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12 Can’t-Miss NRF Sessions on Retail Innovation

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NRF 2019: Retail's Big Show

It’s an exciting time to be in retail. Brands are leveraging cutting-edge technology to explore new ideas, and it all comes together at NRF 2019: Retail’s Big Show. Looking at the agenda, it’s clear the industry is going beyond buzzwords to put trends like omnichannel and augmented reality into action.

NRF is the perfect place to learn about the innovation trends shaping the industry. We’ve put together a list of the sessions we’re especially excited about and grouped them according to the advancements we’ve been seeing. Of course, every session at NRF is sure to be awesome, and we wish we could attend them all!

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Is Your Brand Ready to #GoBoldly into the Future of WFM?

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Shyft to attend NRF 2019

Workforce management started on desktop, but it was never meant to stay there. The Shyft team is on a mission to take workforce management into the future – and onto mobile. We’re headed to NRF 2019: Retail’s Big Show to meet with retail innovators and promote the benefits of mobile workforce management for their teams.

If you’ll be at NRF 2019, visit us at Booth 1131 to see demos of our mobile technology. You’ll learn how to drive conversion and employee engagement using our suite of mobile products. Mobile-first tools like Shyft are one small step companies can take to reduce scheduling inefficiencies – resulting in one giant leap forward for retail.

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Four Ways Distribution Centers Can Optimize Their Workforce

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We’re always learning over here at Shyft. Our technology team’s agility allows us to quickly respond to market requirements and customer needs to continue to innovate shift management methods in more workplace environments.

Shyft has had the opportunity to roll out our software to several distribution center (DC) networks across North America. In our experience, retailers are looking for innovative solutions to help reduce inefficiencies within distribution centers. Supply chain and logistics efficiency is a key component to our retail customers’ bottom line, especially when it comes to labor optimization.

In working with DCs, we have found several use cases for a mobile-first product to streamline scheduling, which helps retailers and their DCs optimize their workforce. In the following video, you can see how Shyft is helping Walmart Canada DCs innovate to enhance employee and customer experience.

Walmart Empowers Associates with Shyft Mobile App from Shyft on Vimeo.

Below, we outline the four ways DCs are using Shyft workforce to their advantage.

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Shyft Technologies Raises $6.5M in Series A Funding Led by Ignition Partners & Madrona Venture Group

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Shyft Founders

Shyft, Provider of Mobile Workforce Management Tools, Delivers Results for Leading U.S. Retailers, Including Gap Inc.’s Fleet of Stores

Seattle, WA, November 15, 2018Shyft Technologies announces today that the company has raised $6.5M in Series A funding, as it continues its mission to improve the lives of millions of shift workers worldwide. Shyft’s app helps retail and service workers swap shifts, message each other, and earn more money by picking up shifts that might otherwise go unstaffed. Shyft’s additional suite of workforce management tools transform how employee scheduling and related tasks are managed. This new capital will be used to further the company’s focus on product development and innovation. The recent funding round, led by Ignition Partners and Madrona Venture Group, brings the company’s total funding to $8M. Bob Kelly, Managing Partner of Ignition Partners, and S. Somasegar, Managing Director of Madrona Venture Group, will join Shyft’s Board of Directors as part of this round.

Shyft has been chosen as the mobile workforce management platform for Gap Inc., including brands such as Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic, and Athleta, in addition to other retail and service establishments that are both wholly-owned and franchise-based.

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State of Mobile Payments Heading into Holiday 2018

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Mobile payments are becoming more prevalent across the retail landscape with numerous stores now accepting payment methods beyond the traditional credit and debit cards we are all so familiar with. Part of this is due to the proliferation of new technology, and part of it is the industry’s desire to cultivate a larger audience of tech-savvy shoppers.

To break it down, there are five main types of alternative / mobile payment systems available today:

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Retailers Work to Staff Up for a Busy Q4

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With the unemployment rate at 3.9% as of August 2018, labor in the U.S. is in short supply and staffing for the holidays is likely to prove challenging for the retail sector this year. The industry relies heavily on seasonal workers to get through its peak sales period and meet increasing customer demands. Having a fully-staffed store with associates at the ready to help customers with sizing, item selection and immediate accessibility to products is the main differentiator brick-and-mortar locations can provide as they compete with online challengers. The battle for share of wallet continues to increase as deep discounts and heavy promotions abound.

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5 Tips for Optimizing Your Retail Workforce

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Over the past 12 months, Shyft has conducted multiple studies of our end-users and corporate customers, and held consultative meetings with over 100 national retail brands who are searching for a mobile WFM solution. In the process, we’ve gained insight into several trends in best practices, methodologies, as well as actual raw data and results.

Here are 5 tips that we want to highlight as keys to success when optimizing your retail workforce! Adopting these best-practices will help transform your store and transform it fast.

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Assessing the Impact of Fair Workweek Legislation on Franchisees

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Impact of Fair Workweek

In today’s business climate, franchisees are under increasing pressure to meet the demands of an ever-changing workforce and to comply with strict legislation that calls for more scheduling reliability for its workers.

While these laws are generally viewed as a win for workers rights, the complexity of putting these laws into practice for employers is often overlooked.

Implementing Fair Workweek legislation can prove to be difficult as it requires additional layers of administration and employer oversight. Now 
 in just a short period of time, employers in several parts of the country (New York City, San Francisco, Emeryville, Seattle, and Oregon state) must shoulder the burden of enacting all requirements of the legislation in order to be compliant with the laws.

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From Omni-Channel to Integrated Retail

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From Omni-Channel to Integrated Retail

The term omni-channel has been bandied about for the past several years and it is only recently that we are seeing this full concept — what I like to call “Integrated Retail” — come to fruition.

Integrated retail is more than bricks-to-clicks. It is the coming together of disparate systems (POS, scheduling, planogramming, employee communications, workforce management), corporate departments (Finance, Store Ops, HR, Legal, Procurement, Distribution), technology (web, mobile, desktop) and outbound communications (email, push notifications, SMS).

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Fair Workweek Legislation Continues to Gain Momentum: Chicago Weighs Laws

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fair workweek chicago predictable scheduling shyft

The trend of predictable scheduling legislation continues to move across the country. The latest city to examine the issue is Chicago. In short time, the Chicago city council will vote on the “Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance.” If passed, the set of laws would take place on January 1st 2019. We’ve written a great explainer to highlight what Fair Workweek/ predictable scheduling laws usually entail. The legislation is designed to mirror laws recently put in place in New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Oregon.

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NYC Fair Workweek Update: Mandatory Poster & Time Off for Personal Events

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NYC New York City

On July 18th, 2018, new provisions came into effect for New York City’s Fair Workweek Law. These new rules affect both employers and employees, and require that employers of fast food or retail chains take immediate action to remain compliant.

We’ve updated our NYC Fair Workweek Overnight Compliance Kit with all the new rules. This free downloadable package contains everything a business needs in order to:

1) evaluate if the regulations apply to them,
2) become compliant with the law, and,
3) avoid fines and premium payments.

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Case Study Preview- National Retailer Uses Shyft for Workforce Management

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Shyft Workforce Management Solution

Numerous trends in how we do business point to an increasingly mobile workforce. As Millennials have become the generation in the workforce, we’re seeing remote working, flexible scheduling, and the “gig economy” grow in popularity. We recently conducted a 6-month survey with a major national brand to document how Shyft empowers employees and helps managers save time and increase conversion.

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7 National Chains Agree to End "No-Poach" | How Will This Affect Franchisees?

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No Poaching Laws Shyft

On July 12th, 2018, seven major restaurant chains including McDonald’s, Arby’s, Auntie Anne’s, and Carl’s Jr., reached an agreement with the state of Washington, pledging to do away with so-called “no-poach” hiring policies at the national level.

Cinnabon, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Jimmy John’s were also among those who joined in the agreement. This came on the heels of criticism that these no-poaching clauses stifle job flexibility and mobility for hourly restaurant industry workers.

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Christmas in July – Hiring Retail Employees Early for the Holiday Season

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Mall at Christmas Time

Each year, the hiring and planning cycle for the holiday season begins earlier and earlier.  Given the importance of the holiday sales period to retailers’ bottom line, it is no surprise that retailers are being more and more proactive regarding their plans for the holiday season.  Labor is in tight supply, and in many locations, workers are empowered with recently enacted legislation that protects their right when it comes to scheduling, advanced notice, and predictability.  Store managers are simultaneously challenged with keeping lines short, delivering on high customer expectations, along with managing scheduling and record keeping.

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New York City Fair Workweek Compliance Kit

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New York City Fair Workweek

Shyft’s quick compliance kit for New York’s Fair Workweek laws is here! You can download it now, for free, by filling out the form below (bottom of the page), or read on for more information about the new laws. 

New York City’s “Fair Workweek Laws” went into effect on November 26, 2017. New York became the fourth city – San Francisco, Seattle, and Emeryville (CA) were the first three –  to pass a comprehensive set of laws that governs how shift workers’ schedules should be set and distributed. New York’s laws only govern retail businesses and fast food restaurants, but the laws are part of a growing trend towards giving shift workers predictable schedules.

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Oregon Fair Workweek Compliance Kit (Predictable Scheduling)

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Oregon Fair Workweek Legislation

What you need to know about staying compliant

Shyft’s quick compliance kit for Oregon’s Fair Workweek laws is here! Following a number of other cities (New York, Seattle, San Francisco) that are enacting predictable scheduling laws, on July 1st, 2018, Oregon becomes the first state to put a  law into effect. Oregon’s Fair Workweek laws apply to shift workers in the hospitality, food, or retail industries.

Shyft has put together a free comprehensive package that contains everything a business needs to become compliant with the Fair Workweek Act. It contains the Overnight Compliance Manual explaining the rules, all the workplace posters and notices required under the law, and some handy reference materials for managers and employers. That package is free and now available to download.

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Introducing Availability on Shyft

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Availibility-Blog-Image

The Shyft Team is always hard at work to bring our users new tools to help them reimagine their workforces, and today we are excited to announce a couple new features to help do just that!

Introducing Availability!

This is a feature our users, requested most! So we are happy to announce Availability is the newest feature on Shyft. Managers can now request updated availability from their team directly in the app, replacing the prehistoric method using pen and paper. This means no more guessing if an employee is available to work a new schedule because each employee’s availability is right in the palm of your hand.

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Shyft Your Workforce | Part 2

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Shyft Mobile Workforce App Part 2

A Natural Evolution, Category Creation

Shyft has historically been hyper-focused on its end-user product, and we initially postponed focusing on enterprise features to ensure we created the best possible mobile experience for workers and their managers. We started by building intuitive, easy-to-use tools for those end-users centered around shift swapping, messaging, and schedule sharing, with optional one-click manager shift swap approvals, as needed.

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The Pillars of Shyft’s Engineering Culture

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Shyfts Engineering Culture

Written by Taylor Case, Shyft’s Senior Front-End Developer, on Medium. See the original post here

Early stage start-ups are so interesting to me. There are so many different ways to implement a beautiful vision that can make people’s lives better, but there are so many factors that can change the way people go about it. Roadblocks including market fit, poor execution, poor team chemistry, and bad timing can ruin an otherwise fantastic idea. I compare it to a blank, moving canvas with multiple people trying to paint on it.

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Shyft Is Hiring: Calling all Engineers, Designers, and Success Teams

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Seattle Shyft Team Photo

Written by Brett Patrontasch, Shyft CEO, on Medium. See the original post here

You’re crazy Brett. You’re going to break your wrist.

16 Wood square plaques ¾ inch thick lay in a stack on the cabin floor.

“We are going to try a team-building exercise.” As I handed the boards to each team member around the fireplace and cozy cabin couches near Mount Baker. “Everyone take out a colored marker and write your personal goals for the next 6 months on one side of the board. On the other side, write down all the obstacles or fears you have, that could get in your way of reaching those targets.”

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Shyft Your Workforce | Part 1

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Shyft-NRF-Booth-Header-Image-1

want to start by mentioning the Shyft Team just finished our exhibit in New York City on January 14th, 15th and 16th at the National Retail Federation’s Big Show, and we made a splash while we were there!  If you were at NRF too (or want to get an idea of the show) watch our quick recap video below.

We are extremely excited to have unveiled our latest product at the show – Shyft Workforce – and announcing some other future enhancements.

The market for Shyft’s product suite is opening up. Demand is being driven by emerging Fair Workweek (predictable scheduling) legislation coming into effect around the world, and by the recognition that scheduling employees can be demonstrably more efficient for both the worker and the employer. A new product category has emerged in the last 24 months: a mobile-first layer of workforce products. It sits below corporate WFM (workforce management) systems and scheduling tools, and connects legacy systems directly to the workers, on mobile, wherever they are.

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What You Need to Know About Fair Workweek Laws

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What Are Fair Workweek Laws

This article gives a thorough overview of the Fair Workweek” Initiative, and why predictable scheduling matters to shift workers. It also details how employees, managers, and employers are affected by Fair Workweek laws and regulations. Finally, it provides resources (besides the Shyft app) businesses can use to become compliant with predictable scheduling laws in Seattle, New York City, Oregon, and San Francisco.

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Fair Workweek: Franchisee Gets Compliant Overnight

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Fair Workweek Legislation Rules Shyft

Nearly 10 months ago on January 27th, 2017, our CEO Brett Patrontasch spoke on Fox Business News about the Fair Workweek initiative in New York City. He stated that

“All across the country people are waking up and realizing that ‘hey, schedules can be erratic for employees…’ You have worker advocate groups like Working Washington in Seattle, and the Fair Workweek here in New York, who are pushing for legislation around this. And, at the same time, you have employers who are looking for solutions to decrease no-shows at their stores. [Shyft is] a mobile app that solves that problem. So it can be a win-win for employees and employers…”

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How this TOPSHOP is Gearing Up for the Holidays

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Topshop Topman Shift App Shyft

TOPSHOP.  Without needing any further explanation, the name itself carries influence and prestige; rightfully so. With 300 stores in the UK alone, the iconic name boasts some impressive numbers with 440 locations across the globe and over 100 different countries to which it ships. With the holiday season just around the corner, TOPSHOP is no stranger to handling the masses with ease.

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Making it Easier for Eden Autism to Help Others

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Eden Autism Shift App Shyft

In 1975, a not-for-profit school for people with autism was opened in New Jersey. The school has grown and now not only offers education, but adult services, group homes, and outreach programs for those who have autism at all stages of life. This particular organization, Eden Autism, has provided educational and life skills services for numerous children and adults in New Jersey with different developmental needs for over 40 years.

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Boston Market's Simple Scheduling Secret

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Boston Market Shift App Shyft

Boston Market thrives on the simplest of things – chicken marinated in garlic, coated with seasonings and simple, classic sides – designed for their straightforward style. They’ve kept this simple and classic approach with their menu items, dedicating time and energy to making sure that they’re a reliable and accessible resource for anyone who’s looking for the Sunday dinner feel without spending all day in the kitchen.

This simplicity and ease is a key point in the success of Boston Market – and is reflected in the no-nonsense attitude of Nicole Lek, Assistant General Manager at the Boston Market in Toms River, New Jersey. She has her full plate every day: with a full-time job and three kids under 15, Nicole has a lot to juggle. Making sure that there’s time for helping them with homework when she’s not putting in time at Boston Market is imperative.

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The New Workforce Management Style: A Market Basket Success Story

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Market Basket Shift App Shyft

The needs of the grocery industry are distinctly unique when compared to other industries. From the department structure to the specific demands of the customer base, the process of running a grocery store is akin to that of a well-oiled machine. Employee contributions are vital to running this finely-tuned operation, and making sure that employees are in on contributing to the success of their employers’ goals is of utmost importance.

“I give them something to look forward to – the harder they work, the more rewards they get.” Johnny, a manager at the New England grocery chain Market Basket, shared with us. His gumption and commitment to his job is admirable as he’s been with the company for twelve years. 

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Party City's Schedule Management Secret

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Party City Shift App Shyft

Party City is known for two things: party supplies and their affinity for Halloween. With those two dedications, there tends to be waves of seasonal employees looking for a temporary way to make a little extra money during the Halloween season.

There’s a nature of whimsy that comes with any Party City location, and that’s reflected through both the punchy merchandise and the constant energy of its employees.

We sat down and talked to Party City GM Curtis Bowman: an expert of Party City at all levels – he started working there when he was in high school, and has assumed a wide range of positions and ascending the ranks before finally becoming a GM. Simply put, Curtis understands the needs and requirements of employees at his store because he’s been in their shoes before.

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How this F21 Is Gearing Up for the Holidays

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Forever 21 Shift App Shyft

Forever 21 has grown exponentially since its 1984 inception and is now staffed 30,000 strong across six continents. That growth comes from its ultimately successful business model, but with this growth comes the need for effective and straightforward systems of staffing – to help brand visibility and further penetration into the fast-fashion market.

Shyft recently had a conversation with Juan Saenz, a GM at a Forever 21 in Laredo, Texas. An experienced retail manager with a background in a wide range of establishments ranging from Burlington Coat Factory to Petco, he has expressed his appreciation for the things that Shyft has helped him with in regards to employee management.

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