UC Advanced - issue #7


Consistency on the Shop Floor

How management tools are improving the retail and hospitality space.

The topic of shopping is one of these polarising topics, like Marmite, you either love it or you hate it. I tend to fall into the latter bracket, get in, pay, get out, while I used to enjoy looking through video games or messing around with demo laptops, the appeal of the local spoons is just too much to resist nowadays. But away from my concerning drinking habits, within stores we have grown accustomed to staff interacting with a screen as they scan through items, and attempt to upsell an item, before telling us how much to hand over. While that crushing information can be difficult to digest, the software staff use has more to it than just a calculator, as Alan Holcroft, UK Country Manager Cegid explains. “In retail operations, a dedicated management system offers several advantages,” said Holcroft. “It can streamline operations, help save time, and even uncover blind spots by putting data at your fingertips. If you’re not measuring your outputs, it’s almost impossible to see where improvements can be made. “A centralised system offers additional benefits such as being used to onboard new team members, track how long tasks take, allocate tasks between team members, or even monitor compliance. A management system can also highlight where a store might need additional support so overstretched area managers can prioritise visits to where they are needed most.” Not Always a Perfect Fit Anyone with experience working in the retail or hospitality sector will be aware of such systems. I myself was a master at finding a way to squeeze people into the restaurant when the chefs wanted to pack up. But while I could book tables and see availability on the front desk, rotas were still

worked out by hand, printed out, and pinned up against a wall, and all communication outside of the Plough Inn was done via WhatsApp. “While great for smaller conversations,” continued Holcroft, “it’s inefficient to use WhatsApp if you’re trying to manage a group of stores because messages can get lost and there’s no way of organising messages. “Add email to that mix and it creates further confusion for shop floor workers who are already busy dealing with a multitude of tasks alongside customer service expectations. “But I would add one caveat that a system should have flexibility and be mobile. If a platform is confined to the back office on a computer and not available on a mobile tablet, it’s going to make it much harder for staff to engage with it alongside their shop floor duties and be more of a hindrance than help.” Quality Control As with all platforms that are introduced in the workplace, the reception from the employees is fundamental to its success. Such adoption may not always be forthcoming, retail and hospitality jobs rank amongst some of the lowest-paid occupations

Alan Holcroft UK Country Manager




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