The role of the responder: Lisa Mahoney, Store Manager, Montego Bay
Montego Bay, a retailer selling distinctive women’s apparel, reported a quarterly sales drop of 3.5% from the last year. The company is going to close down 20 underperforming stores in coming 18 months. A new computerized scheduling system was introduced to the store under trial basis for 6 months in order to see whether it could improve productivity & reduce payroll costs.The new system improved productivity and reduced the labour cost but had a major impact on employee morale and significantly changed the culture and behaviour of the store. This case study is an insight of the scenario and it will try to explore possible alternatives to solve the problem. Key Issues
1. Sales staff of Montego Bay is very critical over the computerized scheduling system, there morale was down and voicing their bitter complains against new system. This situation is not healthy for store performance especially in long term aspect. 2. Drop of quarterly sales before the trial and the risk of being included in to 20 underperforming stores going to close in coming 18 months. This will have a major impact if the trend is not reversed as early as possible. 3. The “successful” trial run of computerized scheduling may endorse the viability of new system. There is a risk of implementing it throughout the company without considering or undermining negative impacts because of key benefits as productivity improvement and payroll cost reduction. Analysis
It’s not an easy task to keep sales on a positive track and employees motivated in an economic turbulence. Customers tend to choose less expensive retailers than an upscale store like Montego Bay, when they feel economic hardships. Therefore an extraordinary effort to improve performance would be natural. In the other hand the sales staffs also has significant grievances regarding new...