Shyft Technologies and JDA Software have teamed up to integrate Shyft's mobile platform with capabilities from the JDA Workforce Management platform to provide retailers with new capabilities for mobile-optimized workforce scheduling and forecasting.
Combining the technologies will allow store associates and other retail workers to receive scheduling updates through their mobile devices, access their schedules on Shyft's mobile calendar and communicate with coworkers through direct messages. Workers using the tools will be able to post shifts they need to have covered by their coworkers and claim available shifts others have posted.
The integration announcement comes about two months after Shyft revealed that it had raised an additional $6.5 million in funding to further drive its product development and innovation.
As retail is undergoing a great deal of change, so is retailers' ability to effectively manage their workforces. Omnichannel services like buy online, pick up in-store, and the introduction of new technologies like self-checkout options and more automated inventory management capabilities, are examples of factors that have changed the roles of in-store workers. At the same time, more store employees are being given mobile tools that better equip them for this changing environment, replacing more cumbersome measures like phone calls, group texts and social media posts.
However, retailers may still find it difficult to migrate from some of their traditional ways of managing and scheduling workers, and that could lead to chaos that could ultimately hurt customer service. JDA actually sounded the alarm on this changing workforce environment more than two and a half years ago with a study noting how many retailers didn't appear to be ready for the next workforce evolution in their sector.
Shyft has developed a platform that builds on the increasing facility retail workers have with mobile tools and technologies, and gives them a centralized digital system for managing their schedules and communicating about open shifts. The platform's centralized nature means that workers and managers don't need to juggle a number of other contact details — mobile phone number, home phone number, email address, social media i.d. — when a shift needs to be filled in a hurry.
The start-up has already landed other key retail relationships, including one with Gap and its affiliates, but integrating with JDA brings Shyft a partner that claims engagements with 75 of the top 100 retailers. At the same time, it opens up a lot of possibilities for how two companies focused on workforce management can further help retailers make sure that unclaimed work shifts and miscommunication with and among employees don't become a debilitating problem in their store operations.