Apr 26, 2021

Now Forecast This

By now you have probably already determined that COVID has infected all of your forecasts. Daily Sales forecasts, Hourly Volume forecasts, quarter-hour Footfall/Traffic forecasts, none of them have been spared across the last 12 months of the pandemic, pushing the boundaries of even the most tuned daily forecasting tools.

Is your AI solution certified to factor the 1918 pandemic flu?  Probably not.

What’s probably been the case as you focus on the new-not-normal is that you have dialed your forecasting methods back to 1999 – your finance department is probably working overtime applying their best math to each of your locations, but instead of leaving the daily and hourly allocations to local managers, there is a new factor to consider.  

The omnichannel has grown exponentially. 

More consumers have embraced the omnichannel in the past 12 months moving a trend that was already happening into a hyper-speed pace.  In fact, I just completed an online grocery order for delivery, while I’ll probably run to the store in a few days so I can bypass the weekend rush.  Your local managers probably have some bearings to fully schedule to this new reality but its probably incomplete.  What is more likely occurring at the same time is that your WFM team is prescribing specific service levels in key roles to support your focus in omnichannel coverage.  Either way, you are left with your success paradigm circa 2009; Finance forecasts, maybe your WFM allocates it, Managers adjust & close the gaps. 

And factor this, different locales may still have different operating rules.  You may also want to train more frontline staff to take on omnichannel, distribution or merchandising shifts. You need agility.

What about staff maximization across a district – could that help?

Many WFM solutions in the past have been configured to serve an employee’s home location and the local management.  This has often been the case because an employee is usually skilled to perform many jobs, and their manager wants the best access to their availability in order to meet her/his number.  Factor too that most optimised scheduling systems still schedule rather linearly – there is always a particular order of each location to be optimised. Once the schedule had been posted, this scheduling paradigm has typically resulted in a very manual open shift coverage process and staffing ordeal.  Your locations may have been scheduled optimally but  your employees may still have bandwidth. Up until now, its been a very manual process to be cross-scheduled. To allow for employees to be scheduled in non-home locations, employees are beholden to local management and their ability to share resources.

Would it benefit the business if the employees could go out on their own and pick up additional shifts across your org?  What about employees being able to set their availability?  You bet.

WorkJam delivers that kind of agility as well – at an ROI north of 400%.

Agility comes in many forms, and WorkJam delivers the ones you need right now, in 30-day, 45-day, and 60-day implementation schemes.

Take a closer look here at our customer case studies, or download our paper: What is a digital workplace and why do you need one?

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WorkJam is the platform industry leaders choose for true frontline orchestration: task management, training, communications, staffing, and more.