When a lot of smart people get together, you always run the risk that someone will have a right-brain thought. You know – the creative side, where the cool stuff comes from, much of which is impractical and crazy, but some of which would be great if we could figure out how to do it.
Most people view timekeeping as a tactical necessity. And it is. We have to track hours worked in order to pay our people properly, and account for where the time goes. But what if we could tie hours worked for a month, and by whom, to monthly sales? Or why not to weekly sales? Wait, why not daily sales? What the heck, how about hourly sales? Can we tell, on a 24-7 basis, for every job code, for every department in every store, for every hour, what our sales were, and also what our scheduled and actual hours were?
That sounds like a lot of data – and it is. And it also sounds just about impossible? Which it is. But ‘just about’ does not mean ‘absolutely’, and in that little niche between ‘just about’ and ‘absolutely’, one of our customers challenged us to make it happen.
We would obviously not be publishing this article unless there was a happy ending. It turns out the Kronos provides a means of recording sales (items and dollars) every 15 minutes! And the timekeeping system knows, for a given hour, who was working. They don’t make it easy to correlate the two (sales made and hours worked), but it can be done, and Improvizations has done it. The data structures are simple, and the data table is huge (remember, we are storing a fair amount of information for every job code, for every store, for every hour). But armed with that information, you can analyze sales and labor trends, and staff for maximum productivity and profit, like nobody’s business. Unless it’s your business – in which case, it’s somebody’s business. Yours.
Now, that was a right-brain thought that actually turned out well.