, and maintaining timecards are simplified and more accurate when intelligently automated by smart software solutions.

Keeping up with compliance requirements also gets easier thanks to artificial intelligence. Legion’s Retail Demand Forecasting Guide explains how AI-powered systems make it much easier for enterprises to comply with local labor laws.

Beyond this immediate benefit, there’s another big win from adopting this type of technology: demand and labor forecasting accuracy will significantly improve and enhance your capacity for planning the future. With advanced analytics, business leaders can predict staffing needs based on historical data patterns and real-time market trends. AI also makes it easy to adjust to dynamic business changes and model what-if scenarios, such as adjusting total budget hours, easily changing inputs, and enforcing operating labor models.

Another long-term gain from effective workforce management strategies enabled by AI includes higher employee retention rates. Research suggests workers tend to stay longer at organizations that value their time properly—something made possible through intelligent shift-scheduling software like Legion WFM.

Why Choose AI-Powered Workforce Management Software?

The real question isn’t why you utilize AI-powered workforce management software, but why not? The right software can make all the difference in managing your workforce, and that’s where AI-powered solutions shine.

It’s no secret that labor costs are one of the most significant expenses for any company. But with AI-driven solutions like Legion WFM, you get more bang for your buck.

Beyond cost savings, this kind of technology also helps create an engaged and satisfied workforce. With automated scheduling features tailored to employee preferences, burnout or dissatisfaction from being overworked or underutilized is less likely.

A major advantage here is compliance management—something many businesses struggle with when handling things manually. Everything gets streamlined through automation, from adhering to local labor laws to tracking attendance accurately.

In today’s fast-paced world, where every minute counts and customer demands fluctuate rapidly, having access to real-time insights is critical for success. Modern platforms allow companies to adapt quicker than ever while still providing the highest level of service.

Questions to Ask When Selecting Workforce Management Software For Your Enterprise

Figuring out the right workforce management software for your enterprise can be a challenge, yet with the correct inquiries as a top priority, it’s simpler to recognize precisely what you need from such a system.

  1. “What does my current workforce management system look like?” – This helps you understand what’s working and where there are gaps that new software could fill.
  2. “What could be improved?” – Knowing this lets you prioritize which features will make the most difference. It could be more accurate labor forecasting or better communication tools for frontline workers.
  3. “What are our goals for the future, and what does the future look like?” – A clear vision of where you want your business to go will guide your decision-making about any necessary changes or upgrades.

Answering these questions will give you insight into your ideal WFM software’s functions. An AI-powered solution, such as Legion WFM, which optimizes schedules based on predicted demand patterns while considering employee skills, preferences, and compliance rules, might have everything your company needs.

Take Your Business to the Next Level with Legion Workforce Management Software

Enterprise workforce management can feel complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. The right software solution can turn this challenge into an opportunity for growth and efficiency. That’s where Legion WFM comes in.

Our Demand Forecasting product predicts customer traffic patterns using machine learning techniques so you can anticipate demand fluctuations and schedule your employees accordingly.

Labor Budgeting allows you to combine accurate long-term demand forecasts with your detailed labor model and scheduling rules to create precise labor budgets. AI-powered tools to model scenarios and set the budget for automatic execution in Legion Automated Scheduling ensure budgets are enforced.

Optimize Labor

To get the most out of your team, Labor Optimization adjusts schedules dynamically based on employee skills, availability, and business needs. And with Automated Scheduling you can create optimal schedules that match business needs with employee preferences and skills.

With Strategic Insights, managers can easily see and understand workforce trends, allowing them to make better decisions. From employee engagement to compliance management, these insights allow for spotting trends and taking action.

Engage Employees

Workforce management should include solutions that help engage and empower your employees, keeping them interested and dedicated to their jobs.

Because such a big part of effective workforce management is communication, we built the innovative Frontline Communications product to enhance engagement between teams and enable you to unlock the power of digital communication to improve the experience of frontline hourly workers dramatically. Legion Performance and Rewards enables intelligent automation to engage and motivate hourly employees with instant feedback and recognition to help them grow and feel valued.

With Legion InstantPay, employees no longer have to wait every 2 weeks to receive their paycheck, supporting their financial well-being and increasing retention with instant access to their pay in the same app they use daily. The best part? All these features are available in one unified platform—Legion WFM.

Revolutionizing Enterprise Workforce Management in Retail

Labor shortages continue, and costs to attract new workers and offer employee retention incentives are escalating. Managers often lack the tools to quickly adapt and react to changing business conditions. A lack of automation is causing them to spend excessive time creating fair and equitable schedules that balance business and employees’ needs. Operations teams are scrambling to find new ways to meet customer demands without increasing costs or relying on excessive employee overtime.

To support the customer and employee experience and deliver top-line revenue and other business goals, you need a flexible, agile solution that can maximize labor efficiency and employee engagement simultaneously through AI and automation. Legion is the only solution designed from the ground up with employees in mind. To learn more about how Legion WFM can help you, request a demo today.