Next has improved staff efficiency in its stores after implementing a workforce management system.

The software, which is supplied by WorkPlace Systems, has allowed Next to reduce staff hours and the associated labour costs by identifying the staffing needs of different types of stores and then creating staff schedules that match those profiles.

A workload-demand model was created to provide a forecast of the staff hours required in each store to meet customer service and revenue targets. Using this data, WorkPlace advised Next on how to build schedules and establish the right profile and workforce structure for each type of store.

In addition, Next has employed the ChangePlanner software to improve the process of developing and communicating staff schedules to each store, ensuring that all staff know when and where they have to work.

A Next spokesperson said: “We have been impressed by the results so far and we are now looking at other ways in which workforce management can help us improve store performance and the service to our customers.”