Employers need an interim solution to fill the gaps and increase efficiency within the existing staff. The answer to this predicament is digital transformation.
Whether it’s “employees wanted” signs at local restaurants or longer lines at retail checkouts, everyone has seen the impacts of the current labor shortage in the United States. According to Korn Ferry, 87% of retail executives have had moderate to significant trouble hiring store employees in July. Retailers are expected to feel the effects of the shortage into the holiday season and beyond.
Grocers and general retailers are often dealing with tight margins and can’t afford a dip in productivity. While employers are testing out hiring bonuses, college incentive programs and lowering job requirements to fill the needed positions, they need an interim solution to fill the gaps and increase efficiency within the existing staff. The answer to this predicament is digital transformation.
Understand Your Margins in Real-Time
Technology that makes life easier for employees of all levels and makes better use of their time is a worthwhile first investment. Too many retail operations involve tedious spreadsheets and unoptimized manual tactics. When employees must request a new order of materials or report a change in vendor price, they must often do so in multiple places to ensure all departments are up to date, wasting precious labor resources.
Yet with real-time margin calculators, these adjustments can be made both reactively and proactively in seconds. Managers can simulate complex calculation schemes for logistics, pricing and other conditions based on relevant business figures automatically, giving them the opportunity to put their time and energy elsewhere, while optimizing labor costs.
Ensure You’re Getting the Best Deal from Partners
Another strategy to protect margins in the midst of the labor shortage is to create airtight relationships with vendors and partners through strategic negotiation and renegotiation. Are all your retail partners giving you the best deal? As supply changes on their end, is there room for lower costs on your end? Well-documented partner negotiations bring more flexibility and transparency. By investing in software solutions that gather all the necessary information, retailers can be in the strongest possible negotiating position every time.
Utilize Dynamic Pricing to Protect Margins
Finally, optimizing sale prices can greatly protect margins. Understanding the complex balance between supply and demand takes years to master and extensive employee time. Instead, retailers should lean into pricing checks and dynamic pricing solutions. Pricing strategy and requirements are unique to every company, but when these criteria are plugged into an AI-based pricing software, KPIs are continuously evaluated, giving retailers the highest possible margins on every product.
What Has Worked for You?
After trying out these cost-saving innovations across the organization, retailers can discover permanent benefits for workflow and the bottom-line. I’d be happy to discuss any of these innovations, and how gicom can help retailers combat the labor shortage with digital transformation.
But in the meantime, I’d love to hear from some of my connections. How have you navigated the labor shortage, so far? Do you have any tips for retailers? What innovations have helped you protect your bottom line?
By Stefan Hilger
Published on LinkedIn: How to Combat the Labor Shortage with Digital Transformation | LinkedIn