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The Works Boosts Warehouse Staff Productivity by 25%

In 5 Months with RedPrairie's Workforce Management Solution.
RedPrairie's Workforce Management Solution Helps Drive Annual Revenue Growth of 15% and Supports Strategy to Grow Store Numbers by 60% in 5 Years

Stokenchurch, UK, 30 August 2007 – Leading UK retailer of value books, crafts and gifts The Works is optimising labour productivity at its 24/7 Sutton Coldfield distribution centre using Workforce Management from RedPrairie. With annual revenues of £100 million and 2,500 employees, The Works stocks items from 500 suppliers and introduces around 100 new product lines each week at its 300 stores. The company implemented Workforce Management to build on the 25% increase in picking efficiency already achieved with RedPrairie's Warehouse Management solution and transform the performance of its warehouse operatives.

Diane Smith, Supply Chain Manager at The Works, says, “Managers now benefit from dynamic workforce reporting functionality via a PC-based user interface that delivers accurate expectations for picking tasks, taking into account preferred work methods, such as travel distances, weight and environmental factors. In just five months, operator productivity has grown by 25% while increased employee motivation has reduced staff turnover. In addition, new starters are trained faster and in best-practice operating methods that enable them to be productive from day one. The system has already paid for itself and there are further benefits expected.”

Real-time monitoring enables team-leaders to measure the up-to-the-minute performance of individuals or teams and alerts them to potential problems before they disrupt warehouse operations. Workforce Management's job costing functionality ensures that labour costs are allocated correctly while its web-based reporting tools provide timely insight into irregularities.

Smith comments, “Implementing RedPrairie's Workforce Management solution has created a performance-focused culture at The Works that supports the company's commitment to developing employees' potential and rewarding their loyalty and dedication to serving customers. As a finalist in the 2005 'Investors in People Award for Business Improvement Through People', The Works has already been recognised for the value it places on staff training and development. Following the implementation of Workforce Management, operatives now fully understand expectations and opportunities and are better motivated to contribute at a higher level than ever before in a fairer system that rewards above-average performers. Workforce Management also helps managers identify process weaknesses and other problems that prevent staff from reaching their targets and enables less productive team members to be given the assistance they need to reach their potential.”

Following the success of RedPrairie's Workforce Management solution at Sutton Coldfield, The Works plans to capitalise on its investment and maximise the benefits to its business. The company is evaluating RedPrairie's retail workforce solutions for its 300 retail outlets that are set to increase in number to 400 over the next few years. Leveraging its investment in RedPrairie's productivity-enhancing solutions will help boost employee performance and efficiency throughout the entire supply chain and retail operations.

“RedPrairie's workforce management suite reinforces our position as an employer who recognises that staff motivation and development are key to business productivity and growth,” says Smith. “Workforce Management makes workers self-accountable for their performance, enabling supervisors to become coaches and mentors, which results in a more efficient business and rewarding workplace. Workforce Management's sophisticated work forecasting capabilities will optimise use of personnel resources at The Works, resulting in improved delivery times to stores and a better service to end customers.”

Chief Executive Derek Hine adds, “Implementing Workforce Management builds on our strategy to maximise the value of RedPrairie's Warehouse Management solution and will help us meet our growth targets while continuing to reduce order fulfilment and labour costs. We are delighted to have increased operative performance by 25% within a few months of go-live and confidently expect even greater workforce efficiencies with Workforce Management in the years to come.”

Martin Hiscox, RedPrairie Managing Director and President – International says, “The Works' success testifies to the deserved reputation of RedPrairie's workforce optimisation solutions for retail and our undisputed market leadership in this sector. We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial partnership with The Works as they continue to drive revenues and profitability through innovation in their stores and supply chain operations.”

About The Works

Founded in 1981, The Works is the UK's leading retailer of value books, craft and gifts with a unique and exciting product range that has something for everyone. Their company mission is to become 'the first choice retailer for employees and customers – building on our success at selling an exciting range of books and related products at irresistible prices.'

The Works mainly trades under its high street brand of The Works, but includes other brands, such as Book Depot, Banana Bookshop, Booksale, Bookends and Art Depot. In March 2007 The Works acquired 26 stores from the Book World chain which increased The Works portfolio to over 300 stores making them the largest retailer of value books, crafts and gifts on the high street in Great Britain. They have stores in major towns and cities, market towns and also “out of town” shopping villages throughout the United Kingdom.

The Works Retail Limited currently employs over 2000 people, and even more at peak times like Christmas. The Works has an annual turnover of £100m plus, with over 300 stores and concessions. Earlier this year The Works announced their intention to grow the business to over 400 stores within the next five years.

About RedPrairie

RedPrairie is a world leading consumer driven optimisation company. Built on an advanced Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) developed over the past 10 years, the RedPrairie integrated suite of solutions offers on-demand capabilities to over 25,000 sites worldwide for many of the world's largest companies.

RedPrairie's E2e™ solutions synchronise people and products throughout the customer buying cycle to ensure goods reach the right place at the right time. At the point of sale, this means consumers have access to desired products and that the store is staffed with the right people to help them make their purchases. In the production cycle, it means suppliers and manufacturers time and synchronise shipments and production based on demand signals from the retailer. And in the back room of the store, it means having the least amount of inventory, solving the “last yard” problem of the retail supply chain.

With 20 global service sites and standard service methods that have been validated over the last 30 years, RedPrairie provides unparalleled service and support. For additional information, call +44 (0) 1494 486500, or access www.RedPrairie.com.

RedPrairie's Annual International User Conference
October 16-17, 2007
Windsor, United Kingdom
More information and registration at http://www.redprairie.com/redshiftint

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