At the NRF BIG Retail Show 2013, a new relationship was announced between Kronos and Manhattan Associates to help retailers profitably integrate their physical stores into their digital selling strategy. The idea is to allow retailers to increase customer satisfaction and drive sales by freeing up trapped inventory in the store and elsewhere in the upstream supply chain, while managing labor costs.
My recent in-depth report from the KronosWorks 2011 conference entitled KronosWorks 2011: Beyond Time Clocks for Modern Workforce Management asserted that vertically-oriented tuck-in acquisitions were likely in store for Kronos in 2012. Lo and behold, in mid-January 2012, Kronos announced that it has acquired the assets of OptiLink from The Advisory Board Company in an undisclosed cash transaction.
As a result of the acquisition, Kronos has added one of the industry’s leading acuity-based staffing solutions to its health care workforce management (WFM) suite. Kronos now offers possibly the most advanced clinically-focused WFM suite designed to help healthcare organizations deliver high-quality patient care. More than 3,000 hospitals and 4,000 long-term care organizations use Kronos Workforce Central solutions every day. Other notable competitors in the space are API Healthcare, McKesson, and Lawson Software (part of Infor).
Part 1 of this blog series introduced Reflexis Systems, whose task execution solutions have helped over 110 retailers and their suppliers worldwide execute their strategies and increase profits. The article analyzed Reflexis’ genesis and evolution from a task management specialist to an integrated retail workforce management (WFM) platform provider.
Reflexis’ Retail Execution Management platform features labor budgeting/forecasting/scheduling, time and attendance (T&A), task management, and key performance indicator (KPI)/compliance solutions to enable retailers to align their store labor/activities to corporate goals and institutionalize best-practice responses to real-time metrics. As mentioned in Part 1, Reflexis’ customers, many of which are Top 250 global retailers, have reported improvements in store-level compliance with corporate strategies; higher productivity of merchandising, field, and store management; and increased sales and profitability. Read the rest of this entry »
My recent post (Software and Human) Help Wanted in Overwhelmed Retail Stores talked about how much attention (and IT investment) retailers pay to their merchandize planning and supply chain optimization processes as compared to their store-level task execution, even though this is where “the rubber meets the road.” I concluded my post with the fact that there are dozens of retail workforce management (WFM) vendors and solutions, but not many have the required store-level task management capabilities.
My recent article entitled “Workforce Scheduling & Optimization: The Missing Link on the Shop Floor?” analyzed the importance of manufacturing workforce scheduling & optimization solutions and stated that many manufacturing enterprises still use rudimentary tools and practices (if that) to manage their labor. The article stated that most manufacturing organizations do not yet understand the strategic value that workforce scheduling could provide to them.
Often, manufacturing companies (complacently or ignorantly) think that the existing practices and tools that they have in place for labor scheduling are “good enough” or that workforce scheduling for their environment is so unique and complex that it cannot be properly automated. Until recently, a few percentiles of improvement in labor utilization or productivity hasn’t been much of an incentive for manufacturing executives to invest in sophisticated workforce management (WFM) systems. Labor has been customarily viewed as a constraint (or even a necessary evil) to the successful movement of goods through the supply chain.
What a difference in attitude a protracted economic downturn can make. Because labor represents a large percentage of any organization’s controllable costs, many manufacturing companies have lately realized that the benefits of implementing automated workforce scheduling can be significant.
Given our shared presence in the Boston metro area, I’ve had numerous contacts and interactions with Kronos Incorporated in the past, but this fall was my very first attendance of the vendor’s annual user conference: KronosWorks 2010. That attendance was a worthwhile use of my time and a great learning experience about the company and its customers. As some background, here is Ventana Research’s report from the previous conference, KronosWorks 2009.
Kronos is the global leader in workforce management (WFM) solutions that enable organizations to control labor costs, minimize compliance risk, and improve workforce productivity. Tens of thousands of organizations in 60 countries — including more than half of the Fortune 1000 — use some or all of the following modules of the Kronos Workforce Central suite: time and attendance (T&A), scheduling, absence management, human resources (HR) and payroll, hiring, and labor analytics.
The conference’s official program started with an intriguing animated video with some startling statistics about what our working days and weeks have begun to look like. For example, 15 percent of people admit that they are addicted to e-mail – some confessed to checking their e-mail at the beach, weddings, and even at funerals.
My recent blog series entitled “Integrated Workforce Management (WFM) Platforms: Fact or Fiction?” established that WFM systems have evolved from point solutions (i.e., time and attendance [T&A], workforce scheduling, absence management, human resources [HR], payroll, etc.) into unified solutions with a common user interface (UI), integrated WFM modules, and centralized management. For virtually for every kind of business, the benefits of WFM platforms should come from a holistic view of labor demand, optimized schedules based on specific labor policies and constraints, and the fact that accuracy often matters more than efficiency.
The next evolutionary step in the enterprise applications realm (WFM systems included) is to leverage Web 2.0 and Rich Internet Application (RIA) tools as well as ubiquitous mobile devices and information to bring informed decision-making to the business user. Persona-based UI development is repeatedly cited as a concept and undertaking of late. The aim is to present data that is specifically relevant to the logged-in user, with presentation methods that are rapidly understood. Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this blog series analyzed the major modules of integrated workforce management (WFM) suites that organizations can deploy to better schedule and assign work in their production and distribution facilities and in retail stores. Concrete examples of commercially available products included those from Kronos and RedPrairie Corporation, given those two vendors’ notable recent moves in the WFM field.
While Part 1 explained the data collection, time and attendance (T&A), activities, and absence management modules of WFM (and their importance), Part 2 focused on the forecasting and scheduling, reporting and analytics, and talent management parts of WFM. The final part of this blog series will analyze the retail sector’s particular WFM requirements and some vendors’ offerings.
Part 1 of this blog series analyzed the major modules of integrated workforce management (WFM) suites that organizations can deploy to better schedule and assign work in their production and distribution facilities, and in retail stores. Concrete examples of commercially available products included those from Kronos and RedPrairie Corporation, given those two vendors’ notable recent moves in the WFM field.
While Part 1 detailed the data collection, time and attendance (T&A), labor activities, and absence management modules of WFM (and their respective importance), Part 2 will focus on the forecasting and scheduling, reporting and analytics, and talent management parts of WFM.
In her recent blog post 12 Things Retailers Did Last Year To Improve Supply Chain… IDC’s analyst Leslie Hand said that many retailers, as one of the top three priorities of the last year, implemented new “pay and bonus for performance” structures based on current labor standards/time management or simply applied new labor standards to their distribution centers (DCs) and warehouse work. Some also implemented comprehensive workforce management (WFM) products to better schedule and assign work in their distribution facilities and stores.
Sought-after partners most often included Kronos and RedPrairie Corporation, which is not surprising to me given these two vendors’ recent impressive moves in the WFM field.