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Q&A: Rick Schlenker, Co-Founder and Executive VP of Sales and Marketing, Logile

Logile is a global provider of industry-leading store planning, execution and workforce management software and services for retailers. With over 25 years of hands-on information technology… View Article

INTERVIEWS

Q&A: Rick Schlenker, Co-Founder and Executive VP of Sales and Marketing, Logile

Logile is a global provider of industry-leading store planning, execution and workforce management software and services for retailers. With over 25 years of hands-on information technology and retail management experience before co-founding Logile, Rick uniquely understands retail and the challenges of evaluating, selecting and implementing complex retail enterprise solutions. He applies his passion for helping retailers succeed and operationalize their initiatives every day.

What does your company do? / What is your USP?

Logile provides solutions (including software and services) that enable retailers to optimise in-store planning and execution and enhance operational efficiency. Our solutions include best-practice efficient work methods, industry labour standards, data integration, demand forecasting, staff planning, employee scheduling, time and attendance, budgeting, food safety and task management.

Labour is retailers’ largest controllable expense. Our solution is based on a unique combination of innovative technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), and deep retail expertise in business process optimisation resulting in the delivery of a game-changing solution to our customers’ ongoing success.

What’s special about the platform and your approach?

Our modular web-based and mobile native app solution with a user-friendly interface and customisable workflow allows managers and associates to be more effective and spend more time on the sales floor with customers.

The depth of detailed functionalities of our solution meets the requirement of our most demanding customers.

Our professional services include expert industrial engineering for workplace design, labour standards, best-practice work methods, labour modelling, and identification of potential improvement initiatives. We provide training and change management and online help through our e-learning platform.

How does a product/service implementation actually look like and how do you measure success?

A key aspect of our approach is the ability to deliver a truly tailored service to meet the need of our customers. We are proud to say that we have never lost a customer, and we are recognised as the only workforce management company to be named as a Top-20 overall best retail vendor on the RIS News Software LeaderBoard over multiple years.

How are retailers using your systems to gain competitive advantage and what does best practice look like?

The ability to forecast as accurately as possible is fundamental to every retailer’s success. It is impossible to create a good schedule with a bad forecast. Our forecasting delivers an unparalleled 95 percent or better accuracy rate at the metrics level by day by department, and our reforecasting capabilities enable retailers to act nimbly through the week in progress as specific weather and competitive factors unfold in real time.

The key to effective labour planning is store-specific labour standards and workload drivers that quantify the amount and type of work needed by day and time of day. Our standards are built upon client best methods and are applied to forecast volumes to produce store-specific staffing requirements for scheduling. A good task-based, cross-department schedule provides the best coverage for customer service while guiding associates on their work assignments. Our scheduling is designed to deliver both optimisation and associate satisfaction.

Our Employee Self-Service portal enables associates to view their schedules, manage requests for time off, request new shifts that become available, communicate with their managers and propose shift swaps and changes for personal emergencies all through their mobile devices. This functionality saves time for managers and delivers better satisfaction for employees. We all know that happy employees provide the best service to customers.

Our streamlined communications and task management provide store communication (including emergency messages and notifications) and tasks (both recurring and ad hoc) from corporate to store and from store back to the head office.

KPIs are highly visible on our exception dashboards to see the root cause in one screen without digging through the application.

All these elements support real-time visibility to productivity growth and deliver the retail brand to customers.

What advantage does it add?

Our solutions enable retailers to understand their true labour costs. This level of insight results in the ability to improve employee and operational efficiency, boost profitability, reduce employee turnover, and enhance the shopping experience for their customers. Additionally, our scalable solutions enable retailers to address current and future regulatory compliance, effectively future-proofing their businesses.

What challenges and opportunities do you see in UK retail? / What challenges are retailers facing in 2020 and beyond?

UK retailers are facing several challenges in an ever-changing environment.

  • Traditional retail is under increasing pressure from online retail. How do bricks and mortar stores differentiate themselves?
  • Brexit reduces the pool of labour available to the retailers, leading to increased labour costs.
  • Retail logistics could change, with higher regulatory scrutiny and the need to build in delays for increased border checks.
  • Cost control drives an ever-present need to innovate and automate such as to move personnel from front-end departments to other departments to enhance customer service.
  • The current pandemic will change public perception and lead to higher standards and higher costs, especially in the area of hygiene and sanitation.
  • Retail is constantly under pressure to reduce its carbon footprint; innovations and process optimisation factor in as key elements to success.

All of these challenges present opportunities to reinvent and transform in order to not only survive but thrive for the long term.

How will you address these challenges and turn them into successes?

Profitability and viability are tied to many factors, but it is imperative that retailers optimise and still provide greater service.

Organisations with a system-based approach to workforce management are better prepared to understand their performance and their opportunities. They can make fact-based decisions and innovate to stay resilient, mindful of the costs involved. Implementation of changes to business practices are made through the system for consistency across large enterprises.

KPIs are highly visible on our dashboards to measure performance and quantify effective use of the tools. Communications tools for both recurring and emergency messages are more effective and allow associates to stay better focused on the sales floor and taking care of customers. All these elements support real productivity growth.

What is on the horizon for you as a company?

Our customers’ success is Logile’s highest priority and mission. Our tenets of ongoing innovation and continuous improvement complement our customer focus, and we will continue to innovate and bring practical, valuable new solutions to retailers. Examples of upcoming innovation areas include production planning, queue management and an expansion of real-time store management capabilities.

Any final thoughts?

As global citizens, our thoughts and support are with the retail and world communities as we all navigate through and beyond the current crisis. With everyone working together, we all will come out stronger and with new perspectives.

As a company, we are excited to expand our operations into the UK and look forward to partnering with some of the world’s best retailers to help you achieve your objectives.

About Logile

Logile, Inc. delivers industry-leading retail solutions for in-store planning, execution and workforce management. Our proven AI and machine-learning technology and industrial engineering expertise help retailers worldwide provide the best customer service at the optimal cost. Labor standards, forecasting, scheduling, time and attendance, food safety, task management—we transform store operations.

  • Never lost a customer
  • The only workforce management company on RIS News’ Top-20 Best Retail Vendor list for multiple years
  • 100% dedicated to each customer’s success

To find out how Logile can help you, click here
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