Tesco is to roll out a workforce scheduling system to its stores.

The Red Prairie system will be deployed to its international businesses initially – where the scheduling task is performed manually at present – before being implemented in its UK business to replace a legacy application.

The system will go live in Tesco’s Eastern European operation before the end of the year and will be rolled out to its other international businesses next year.

Red Prairie managing director EMEA for retail productivity solutions Evan Grossman told Retail Week that the system will become part of Tesco’s operating model – the grocer’s repeatable framework of systems and processes that it is using to create economies of scale and simplify its global operations.

He said Tesco had spent time with Red Prairie’s existing customers, Mitchells & Butlers and US grocery chain Giant Eagle, before starting its project.

The system is designed to create the best rotas for each store, given its customer service needs and the constraints of when different employees are available to work and their skills.

The model for determining how much labour is required at any time will be created using Tesco’s engineered labour standards. It will also take into account health and safety rules and limitations on certain staff, such as if they are underage.

Grossman added that the system allows store managers to override the rotas created where needed, although it will report where regular changes lead to sub-optimal staff use.

The system is Microsoft-based and accessed via a web bro-wser, with all staff information held centrally.

Tesco has also purchased licences for a Red Prairie labour scheduling system to be used at its warehouses.