Is Artificial Intelligence Necessary in the WFM Space?

Which do you think is faster in processing data?

The world’s largest super computer or the human brain?

It might be a surprise, but the human brain is faster, but at what speed?

I’ve read where it would take a super computer 40 minutes to process what 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)?

Every day, we are hearing about and often experiencing new developments in AI…

Walmart just 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 amount 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?

Currently all the major players claim to have a form of AI or more specifically ML to help their client provide the best solution for their locations. The most common space is in the forecasting algorithm.


  • One vendor recently informed me, they were able to determine alcohol sales in a Nashville bar based on the type of music played in a local venue. If it is country music, sales will go up; while if it is rock n’ roll, sales will remain flat.
    • How could information like this impact your business?
  • In a specific client they were able to find with pinpoint accuracy the increase in traffic based on weather patterns, specifically snow. Not just any snow, but the 1st, 2nd and 3rd in a given season.
    • Are you measuring seasonality accurately?

Even more cutting edge are the vendors that are starting to interpret business decision made by managers or associates as it relates to coverage, request time off, or absenteeism. This functionality still has a way to go, but this will eventually be part of every offering in the WFM space.

AI is helping retailers, food service, and other industries forecast with greater accuracy the associate or workforce need 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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