Top 10: Why investors insist their management implement workforce management.
February 13, 2017
Staff Scheduling | Workforce Management

At Shopworks we are often introduced to new customers by PE houses and other institutional investors who are looking to make the most of their investment in a retail, hospitality or leisure business. This has accelerated since the introduction of the National Living Wage. The reasons investors are keen on cloud based work force management vary, so we have listed the top reasons that investors have told us they like work force management software. We hope you find them useful, we would of course be happy to give a no obligations demo of our system to investors, analysts or advisors who want to understand the benefits of a modern, bespoke work force management system.

Increased revenue: Matching staffing levels with demand and avoiding understaffing at key times drives up revenues. Whether it is a casino operator ensuring they have enough table dealers to optimise spins per customer per hour on a roulette table, or a coffee franchise ensuring that customers don’t turn round and walk out the door when they see the size of the queue, having too few staff reduces customer spend. A sophisticated workforce management system such as Shopworks allows operators to match staff levels to predicted demand. We build bespoke integrations into EPOS and other revenue systems, as well as analytic tools to ensure accurate predictions of demand.

Lower costs: Shopworks customers save an average of 7% of the annual staff bill by using our platform. The savings result from pre authorizing all spend on staff and checking against budget before approval as well as our biometrics time and attendance. These two features account for a large chunk of the savings we deliver for operators, but we will happily take you through the rest of the ways we save money.

Improved Compliance: In an increasingly complex compliance environment, operators need to automate the checking of their staff rota’s against multiple criteria. For instance, Shopworks will prevent a manager from scheduling a non-compliant member of staff into a shift. If a non-EU citizen has already worked 20 hours that week or their visa has expired the system will not allow them to be scheduled (saving your management a potential £20,000 fine), if a lifeguard at one of our fitness centre customers is not up to date with their training, then that person will not get scheduled in. We agree bespoke rules for each customer to ensure that only compliant staff are rostered.

In addition Shopworks includes a fully integrated e-learning suite, which can ensure that all employees are up to date with required training and have read and agreed to all policies before they can work a shift. Shopworks will also keep tabs on ‘Working Time Directive’ compliance and ensure that overtime is accrued within holiday pay – We can even ensure someone gets an increase in the National Living Wage on their birthday. In short Shopworks can manage the complexity of ensuring a staff rota is 100% compliant across a huge number of regulations and allow investors to sleep soundly.

Higher Staff morale: Its pretty obvious, but staff like to be paid accurately and on time with all their allowances and benefits taken into account. In our experience, companies using spreadsheets and older systems are pretty poor at achieving this basic staff hygiene factor. Shopworks users can expect 100% accurate payroll runs, 100% accurate holiday management and zero pay queries. When added to clear communications about when and where they are expected to work its no wonder that staff who work for Shopworks customers are happier.

Freed up Management time: The management time that is traditionally consumed by sorting out rotas, pay and compliance can be freed up to focus on more value added items such as growing the business.

Faster growth: Putting in a work force management system at the start of a roll out ensures that all new business units opened or acquired are managed within corporate guidelines from day 1 and staff costs and demand levels are quickly brought into line. This allows for a quicker maturing of new units and allows the business to add another unit that much sooner.

Central view:For some of our customers a central view of all staffing data is the number one benefit they believe they get from Shopworks. They can benchmark staffing levels and costs between different venues and compare different approaches.

Improved operational efficiency: There should be no reason to have too few or too many staff turn up for a given shift, let alone failing to open a business unit because a staff member hasn’t been scheduled. Shopworks has inbuilt safeguards against all of these risks and the staff portal allows staff to check when and where they are meant to be against a live version of the rota.

Creating value from data: Companies that use spreadsheets aren’t collecting any data on the staffing and demand levels. Having a large history of staffing data in the cloud and allowing it to build with time generates an increasing level of value. The data can be used to predict everything from the likelihood of someone resigning to the optimum incentive package to encourage Sunday working. The value of a large data store will only increase as Artificial Intelligence (AI) becomes more prevalent because AI requires lots of data to work well so collecting it in a digital format makes good commercial sense.

Higher exit valuation: I suppose you could argue that this is the only reason investors press management to implement a work force management solution. It increases the value of the investment through a combination of the other nine reasons mentioned earlier. These plus a slick due diligence process brought about by the knowledge of an investor’s, that payroll rules are being correctly applied and compliance requirements are met makes for a better exit.

About Shopworks: Shopworks have been supplying cloud based workforce management systems since 2009, are debt free, profitable and have a development and sales office in Farringdon, London. As I mentioned above we are happy to give a no obligations demo of our system to professional investors, analysts or advisors who want to understand the benefits of a modern, bespoke work force management system. We are also happy to spend time sharing our knowledge of modern cloud based systems of staff management and discussing where we see the market going, including the likely impact of Artificial Intelligence on staff scheduling.

Customers: We supply hospitality, retail and leisure operators with between 20 and 2,000 units. We supply furniture retailers, petrol forecourts, casinos, gyms, coffee shops, betting shops and bingo halls plus of other business types – if you have invested in a business which employs staff who are paid by the hour we believe we can add value to that investment.

Commercials: We operate a SAAS model where we charge “per shop per week” and our costs are a fraction of what we save our customers. We are happy to give a three month, no obligation free trial and once a customer has committed they can of course give 30 days notice to terminate our contract. We don’t charge up front fees, and we customize each system specifically for the needs of our customer.

Find out more on how our Workforce Management system will help you save 7% on staff costs: 

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