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Virgin Media boosts sales through better employee management in-store

Virgin Media has enjoyed significant sales uplifts across its 82 stores following the recent implementation of a workforce management (WFM) solution from JDA, which it installed to address a concern it was missing out on sales at peak times. By Glynn Davis in Barcelona

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Virgin Media boosts sales through better employee management in-store

Virgin Media has enjoyed significant sales uplifts across its 82 stores following the recent implementation of a workforce management (WFM) solution from JDA, which it installed to address a concern it was missing out on sales at peak times. By Glynn Davis in Barcelona

Speaking at JDA Focus Connect 2015 in Barcelona this week Ian Villalard, senior operations manager at Virgin Media, says: "It was clear that we were missing an opportunity. Our resources were not meeting the footfall levels we had and we thought we could achieve a couple of percentage increase in conversion [from a WFM solution]."

The sales conversions were dropping off on peak footfall day Saturday and were less than on a Monday when customer numbers were significantly less.

Having almost rolled out the JDA solution to all its stores the results have already been impressive. Across a trial group of 17 stores for September there was a 12% year-on-year increase in sales, which was 4% higher than the average across all the Virgin Media estate.

Ben Jenkins, retail resource planning manager at Virgin Media, says: "Now conversions mimic the footfall patterns and Saturday is now the biggest sales date. This is purely from having centralised scheduling rather than the individual store manager handling it."

The solution involves all store managers now having access to 'Store Planner' on their company tablet devices that gives them the full view of all the shifts at their store as well as employee details. This gives visibility of where there are gaps in the shift coverage and where there are shift swap requests from employees that need to be authorised.

All employees have access to 'My Planner' on their own phones via an app within which they can use to check their allocated shifts and to input any requests to swap shifts with colleagues where desired. "A lot of our staff are Millennials and so it was our intent to use a solution via a mobile app, which needed to be engaging and easy and intuitive to use for people with limited attention spans," says Jenkins.

Such has been the success of the solution that it is to be extended to other parts of the business such as the Virgin Media pop-up stores in shopping malls and there is the potential that the Time & Attendance component of the JDA WFM solution could be implemented using biometric clocks or mobile clocks that employees would access when beginning and ending shifts.

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