Running head: WEEK 1: STAFFING EVALUATION
BRM456: Staffing Evaluation
University of Phoenix
Submitted to: John Ulveling
January 8, 2009
Determining the most appropriate staffing levels for a retail establishment can be a challenging task. â€œWhile store employees provide important customer service and merchandising functions that can increase sales, they also are the storeâ€™s largest operating expense.â€ (Levy & Weitz, 2007, p. 479) This paper will explore two different types of retail companies and evaluate their staffing levels, including an analysis of changes that could be made to improve sales and customer service.
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A rough estimate made while at the store was that 25% of the customer entering the store fell into this category. Another small percentage of customers made other purchases while in the store paying for their gas. From this it could be deduced that installing a pay-at-the-pump feature would decrease store traffic without impacting sales.
Stewartâ€™s offers, but only marginally promotes, their ice cream services in their stores. When a customer attempts to order an ice cream product, they often are forced to wait several minutes for one of the clerks to have time to serve them. Adding one counter person during peak traffic periods, especially mid-day and evening would greatly reduce wait times for customers. Given the general customer expectation of a convenience store of a quick in/out shopping experience, this additional person would help fulfill that expectations.
These shifts also coincide with the most likely times that customer would be requesting ice cream products. By reducing the wait time for ice cream service, the company could also expect an increase in ice cream sales. It could be observed that some customers were unwilling to wait the additional time necessary for ice cream service and abandoned the idea. From historical observations it can be noted that Stewartâ€™s makes no allowance in their staffing even during summer months to better capitalize on potential ice cream sales.
Operating under a completely different set of retail circumstances is Steet Toyota in Johnstown, New York. On the day of this authorâ€™s visit, the weather was very bad, limiting customer traffic severely. The dealership contains two nearly independently run retail segments; sales and service. Each of these has very different staffing needs. In the service department, one person was responsible for handling all customer facing conversations while the technicians worked in the garage area. It was not possible to determine the number of technicians working in the garage area. The receptionist working the service counter received new customers in, entering their work orders in the computer system, met with technicians in the garage area to discuss service work in progress, took service calls to schedule appointments and made courtesy calls to customers remind them about appointments and follow up on work performed.
The sales area was staffed with four salespeople, a sales manager, a credit manager and a cashier. While visited, only one customer was in the showroom discussing a new car purchase. The remaining salespeople, sales manager and credit manager used this downtime merely talking instead of conducting any sales or training related tasks. From previous visits to this location, it was noted that the salespeople were only tasked with vehicle sales.
Both departments cater to the same customers as the service department is largely dependent on the cars sold for their work. With 15 models available under the Toyota brand...