The following post has been written by Jose Cortez, Nextenture’s Director of Customer Success, LATM.

Many colleagues have asked me why sophisticated WFM solutions are necessary in a world in which companies hire highly qualified managers at a premium to run stores. Sometimes, I offer a simple one-liner followed by a story, where I might say that education seems expensive until one considers the adverse impact of ignorance.

However, the true explanation is found in the details surrounding the speed at which retail moves in these days of post-internet-boom.

• Gen X and Millennials seek pampering at every step of their shopping experience.
• Mobility and social media influence shopping behaviors.
• Fast-fashion business models compete more aggressively.
• Internet traffic cannibalizes brick & mortar traffic.
• Retails sales plateau, while payroll expenses grow.

So why is a WFM solution crucial for those who already employ top-performing store managers?

Since story-telling has become quite popular in Retail for conveying complex concepts, let’s align WFM to a sport most audiences can relate to: competitive cycling. We’ll review, side-by-side, the tools and gadgets that both a top tier store manager and top tier cyclist need in order to achieve peak performance.

The two charts above tell us that hiring and endorsing top talent is half the battle. As seen above, in the case of the Store Manager, providing the right tools means easing the administrative burden of managing the workforce and subsequently focusing on building the brand and building talent. This translates to elevated customer service levels for improved sales performances. Similarly, in the case of the competitive cyclist, providing the right tools allows the cyclist to map out the strategy while leveraging their team and technology to improve performance.

I’ve held many roles in the corporate environment over a 25-year span consisting of project management, strategy planning, workforce management, store operations, etc. In looking back, I tell folks that store managers have the most challenging job in retail. When I visit stores, I see store managers playing the role of merchants, brand ambassadors, ops experts, talent developers, schedulers, administrators, therapists, friends, moms, dads, and the list goes on. How do we solve this challenge?

Nextenture helps companies discover outdated business operational processes and leverages the following cloud-based Reflexis Real-Time Store Operations Platform.

The key pillars outlined above allow store managers to maximize the full potential of their workforce so that they can return to focusing on the customer, building the brand, building talent, and ultimately growing and exceeding last year’s sales performance.

Store managers run full marathons daily at their respective stores, so let’s give them the competitive tools they need so they can get to the finish line and feel inspired to do it all over again tomorrow, just as we see with Tour De France cyclists.

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