Challenges

Calgary Co-op has more than 440,000 members who visit its 24 food centres, 28 gas bars and convenience stores, 24 wine and spirits stores, seven travel offices, and two healthcare centres in and around Calgary, Alberta. Food centre managers struggled to accurately schedule front-end employees to customer volume and trim labour costs has a percentage of sales based on employee-hour production. Managers spent up to 16 hours weekly scheduling front-end staff, manually entering employee availability and time-off requests. Information delays on sales trends made them scramble to reduce employee hours if stores weren't hitting sales targets.

What Calgary Co-op needed was a solution that could:

  • Help reduce or control labour costs for its 1,100 employees at its food centres
  • Use historical point-of-sale data to accurately forecast front-end labour needs at these centres
  • Align scheduling of staff with expected customer volume and sales transaction numbers
  • Provide timely information on sales trends to enable managers to adjust staffing if sales weren't meeting projected numbers
"We're seeing up to 100,000 hours saved year over year in front-end labour savings. We hit our five-year payback target after the second year."

Shawn Jacks
Retail Scheduling and Centre Operations Director

Solutions

Calgary Co-op chose a Kronos® forecasting and scheduling solution that aligns employee schedules with customer volume and transactions to better control labour costs, increase productivity, and mitigate compliance issues. Into its Kronos solution, the organisation uploaded three years of each food centre's point-of-sale data on transactions, items, and coupons during 15-minute increments.

Workforce Timekeeper

  • Track and manage employee time and attendance to reduce payroll and leave inflation and manual errors
  • Gain insight into approaching overtime to better control labour costs
  • Improve employee engagement through real-time access to time and attendance and accrual information
  • Minimize compliance risk by enforcing and tracking complex compliance requirements

Workforce Scheduler

  • Schedule hundreds of employees across multiple locations, creating schedules that comply with staffing requirements, collective agreements, and labour law regulations
  • Optimize schedules by aligning the right employees with the right skills at the right locations and times
  • Increase employee engagement with employees' increased control of their schedules, including self-service tools for filling open shifts and swapping shifts

Workforce Forecast Manager

  • Align labour needs with customer volume and transactions to optimize productivity and labour dollars
  • Use historical data and multiple algorithms to accurately predict customer demand in 15-minute intervals and create precise scheduling
  • Utilize recent point-of-sale data to see up-to-date trends and identify the need for staff scheduling adjustments

Results

Using historical point-of sale data, Calgary Co-op's Kronos solution forecasts front-end labour needs in quarter-hour increments for each store for the week, enabling managers to align scheduling with expected customer volume and transactions. The food centres' scheduling effectiveness rate - actual hours divided by forecasted hours - for front-end employees has been upwards of 97 percent. This has saved up to 100,000 front-end employee hours year over year, enabling the co-op to reduce labour costs as a percent of sales by 0.5 to 1 percent. Manager scheduling time has been reduced by 75 percent with employee availability indicated in the solution and managers able to enter time-off requests and availability changes before schedules are generated.

97% SCHEDULING
EFFECTIVENESS

comparing budgeted hours, costs and
sales to forecasted and actual hours

LABOUR COSTS
REDUCED

by 0.5 to 1% as a percent of sales
with only 40% of employees included