New framework to support job redesign in retail sector

New framework to support job redesign in retail sector

A Retail Job Redesign Framework has been launched to help retailers reinvent themselves. The online guide provides practical information on how they can improve their business and job processes. Junn Loh reports. 

SINGAPORE: In the past, Benjamin Barker retail assistants who wanted to find out if an out-of-stock item at one store was available at another outlet used to have to ring each shop individually.

These days, they need only log onto an online inventory system to check if the item is available at any other outlet in Singapore. 

One year ago, the menswear brand enhanced its Point-Of-Sales (POS) system to give frontline staff access to real-time product inventory information across all stores.

“This has led to improved operational efficiency, allowing staff to spend more quality time serving customers, said Benjamin Barker's chief operating officer Damien Tan. 

The company, which has 14 stores across Singapore, Melbourne, Cambodia and Los Angeles, was among seven pilot companies that completed a study developed by Enterprise Singapore and Workforce Singapore on the job redesign process. 

Following the study, Benjamin Barker set out to improve its “inventory calling and checking process”. 

“Customer feedback has been positive since we adopted the technology. They appreciate the convenience as most are pressed for time,” Mr Tan said. 

Speaking at the launch of the Retail Job Redesign Framework on Friday (Jun 29), Manpower Minister Josephine Teo highlighted the need for retailers to use new technologies to streamline back-end operations and store-front processes. This is important as retailers can then redeploy and redevelop their resources effectively, she said.

The three stages of the job redesign process
The three stages of the job redesign process. (Photo: Junn Loh)

Amid the competitive retail landscape and the rise of e-commerce, job redesign can increase productivity while “bringing more value to customers, and ultimately, the business,” Mrs Teo explained.

Published in the form of a microsite, the Retail Job Redesign Framework guides retailers through all phases of job redesign. It also provides self-help resources and information on financial assistance. 

As part of the initiative, five consultants have been appointed by Enterprise Singapore and WSG to provide support for retailers until Jun 30, 2019. They include A.advantage Consulting, Align Group, Carrots Consulting, Solutionsatwork and Mercer Singapore. 

Source: CNA/ng(aj)