la Feltrinelli is Italy's leading bookshop chain. The Feltrinelli Editore publishing house was founded in 1955 by Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, who then opened his first bookshop in Pisa in 1957. Now there are over 100 bookshops throughout Italy, employing over 1,200 people. Today, Gruppo Feltrinelli also owns RicordiMediaStores alongside its publishing house and chain of bookshops.
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Background and Challenges
Over recent years, Gruppo Feltrinelli has grown both the number of its outlets and the number of its employees. It is now Italy's largest chain of bookshops with over 100 stores. The company plans to continue growing at the same rate by opening several new shops every year. The outlets are diverse, having different opening times and employing varying numbers of people - between 5 and 50 employees.
There is also diversity in employee contracts: There is a mixture of full-timers and part-timers; a mixture of flexible and fixed hours contracts; and the company employs casual staff at peak seasons such as Christmas. These factors mean that business processes in general, and staff planning in particular, are becoming ever more complex. Previously, staff planning was conducted using Excel tables and ad-hoc, internally developed processes.
This approach became inadequate for the company's size and structure. Employee satisfaction was suffering and managers at the bigger shops were spending up to five days to create only one staff roster. Critically, the lack of optimised scheduling meant that the company was not able to provide proper customer service due to shortages of sales staff during busy periods.
The diversity of its outlets means that a fully centralised staff planning tool is not feasible for la Feltrinelli. Instead, the group requires a workforce management system which enables individual shop managers to create schedules for their particular outlets; data storage, management and processing must however be handled centrally. Following a thorough evaluation of the staff scheduling software tools available on the market, la Feltrinelli opted for InVision Enterprise WFM. The elements of the InVision solution which impressed la Feltrinelli most were the comprehensive functionality of the product as well as the clearly structured approach and the proficient consulting of InVision's professional services. After three demonstration sessions using real data from its business, la Feltrinelli selected InVision.
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Content continues ….Solution
Implementation of InVision Enterprise WFM starts with the configuration of 'master data'. This data is used to forecast how many employees are required, where and when, and to what tasks they should be assigned. At la Feltrinelli, there are over 130 defined tasks, each of which has three different skills levels. Absence activities and break activities can also be defined so that these are accounted for during the scheduling process. Scheduling rules, derived from individual employee contracts, are defined and entered in the system. Past (historical) data from Point of Sale and Stock Control systems are used to calculate the varying number of staff required in order to achieve the desired customer service level at all times.
Once the required staffing levels are forecast, InVision Enterprise WFM enables optimised staff schedules automatically to be generated: Shop managers create a general outline of their requirements for the coming year, including staff holiday plans. The basic plan is adapted every month based on up-to-date forecasts using the AutoScheduler component of InVision Enterprise WFM, a fully automated module that generates optimised schedules at the touch of a button, while taking all relevant scheduling rules into account.
AutoScheduler performs the entire optimisation process in a single step, from the long-term assignment of employees over long periods to the creation of a detailed definition of the activity or activities to be performed over the course of a single day. The schedules are distributed to the employees approximately 60 days in advance. Each employee's activity is represented in the ShiftCenter module of InVision Enterprise WFM. la Feltrinelli can also export employees' ShiftCenter data to external systems for further processing.
Application and Results
The pilot phase was completed in the 'Champion Stores' in just eight months - including company-specific adaptations required to perfectly match all of la Feltrinelli's needs without compromise. Analysis of individual activity transaction times, an important factor in requirement forecasting, was performed in advance.
The InVision solution is also seamlessly integrated with existing systems at la Feltrinelli. The delivered solution enables uniform data and standardised processes for requirement forecasting and staff scheduling at each of la Feltrinelli's diverse stores on a single, company-specific platform.
Efficiency is greatly improved, while a massive burden is lifted from shop managers' shoulders. This in turn increases staff morale and motivation. Demand-oriented optimised scheduling enhances customer service levels and, as a result, customer satisfaction.
The basic implementation work was completed by November 2007, and the first three la Feltrinelli shops began working with InVision Enterprise WFM straight away. A steady rollout to the remaining shops is now taking place, enabling all of the more than 100 shop managers to create and assign efficient, customer-oriented schedules to approximately 1,200 employees, quickly and easily. All new outlets will be set up in InVision Enterprise WFM before opening, meaning that optimised staff schedules and high levels of customer service are guaranteed from the very start.
"Our aim is first and foremost to simplify and rationalise staff planning processes in our retail outlets and so meet our customers' needs and prevent queues from forming at the checkout. InVision Enterprise WFM is the perfect solution for us: In an instant, our shop managers can create staff schedules that are ideally suited to the size of their outlets and the number of customers they have."
Head of IT and logistics at la Feltrinelli
About La Feltrinelli:
la Feltrinelli is Italy’s leading bookshop chain. The Feltrinelli Editore publishing house was founded in 1955 by Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, who then opened his first bookshop in Pisa in 1957. Now there are over 100 bookshops throughout Italy, employing over 1,200 people. Today, Gruppo Feltrinelli also owns RicordiMediaStores alongside its publishing house and chain of bookshops.
About injixo Ltd:
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