January 2012 Integrated Solutions For Retailers
By Erin Harris, associate editor
A workforce management (WFM) solution enables The Home Depot to save 15 hours per week on scheduling.
The Home Depot, the home improvement giant with more than 2,200 stores and fourth largest retailer in the United States, employs close to 300,000 associates across the enterprise. Scheduling thousands upon thousands of associates effectively is a daunting task at best. While The Home Depot had produced schedules manually for its associates for many years, the retailer’s legacy labor forecasting and scheduling system was heavily customized and included many iterations from its original mid-1990s build. Chris Duffy, VP of workforce operations and strategy at The Home Depot, explains why the company turned to a workforce management tool to alleviate labor-intensive scheduling.
Identify, Remove Gaps From Manual Scheduling
For a business of The Home Depot’s scale, the retailer had many people involved in the process of building a schedule each week. “For a number of years, we employed someone full-time in each store to do nothing but draft, edit, and post schedules each week,” explains Duffy. “As the business evolved, we realized that situation was not optimal. Like it or not, opinions are inserted into the scheduling process each week, and in many cases, that doesn’t deliver an optimal solution to staffing the store.” The legacy system handled compliance for labor and payroll tax regulations; however, Duffy and his team relied heavily on the field HR teams as well as in-store HR representatives to make sure schedules were compliant with all regulations.