Our client is one of the UK's leading supermarket chains with over 450 stores and annual labour costs of some £1bn. In 1998/99, Maddox Ford developed an application to help them monitor and forecast labour requirements in each store, in order to identify where cost savings and productivity improvements could be made. This work was a redevelopment of an earlier system, also written by Maddox Ford in the late 1980s, brought about by changes in both business requirements and the IT infrastructure.
In both cases, we produced detailed specification and design documents and managed the project from inception to implementation, supporting the system thereafter.
The application calculates labour requirements by applying sales volume and store specific and general 'characteristic' data to formulae that have been entered and maintained by our client. By applying seasonally adjusted volume data and the store's profile to the time taken to carry out a particular activity, the application determines the total amount of time required by the store to perform each activity in a selected week.
Technically, the application involved the use of Visual Basic, C, DB2, Cobol and Brio.