RIS News’ research report “Closing the Execution Gap”, Joe Skorupa highlights that retailers are no longer piecing together best-of-breed solutions with their homegrown solutions. In fact, 52 percent of respondents in the 2009 RIS News/Gartner Retail Tech Trends study stated that deploying a solution suite is their top implementation philosophy and that retailers are consolidating the number of applications they run.
While 2009 feels like a long time ago, things haven’t changed. The move to simplify and streamline is great. I talked about the benefits of an integrated Task Management and Workforce Management solution in my last blog post. Still, there remains a few issues that keep retailers from pursuing an integrated Task Management and Workforce Management (WFM) solution. Here are the top 5 reasons why retailers are not integrating Task Management and WFM:
- Unable to validate the ROI and business case. Hard and soft cost benefits achieved an integrated WFM-Task Management solution are not always as easy to calculate as those for each solution alone. Pirated time is a known issue and can be calculated relatively easily if you have access to data and can justify the cost of a WFM implementation, while measuring the benefits of integrating WFM and TM is isn’t an easy undertaking.
- Absence of a labor vision or solution. This one’s pretty simple. Many retailers do not have or are still defining their labor vision and solution requirements. These retailers just aren’t able to make the leap to thinking about integration yet as they are still laying a solid foundation for WFM and/or Task Management.
- Lack of visibility. This falls under the adage that “you can’t fix what you don’t see.” Many retailers have no visibility into their task execution compliance and are happy with a perceived better-than-average effect. Forty-five percent of retailers responding to the 2009 RIS News/Gartner Retail Tech Trends study state they deliver fair levels of accuracy and store performance during promotional events, the most critical time for meeting sales goals.
- Complexity of integration. Integrating Task Management with WFM sounds simple until use cases start getting mapped out. Very quickly, retailers discover that many points of real-time integration need to exist to get the value out of such integration that they hoped for.
- Competing projects. Many retailers are still deploying or fine tuning their WFM solution. Workforce Management solution benefits derived from forecasting/scheduling, time and attendance, and clocking solutions take time to 1) understand and 2) to adjust to the organizations labor vision.
For most retailers, it isn’t just one of the above reasons that keep them from integration WFM and Task Management. Often, several reasons work together to prevent progress. The silver lining? Integration is a marathon and not a sprint. Vendors will make the task easier because the market demands it. Retailers will find it easier to justify the investment as they continue to do more with less.
What keeps you from integrating task management and workforce management? Feel free to comment below or email me.