Is Artificial Intelligence Necessary in the WFM Space?

Which do you think processes data faster—the world’s largest supercomputer or the human brain?

It might be a surprise, but the human brain can be faster!

I’ve read that, what it would take a super computer 40 minutes to process, the brain can process in a second. So, with all this processing power upstairs, why would we need Artificial Intelligence (AI) or its subset Machine Learning (ML)? After all, every day we hear about and even experience new developments in AI.

For example, Walmart recently launched an intelligent store to gather insights on shelf stock, customer patterns, associates’ patterns, and many other data points. With all the AI sensors, it is processing 1.6 Terabytes of data every second! That’s like listening to 3 years’ worth of music in the same amount of time. This type and volume of information and data will enable Walmart to provide an enhanced customer experience, while improving their bottom line through inventory and labor controls.

What about the Workforce Management space?

Reflexis is investing heavily in this space to bring the most cutting-edge product in the market. They are using their deep strength in engineering and analytics to start leveraging AI and ML with their customers. The most common application of this technology in retail is the intelligent, ongoing enhancement of business forecasting algorithms.

Customers have often been left to do this analysis themselves. While some of the best have invested in data science teams to figure it out, most are just left with the basic outcome of their workforce management (WFM) solution. At the macro level, that outcome could be very accurate, but once you peel back a layer or two you can see drastic results from utilizing AI.  

For example, a data science team was able to find pinpoint accuracy the impact of events held near its retail locations. They were able to determine the hour-by-hour impacts on traffic before, during, and after the event. This ensured they were able to adjust staffing to gain the added revenue from the event traffic they would have otherwise missed.

Imagine being able to do this with no extra resources, but automatically through your WFM application? AI is helping retail, food service, and other industries forecast with greater accuracy, to ensure customer expectations are met. How are you using or going to use AI to better meet the needs of your business?

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Wes Stanfield has over 20 years’ experience in Retail Operations, HR, Finance and IT. Managing Fortune 500 retail stores before he graduated high school, Wes has been in every role imaginable throughout a Retail organization. He is now a Senior Director at Connors Group overseeing our Workforce Optimization Team responsible for software. Wes uses his wealth of experiences across his career to helping clients get the best innovative results out of their workforce. He can be reached at [email protected]

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