Labor Economics Or Survival Of The Fittest
By Peter DiMaria, CEO, Accu-Time Systems
The current economic crisis is telling us that the world is changing dramatically and businesses need to adapt accordingly or risk becoming a statistic. The closing of thousands of retail stores and the subsequent lay-offs of tens of thousands of workers is a significant side bar to the "negligent" credit and economic policies of the last decade.
Retailers are scrambling to assess which of their markets to keep open while evaluating the cost of their labor, which represents 33-50% of their expense. Extreme options taken may include implementing systems that create standards ranging from how long a transaction takes from Point of Sale to how long it should take to fold a garment on the rack. These extremes have been criticized by some industry experts as eliminating customer interaction and service while others celebrate the change because they prefer and recommend the quick "get in/get out" experience. Customer service will remain a differentiator when the going gets tough. Retail sales promotions that announce matching competitor ads will focus on buyers’ price concerns as well as convenience and total experience satisfaction. Retailers must differentiate themselves by delivering customer service at an optimal level with limited resources that include not only cash but labor and time.