Supply chain technology specialist Relex Solutions has partnered with Zenopt to help retailers plan their staffing needs.

The aim of this is to help retailers reduce costs while improving customer service.

According to Relex, current workforce planning systems are based on sales and customer flows, meaning retailers have to plan weeks or months in advance.

Relex with Zenopt will be offering planning with forecasts calculated from the product/store level up. This will mean accurate forecasts not only for sales, but also for inventory into stores.

Zenopt’s smart optimisation system is designed to make it easy to plan shifts around staffing requirements, staff members’ competencies and their availability. The system also allows for medium-term shelf-stacking forecasts to be used that can change the retailers’ ability to plan accurately.

The system should be able to eliminate overstaffing, and mean fewer instances of understaffing or the wrong staff that result in delays getting products on-shelf, increased spoilage, long queues at the till and loss of sales.

“This is about more than cutting waste,” said Relex co-founder and CEO Mikko Kärkkäinen. “It’s about efficient management of stores. We expect ever-better service when we go shopping and we hope this will be yet another way in which Relex helps retailers re-focus their efforts on their customers.”

“Our partnership with Relex will give us access to outstanding forecast data, which in turn will allow scores of companies to manage their people’s time better,” said Zenopt CEO Mika Halme.

“Employees will find their workload is more evenly distributed, so fewer instances of working flat out or barely at all. Employers will save money and customers will find there are people free to help them. Everybody wins.”