By Grocery Headquarters Staff
By Carlos E. Gonzalez Better management of labor costs can help retailers increase profits. Supermarkets by their nature are high-volume, low-margin businesses. Margins of only 1.5-2% are common. With increasing costs of business like health insurance and new competition from non-traditional retailers on the Internet and big box stores, grocers need to proactively manage their costs to stay competitive without deteriorating service or sales. As the grocer’s second largest cost, only after the inventory on the shelves, payroll can no longer be an afterthought. Grocers looking to thrive need to have a plan and they need to take action. Human capital management automation offered by vendors with disparate legacy solutions has changed very little in the last few decades. A constraining number of business processes having to take place in a specific strict order has been the known process for decades. That process consists of scheduling first, then the tracking of time during the pay period, and then calculation of gross to net and running of reports to see labor expenditure for the pay period that had just ended. Labor cost data is only seen long after the costs for the period have been incurred. If there was an unacceptable variance, financial officers would ask store managers to “do better” the next period and the cycle would continue. Ceridian’s Dayforce HCM single application transforms the way supermarkets do business by providing practical and proactive solutions to manage labor costs while increasing sales and customer service. Dayforce HCM also empowers employees with its self-service capabilities and increases employee engagement. We support grocers with two key ways to save money and increase margins. Dayforce HCM provides a practical way to publish an initial schedule and just as importantly, manage the schedule and costs during the pay period. Labor is initially scheduled as required by applying the business, union and regulating agency rules. Whether a grocer schedules based on their knowledge of the market, a budgeted amount, a ratio of labor to forecasted sales or based on key performance indicators, Dayforce HCM can match the grocer’s sophistication to post an initial schedule that gets the right people in the right place at the right cost. Secondly, as life events happen during the pay period causing fluctuations or labor costing more than expected based on actual hours worked, Dayforce’s Labor Cost Now provides real-time insight into the variance between the cost of what was scheduled and the actual cost of labor incurred that day. This real-time insight arms managers to proactively tweak the remaining schedule daily to stay on target for a profitable period in every department, in every store, every week. With a single, SaaS-based solution for scheduling, timekeeping, payroll and other human capital management functions, Dayforce HCM makes the management of a grocer’s payroll costs a reality and practical for department managers and senior executives alike. Grocers need to determine how they are going to stay more competitive in the current retail environment by increasing margins. They also need to determine the level of information that they would like to deploy to create the optimal initial schedule. The Dayforce HCM implementation team at Ceridian is experienced with grocer needs and can effectively prioritize, delivering high return on investment, faster deployment of solutions like Labor Cost Now followed by incremental phases of automation that provide additional ROI as the customers’ level of sophistication advances. Carlos E. Gonzalez is director of customer success at Ceridian, a global human capital management software company serving more than 25 million users in more than 50 countries. He can be reached at Carlos.Gonzalez@ceridian.com.