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TimeForge Tackling Labor Challenges

TimeForge Tackling Labor Challenges

by Eric Pereira / content creator

With the ongoing food retail industry labor shortage across the United States, TimeForge is helping grocers, wholesalers and suppliers find new labor through assessment, optimization and accountability.

A labor management platform, TimeForge specializes in retail and foodservice full-employee-lifecycle management. It’s also an operations platform that handles HR.

“With the visibility that our tools provide, it’s easy for teams to assess gaps and problems that are negatively impacting their goals,” said Audrey Hogan, chief operating officer for the firm, based in Lubbock, Texas.

TimeForge can (with about three clicks) show companies which positions are suffering from the highest turnover, or those shifts in most need of workers. 

Using a headcount example, cashiers are the most short-staffed position, according to Hogan. 

“One solution could be adding another self-check-out lane. Or perhaps you look at the TimeForge shift satisfaction report and recognize that your cashiers are consistently rating the Tuesday and Thursday afternoon shifts poorly,” she said. 

“This might indicate to you that the new supervisor you put in place those days is actually negatively contributing to your cashier turnover, and there’s a coaching opportunity. That report might have saved you a $140,000 spend that wouldn’t have addressed the real issue.”

For those looking to increase recruiting efforts, they can send a message through TimeForge asking employees to refer friends for jobs in exchange for a bonus.  

“You could empower your managers to post jobs to the TimeForge job board or to access all job applicants in their TimeForge portal so that you aren’t continuing to rely on paper applications or routing all job applicants through HR and slowing down the process,” Hogan said.

“You could accelerate onboarding by exposing the new hire dashboard in TimeForge to all new hires so that they can complete their onboarding paperwork before they even show up for their first day of work. The impact of our technology is as great as you allow it to be,” she said.

Among other areas, TimeForge has solutions for recruiting, hiring, onboarding, scheduling, leave management, labor budgeting, timekeeping, document storage, certification tracking, communication and ops enablement.

“We work closely with all of the leading POS platforms and service providers to make sure the solution is tailored to retail needs,” Hogan said. “And we do everything in a way that makes things more efficient, clean, simple and accurate.

“Our claim to fame has been our accurate sales forecasts, which can predict hourly sales volume within 98 percent one week in advance…which can then drive ideal labor distributions and coverage.”

Grocers

Some grocers are accustomed to pencil and paper while others have complex workflows for everything from hiring to labor budgeting, Hogan said.

“When a grocer gets started with TimeForge, we help them ‘crawl, walk, run’ from wherever they are into taking full advantage of the platform,” she said. “Grocers who are using TimeForge find immediate value in features like employee scheduling and timekeeping because of the centralized reporting tools, automated enforcement, proactive compliance and visibility of labor compared to sales.” 

She said TimeForge is making its biggest impact by helping teams shift from “last week’s printed report” to “real time dashboard visibility.” 

It’s made a mission to help grocers know what’s happening and what’s about to happen, instead of relying on week-old information. 

“A great example of the impact we can have with an organization is the work we’ve done with C&K Market, or Pruett’s Foods, Doc’s Foods, or any number of other businesses who trust us with their labor. Our website has dozens of these stories,” she said. 

Wholesalers

TimeForge helps wholesalers in two ways: providing a centralized communication hub and providing options to members and wholesalers.

“Wholesalers have their own labor force that needs to be managed, and TimeForge can fit in office environments, handle traveling workers, track mileage and provide a centralized communication hub with geographically-specific compliance,” Hogan said. 

Secondly, TimeForge helps wholesalers provide “even better” options to their members and retailers, she said. 

“The leading wholesalers have positioned themselves as the experts in technology options and the vendor landscape, and frequently get calls from grocers about who to call for a given challenge. It’s imperative that wholesalers ‘know a guy’ for any problem they get asked about, and TimeForge is simply the best solution for grocers,” she said. 

She clarified that TimeForge’s relationship with wholesalers goes much deeper than “we’ve got a product for that.”

Hogan used the partnership with Associated Wholesale Grocers as an example. 

“When an AWG member needs to know their options for solving a problem related to labor, they know we’ll take the time to walk through all of their options, share best practices, connect them with other grocers who’ve had the same problem and make sure they land where they need to be, whether it’s by using one of our products or not,” she explained.  

Suppliers

Hogan said TimeForge helps suppliers in three ways: serving as a point of contact; optimizing hiring and onboarding processes; and one-on-one training. 

“We’re ‘the guy’ for suppliers when it comes to anything labor-related,” she said. “We’re the industry experts. We live and breathe labor management – budgeting, sales forecasting, coverage, CSAT, hiring, staffing, employee retention…Fair Workweek, biometric technology.”

Suppliers that partner with TimeForge can call to discuss trends in the industry, challenges that they are hearing from retailers or learn about new labor requirements.

“We handle all of the demos, lead qualification and customer support for them, so they don’t have to become experts themselves,” she said. 

Secondly, she said that TimeForge knows the complexities that come with handling on-site service and are “uniquely positioned” to help out.

“Suppliers are short-staffed and need to optimize their hiring and onboarding processes. They have employees who need to clock in and out, track schedules, manage overtime and track task completions,” Hogan said.

Lastly, TimeForge offers one-on-one training for suppliers to educate their teams and customers on labor challenges and solutions, so that their sales and support teams know how to relate when a customer shares thoughts.

“We work with suppliers to ensure that we’re serving the industry even better when we work together,” she said.

For more information, visit timeforge.com.

For more stories from The Shelby Report, click here.

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