Canadian Retailer - Spring 2014 - 47
THE LINKS IN THE SERVICE-PROFIT CHAIN
HCM's "Take a Ride" survey found 47.3 per
cent of respondents pointing to all three of
these areas as their primary concerns. According to Retail Systems Research's benchmark report titled WFM 2013: The Store
Employee in the Customer Age, more than
four-fifths of retailers believe that the role
of the workforce in enabling customer service is more important than ever. The 16th
Annual Global CEO Survey 2013, a PwCconducted query of 167 United States-based
CEOs, finds four-fifths of them planning to
improve employee engagement.
Here's the Technological Problem
Many retailers operate using technology
that weakens key links in the Service-Proﬁt
Chain. Over time, retailers have added functionality and components by way of fragile
interfacing and integration to hold it all
together. This means most legacy systems
for core HCM are collections of applications
cobbled together with a portal skin placed on
top to make them appear to be one system. A
number of cloud-based systems that are delivered via hosted models using legacy architectures and ﬁrst-generation Web designs
share this cumbersome architecture, too.
Here's the scenario: Payroll runs on one
platform and database, time and attendance
on a different one, and beneﬁts administration on yet another. Each is a technological
ﬁefdom with its own sovereign and redundant data set requiring additional costs to
keep them in sync. In addition, this data
travels between these applications via interfaces, which slow its movement. The situa-
tion produces a nonresponsive experience for the user and
an impediment to the viability of the business. In the time it
takes a user to combine data from time and attendance, for
instance, with data from payroll and beneﬁts administration,
the resulting information is delayed and stale. It isn't realtime; it's always a snapshot of the past.
The point is that these applications struggle to communicate with each other in real-time, frustrating users in human
resources, payroll, operations, and ﬁnance. Employees become frustrated, too, as they attempt to handle the basics of
their employment via an employee self-service (ESS) system
that relies on these precarious interfaces, behind the portal.
Running overly-integrated systems, retailers-and not just
large ones-run the risk of requiring almost double the business cycle time. It's a signiﬁcant cost to the organization and
has a negative effect on ﬂoor associates' morale. When associates are not enabled to self-serve their employment, the lost
provision of care and loss of spirit on the retail ﬂoor translates to a decrease in employee engagement, the precursor to
customer dissatisfaction and losses in sales.
Change vs. Neglect
Retailers that neglect their core HCM technology, leaving
it to disparate applications unable to work in concert, neglect their floor associates, too. These retailers cede ground
to the competition and sow the seeds of failure. But retailers
who replace their systems for core HCM with a single application will awaken the positive dynamics found in the Service-Profit Chain. They will have more engaged employees,
more satisfied customers, and better profits.
Ceridian is a leader in human capital management with
more than 100,000 clients in over 50 countries. With over 40
years of experience, proven expertise and recognized service
excellence, Ceridian is a trusted partner to more than 43,000
Canadian customers. For more information about Ceridian,
visit its website at www.ceridian.ca.
www.retailcouncil.org/cdnretailer | spring 2014 | canadian retailer |