Modern Citizen, an omnichannel women’s fashion retailer, has been growing since it launched three years ago, adding employees and brick-and-mortar locations. An early decision to use a workforce management (WFM) solution has eased many of the typical “growing pains” that young companies experience.
The retailer puts an emphasis on affordable but fashionable clothing, accessories and home goods. “We’re trying to really break into this idea that quality and brand is not associated with price anymore,” said Lizzie Agnew, Co-Founder and COO of Modern Citizen in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “Our price point is very accessible, under $100, but our aesthetic is very aspirational.”
Modern Citizen has been using the Homebase WFM solution since its launch. The tool has helped Modern Citizen keep up with demand as it hired additional workers and opened its first physical storefront in San Francisco, growing from a single warehouse to both retail and delivery operations.
“As COO, and as someone who manages a lot of our operations software, that’s always the biggest concern,” said Agnew. “You grow, and you break your software and you need to then change and somehow fix it. With Homebase, I’d say we’ve barely touched what it can do.”
Homebase also features integration with payroll solution provider Gusto, which has taken pressure off of managers, according to Agnew. Homebase also gives employers the ability to send employees messages through text, email and its app, confirming that they received correspondence.
App-Based Features Boost Millennials’ Engagement
The solution’s mobile options are particularly useful for companies with many young employees, according to Agnew. A large portion of Modern Citizen’s workforce consists of Millennials, and the availability of an app for managing hours makes it easy for associates to handle clicking in and out, shift-swapping and other scheduling practices.
“A lot of the tools that I looked at were not necessarily forward-thinking in how much they were using mobile,” said Agnew. “The fact is that a lot of our employees are younger, and mobile is all they have — they may not even have email.”
Homebase also puts some of the scheduling responsibilities on associates, particularly for shift swaps. The app has a list of employees who are available to switch, and it will automatically update the schedules after a change is approved. The app tracks time off and availability changes as well, helping employees keep on top of their scheduling options.
Additionally, the solution automatically flags hours worked that seem out of place, letting both workers and managers keep better track of schedules. Many employees had dealt with scheduling issues at previous jobs, and the ability to quickly check their hours was appreciated, according to Agnew.
“Employees need to want to use it and they have to be involved with the software,” said Agnew. “That was what was great from the beginning, that once our employees downloaded the app and saw how they could do it in the app themselves, it freed up a lot of time to focus on the job instead of managing the schedule or trading hours.”