Workforce Management software and the small and mid-sized business – does it fit?

by Rotageek on 9 September 2022

If you’re a small or mid-sized business, you’ve probably made the assumption that you don’t need any help with your workforce management. You have a spreadsheet with your staff rotas, and you have a HR system - job done. 

And it’s understandable why mid-size businesses stick with more rudimentary systems. There’s a doubting voice that tells you:

  • The cost is too high when managing a few staff per store – Even though the true cost of your manual systems (i.e. hours spent making rotas and handling leave requests) is likely much higher than you realise.
  • Your staff don’t have time to learn complex new tools – This one’s sometimes true. There’s nothing worse than expensive software that isn’t used properly.
  • The current approach is good enough – Even if you’re still using an Excel spreadsheet for your rotas!
  • You don’t have a problem with staff retention, engagement, or flexibility – But how do you know, if you aren’t measuring those things?

If you’ve ever made any of the above assumptions about workforce management software, this article is here to change your mind – with no pressure, of course.

Why a spreadsheet and a HR solution don’t make the cut

Whilst a HR solution or complex spreadsheet do take care of some important things when it comes to workforce management, there are a few key ones they miss: 

  • Fairness - How are you ensuring that unsocial hours or the less desirable tasks are being split fairly across your workforce? If a worker is consistently being given these shifts, they may leave. 
  • Equality - Are you aware of the workers that want to upskill and learn a new task? How are you making sure your employees have equal opportunities to progress in their retail careers? 
  • Employee satisfaction - How are you ensuring your employees are managing their work/life balance? Are they able to stipulate the shifts they want to work or the hours they can/can’t do so they can balance their home lives?
  • Compliance - Are you ensuring minimum contracted hours are being met? What about overtime and making sure this is recorded/paid correctly? Or that you’re meeting minimum wage due diligence and holiday pay entitlement?

Spreadsheets definitely don’t help you understand the above. And your HR system? Whilst it may help with some of these elements, it’s likely you won’t have the right visibility you need to manage this on a day-to-day basis.

A few myths we busted

If you ask us, there’s only one reason a business should invest in new tools and technologies, and that’s because it delivers value. The kind of value that turns into productivity, revenue, and ROI.

And we’re helping mid-size retailers be fair, compliant, become more profitable and compete for the best retail talent. Just read our case study with an innovative British cosmetics retailer for a real-world example.

In this case study, a mid-sized retailer started using Rotageek and found some of the myths about workforce management software aren’t true. For instance:

  • It now takes them 30 seconds to create an optimised rota, instead of the 2-3 hours it took with their old spreadsheet system.
  • They reduced staff costs by 8% across the whole business.
  • KPIs showed their productivity rose 16%, accounting for an additional £83,000 worth of sales, after they switched to Rotageek.

We think that’s good value, and so does our customer. But it also puts the pessimistic assumptions we listed above into perspective.

This retailer, perhaps like you, once thought spreadsheets were a good enough way to do rotas. Now they’re doing them in less than a minute, saving hours per store per week. And it isn’t complicated at all.

They once believed workforce management software was an unnecessary expense. Now they’ve seen how a small investment can deliver a big jump in productivity and sales.

And before Rotageek, they weren’t aware of their problems with staff engagement. Now they can see the improvement – as a member of their team put it, “store and warehouse managers across our UK&I business are thrilled… less time is being spent on scheduling and more time is being spent with their teams and customers.”

Why is Rotageek changing minds?

So, what makes Rotageek different from other solutions that might have put you off in the past?

It makes moving to digital scheduling easy. For our case study customer, it reduced scheduling admin from hours per week to seconds. There are no complex tools here – just AI-powered, optimised rotas in a click.

It can pay for itself. You can save up to 8% of labour spend, and improve both productivity and revenue. You can even get an accurate forecast of your potential ROI in seconds.

It can make your business more attractive to retail talent. Rotageek helps improve employee fairness sentiment. Your workers all get a Rotageek mobile app, which they can use to check their shift, request time off, and work more flexibly.

If you’d like to know more, click below to visit a web page we put together, especially for retailers like you.


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