For its first 49 years in business, Pier1, which employs more than 20,000 associates in 49 states and Canada, was managing schedules using a mix of pen, paper, Excel and Access. "Thanks to the dedicated work of Senior Manager of Store Operations Lee Crowell and his team, the system worked well through seven substantial in-house upgrades," says executive VP of Stores Sharon Leite. The homegrown system was sophisticated enough to integrate traffic counters that enabled demand curve analysis and management. But Crowell and Leite both knew an upgrade was inevitable. In fact, Crowell says the late-stage development of the old scheduling system at Pier 1 was part of a grand exercise in self discovery that helped the company discern its needs in preparation for purchase of an off-the-shelf, automated labor scheduling system.
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