Operations improvements should begin with communication, not technology

Real-time communication for retail staffAdam Davidson recently wrote “Thinking Outside the (Big) Box” in the New York Times. The piece caught my attention as it talks extensively about the trials and tribulations of big retail leadership and their timeless struggle with little pay, unmotivated / unfulfilled  and unengaged workers, and the ensuing disastrous result you get by mixing this human resource cocktail.

He cites excellent sources in Zeynep Ton, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and Kronos, the point of sale and time and attendance tech giant, who evangelize a better way to engage  through technology and work force management. Red e App is a true fan of solving the same issue that has plagued the non-desk worker for decades … scratch that – EVER.

It’s about engagement and voice.

Engagement doesn’t mean you give people a schedule, they show up on time, and you have the right number of worker to customer ratio.  And a “voice” doesn’t mean, “a feedback box in the break room”, or “if you have something to contribute go to your immediate supervisor”.  We’re past this right? Not so much for the industries that Mr. Davidson describes and that Miss Ton aims to help.

Using technology to solve scheduling, training , time / attendance, and on-boarding is all well and good and we (technology problem solvers) have only done what we could have done to solve business problems for these industries – up to now. And what I mean is that mobile has changed everything. We won’t solve problems in the same way.

Mobile has changed behaviors, but most importantly it’s changed ACCESS. Access to each other – instantly – multi-channel – cross functional engagement where previous barriers are lowered, silo’s are crumbling, and behavior (electronic) and location (anywhere) are the flavors of the day. This forces us to solve problems differently – to think more humanistic-ly, rather than mechanically.

The NEW foundation for problem solving is communication and access. These are the cornerstones for problem solving, efficiency and productivity in large geographically disparate and hierarchical organizations. Our mobile workforce is plugged in. Engage them meaningfully without silos or ancient barriers that no longer exist and you will have an empowered workforce, or you will be pushed aside by more progressive companies – your competitors – to embrace, support and communicate with and to this workforce. Your employees expect it.

Red e App consolidates commoditized communication, content, and file distribution pieces in a single app to flatten any organization and to provide a strong foundation to solve future problems. This isn’t rocket science folks – it’s human.

Jonathan Erwin
Founder and CEO


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