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United Supermarkets has obtained seven-figure savings through the deployment of a labor planning tool in conjunction with its workforce management solution enabling it to further extend its commitment to excellence in customer service through controlled labor costs, minimized compliance risk, and improved workforce productivity.
The grocer is using workforce management solutions from Chelmsford, Mass.-based Kronos, Inc. Within just two years of implementing the integrated Kronos time and attendance and forecasting and scheduling solutions across all 51 stores, United experienced many productivity and cost saving benefits contributing to the multimillion dollar cost savings. By automating the scheduling process alone, the supermarket chain has achieved an annual savings of more than $500,000.
“In our industry, we need to work with tight margins, and optimizing workforce management is very important for profitable operations,” said David Crews, director of strategic projects, United Supermarkets. “With Kronos, we have already achieved multimillion dollar cost savings and enhanced customer satisfaction, our number one priority. We’re now looking forward to further extending the value of workforce management.”
Prior to Kronos, United’s store managers spent a majority of their time scheduling employees manually. The Kronos system enables these managers to schedule hundreds of employees in just a couple of hours. As a result, they have more time freed up to spend on customer service and training of associates. Also, as United is able to effectively track special events or other trends in the system, it has been able to make sure that the right person is in the right place at the right time, ensuring that customers are receiving the experience they expect.
Additionally, as hiring and placing the right associate in stores has been only half the battle for the supermarket chain; United also uses Kronos to ensure that management of employee requests is as easy as possible. By providing associates with a self-service option to request shift changes and time off, United can also now easily track employee preferences.
Based on these benefits, United plans to extend the Kronos forecasting and scheduling solution to the deli, pharmacy, and produce departments.
“Supermarkets will continue to face pressures from rising food and fuel prices, as well as cost-conscious consumers searching for better deals at competing stores,” added Liz Moughan, director, retail and hospitality practice group, Kronos. “To address such challenges, these entities will need to focus on improving store and workforce productivity. United Supermarkets is a progressive supermarket looking to do just that by extending the Kronos workforce management solution.”