Retail Solutions - IBM highlights cost savings of automating HR

A study by IBM into human resources activities by ten major UK retailers suggests that limited IT investment in the area means many are spending unnecessarily on administration and absenteeism.

The IBM study suggests that retailers could cut the staff hours involved in HR administration by up to 60 per cent, reduce staff turnover by 30 per cent and cut absenteeism by 35 per cent.

The study also suggests that recruitment can take three or four weeks, with ten working hours of store time needed to hire one employee.

IBM is using the study to support its launch of On Demand Workplace, a Web-enabled, real-time portal giving staff access to information using a variety of devices such as EPoS terminals, PDAs or self-service kiosks.

Russell Longmuir, retail industry leader with IBM's Business Consulting Services, says: 'Not every retailer will want to put an employee portal into every store, but if there is an RF network in place then adding simple HR functionality can be easy to justify.'