System expected to improve delivery and service at books and stationery retailer

The Works has rolled out Red Prairie workforce management software to its distribution centre and is evaluating a similar system for managing store staff.

The decision to invest in workforce management was made after the retailer achieved a 25 per cent improvement in warehouse picking rates after introducing Red Prairie’s warehouse management system.

The Works chief executive Derek Hine said: “Implementing workforce management builds on our strategy to maximise the value of Red Prairie’s warehouse management system and will help us meet our growth targets, while continuing to reduce order fulfilment and labour costs. We are delighted to have increased operative performance by 25 per cent within a few months of going live and confidently expect even greater workforce efficiencies with workforce management in the years to come.”

The Works supply chain manager Diane Smith said the addition of the workforce management system has created a performance-focused culture within the distribution centre already. She explained: “Following the implementation of workforce management, operatives fully understand expectations and opportunities and are better motivated to contribute at a higher level than ever before in a fairer system that rewards above-average performers.”

The system allows the retailer to forecast work to optimise staff resources and Smith believes that this will result in improved delivery times to stores and a better service to end customers.

She concluded: “Workforce management also helps managers identify process weaknesses and other problems that prevent staff from reaching their targets and enables less productive team members to be given the assistance they need to reach their potential.”

The company is also evaluating Red Prairie’s retail workforce systems for its 300 retail outlets, to benefit from the technology further as it aims to increase its store estate to 400 in the next few years.