IBM Retail Business Assessment at Dillard's, Inc.: Managing Staffing Levels to Improve Conversion
This case illustrates the challenges associated with matching staffing levels with variable workload in retail stores and highlights how decisions related to staffing and scheduling affect operational performance and the quality of labor at the stores. The case describes the tasks (both in-store logistics and customer service tasks) that are carried out by store employees at one Dillard's department store and presents nine weeks of traffic data at an hourly level collected by IBM. Additional data on labor hours and number of customer transactions allow students to examine the relationship between staffing levels and conversion rate. Given the large variation in customer traffic over time and the relationship between staffing levels and conversion rates, how should Dillard's manage staffing levels?