Carphone Warehouse tunes staffing levels

The Carphone Warehouse is using new workforce management software, after trialling the affects of store staffing levels on customer conversion rates.

The new software will automate the management of its retail workforce in seven European countries - including the UK - so the company can optimise the numbers of staff it has with its busiest times of day in terms of customer footfall.

A proof-of-concept trial measuring customer traffic against sales figures through 15 stores revealed a direct correlation between the number of staff available in store and customer conversions. As a result, Carphone Warehouse has selected workforce management system, Kronos for Retail.

Mercedes Garcia, Business Change Function European senior project manager at Carphone Warehouse, said: "The solution is functionally rich, flexible, and able to manage the specific policy and legislative requirements of the seven countries in which it is to be deployed."

The software will be used to help automate the optimisation of the mobile phone retailer's complex rotas, which fluctuate according to store opening hours and peak periods, and which often require the use of temporary staff.

Using historical trading data and projected sales forecasts, the Kronos system will be used to create optimum schedules to minimise under- and over-staffing and to reduce Carphone's dependency on temporary staff.

The new system's time and attendance module will also manage absences, ensure payroll accuracy and reduce administration costs. Biometric terminals will be installed to guarantee the 100 per cent accuracy of employee attendance data collected.

Garcia added: "Kronos will allow us to manage employee schedules by accurately matching staffing requirements to customer demand. We expect substantial improvements in customer conversion rates as a result.

"The time and attendance element will help us to reduce payroll inflation, generate payroll management overhead savings, and give us real-time visibility to manage our labour resources. We expect customers will experience a greater level of service with more staff available to meet their requirements."

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.