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May 18, 2005

EuroShop 2005: Workforce Management Optimises Staff Deployment in the Retail Business

At this year’s EuroShop trade fair (Düsseldorf February 19 to 23),InVision Software will present its solutions for demand-oriented Workforce Management (WFM) in the retail business. Using the Staff Planning System (SPS), retail businesses can easily improve their efficiency in leveraging a valuable and expensive resource: their staff. Solutions made by InVision have been proven to reduce staff-related expenses by up to 25 percent, using a unique optimisation approach for staff scheduling.

InVision Software has been an exhibitor at EuroShop before. “Workforce Management is a subject which has constantly gained importance in the retail sector over the last three years,” says John Cann, account manager UK and Ireland of InVision Software. “At this point, there is still a lot of room for staff optimisation in this field, both nationally and internationally. Successful pilot projects and some early contracts encourage us to stay true to the current InVision strategy of making our 10 years of expertise in demand-oriented staff planning systems available to the retail sector.

Workforce Management solutions come into play whenever conventional staff scheduling systems fall short of business needs. Demand-oriented scheduling, especially while taking into account employees’ working hour preferences, cannot be handled adequately with conventional scheduling systems or manually. Workforce Management is far more than data-based creation of employee schedules or an evaluation of working hour records. Workforce Management enables businesses to cut cost while raising their service level. There is hardly any other investment on the software market offering an equally short payback period. By implementing a WFM system, businesses achieve an ROI within just a few months.

The InVision Staff Planning System tailors working hours to customer traffic and its fluctuation while taking into account combinations of a large variety of parameters. These include the current and predicted workload, short-term peaks, sales figures, target working hours, availability periods, vacation times, qualifications and work contracts. Under these complex conditions, the InVision SPS uses automated processes to supply you with accurate forecasts of how many employees are needed in a specific time period, subsequently generating a bespoke staff schedule. This WFM solution is completely web-based and comprises several modules which cover all areas of professional Workforce Management: integrated master data management, scheduling with regard to required staff, capacity and available shifts as well as real-time monitoring and schedule updates. As a unique option, employees can be integrated into the scheduling process by enabling them to enter their working hour preferences into a web-based shift schedule previously optimised to suit the determined demand. Thanks to its unequalled architecture, the SPS supports scheduling tasks across branches and even across country borders. To facilitate this, the InVision SPS is currently available in German, English, French, Spanish, Italian and Swedish. Furthermore, the software is capable of taking into account different countries’ individual conditions and regulations regarding the working world.

Businesses who are capable of determining their staff demand at any given time with optimal accuracy and then strategically schedule staff have a definite edge on their competitors. “Working hours are a relevant business factor in the retail sector, and as such deserve professional management,” John Cann says. “InVision provides the right tool to meet this challenge. While scheduling, the SPS takes into account legal factors with regard to general business and contracts. Besides, it provides the option of integrating employees’ working hour requests. The benefits are obvious: business goals and employee interests are reconciled optimally while working hours become more flexible. Efficiently deployed employees ensure the kind of service that gives you a head start on the competition.”

The EuroShop fair is taking place in Düsseldorf from February 19 to 23, 2005. It is one of the largest internationally known retail-focused events of its type. Approximately 1,500 exhibitors will showcase new products, trends and solutions. You will find InVision Software, one of the technologically most advanced providers of workforce management solutions, in hall 6 (booth F 58).