Since using Deputy, Trek has seen a 30% increase in overall productivity, performance, and saved time

United States
retail industry Retail

At a glance

  • 30% increase in productivity, performance, and saved time
  • Able to create cost-efficient staff schedules with Deputy’s sales per hour metric
  • Seen a positive impact on staff morale and retention

The Story

It’s been a long ride since Trek was founded by Richard Burke and Bevel Hogg in 1976. The founders initially worked as distributors selling various products. Until one day, Richard had an idea to open up a bicycle manufacturing company. 

Since Richard lived in Madison and Bevel resided in Milwaukee, they decided to meet in the middle at Waterloo, Wisconsin, to open up a manufacturing facility. Then, in a barn that was surrounded by farm fields, Trek was born. 

Richard had a vision of “seeing something bigger than the barn.” He developed an early business mission of building great products, taking good care of customers, delivering on time, and making the work environment a great place to be – which paved a strong foundation for the company’s growth. 

His vision continued to grow into fruition 40 years later. From their first small shop to a multinational company today, Trek conducts business in over 100 countries globally. 

Tom Spoke, has been with the company for 20 years. As their Global Director of IT-ERP, he’s responsible for all things ERP – and retail scheduling and time and attendance falls under that umbrella. As Trek continued to rapidly grow, Tom was looking for a solution that could support all its retail scheduling needs.

The Challenge

Selling to independent bike retailers was initially the business’ bread and butter. But as they shifted into the business of retail, their stores were growing rapidly – which meant more employees to manage and schedule. 

“Trek has consistently expanded over the years and has adapted to a less-headquarters centric workforce. One of the many challenges we had with that rapid growth was trying to schedule our staff and we didn't have a tool at all,” Tom shares. 

The urgency for a scheduling and time and attendance solution increased even more in the middle of 2020. Their business was experiencing a “bike boom” and sales volumes were “astronomical.” 

To keep up with the huge demand and bikes flying out of the store, Tom says, “we needed to focus our time on delivering for our customers and needed greater efficiency in scheduling.” He adds: “we wanted to give store managers an easy way to approve timesheets and time off so they could focus their day on running the business.”

And as they scaled, they needed a solution to help them plan adequate staff ratios, stay on budget, meet labor laws across different locations, and keep up with their ongoing growth. They also wanted more time to focus on customer experiences and fostering employee relationships – as this was important to their mission. 

In addition, Trek had another important criteria they needed their new scheduling system to meet. They wanted one that could integrate with a point of sale software that they already owned and operated. This would save them from having to build integrations between three separate systems: a scheduling and time and attendance solution, HRIS system, and a point of sale platform.

“One of the many challenges we had with that rapid growth was trying to schedule our staff and we didn't have a tool at all.”

The Solution

In the middle of 2019, the greater team began searching for a retail scheduling solution as part of their HCM platform — when it turned out that the Trek team in Australia had already found a platform that fit the bill. 

Their team in Australia mentioned they were happy using Deputy and recommended for the rest of the team to take a look for themselves. 

Fast forward to late 2019, their store and district managers began looking deeper into Deputy. “We even compared it to other robust retail scheduling solutions that were out there in the market. And by and large, everyone was comfortable moving forward with Deputy.” Tom says their reaction was essentially, “wow, this checks a lot of the boxes we need.” 

Mobile scheduling 

One of those boxes included mobile scheduling capabilities that were easy for all staff to use — Tom shares that their store managers and staff “live and die” by the app. 

The biggest advantages they get from the Deputy app are being able to easily build schedules and approve timesheets, vacation, sick time, and PTO — all on the go. 

“If you’ve ever been to any retail store, employees are very mobile,” Tom says. “They’re moving around and interacting with customers. They can’t be behind a monitor all day long. So having the [scheduling] capabilities on the mobile app is huge for them.”

He adds that Deputy has provided a tool their leadership team can “use to make their operations more efficient”, and that employee morale and retention have been “impacted positively.” 

“When they’re not having to deal with systems that are challenging, it makes the employee experience all that much better.”

Increased productivity and performance

Trek has also seen a “huge improvement” in overall productivity and efficiency since adopting Deputy. 

“From productivity and from a scheduling and time and attendance, we’ve definitely seen a 30% increase in just overall productivity and performance, which has allowed the staff to do what they’re hired to do,” Tom shares. 

“Staff are able to be on the floor, help customers, and get product out the door. They’re not spending more time than they should with administrative tasks, scheduling staff, or managing time and attendance.”

More time for customer relationships and team connection

Since adopting Deputy, Trek has also saved 30% of their time. This was especially helpful as they were quickly growing in mid-2020. “We’ve never been busier as an organization. So that time savings was a huge benefit to managing retail through the Bike Boom,” Tom recalls.

With regained time, Trek’s team has been able to refocus on their mission of prioritizing their customers by “using the saved time to more effectively build customer relationships.” Their store managers are “spending more time with staff,” which is crucial for the retail business and retention rates.

“With growth, there are a lot of new employees onboarding on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. And employees require a lot of training, not only in sales but in service. So that’s really the other area where store managers have been able to focus their time – investing it back into our employees to train them on what they need to know.”

Keeping up with demand and labor laws

“Deputy is making sure that we’re organized and have all our ducks in a row in terms of staff schedules, time tracking is working, and we have the right labor laws in place. That’s all stuff that our retail managers shouldn’t have to think about.”

Tom shares that a huge win for their team was when Deputy helped them implement a sales per hour metric. This has helped their retail business “be smart when scheduling” – they can forecast labor demand by demographic, sales data, and foot traffic for ideal staff coverage and cost.

“When it comes to building a schedule, we need to stay within our budget from a store standpoint and make sure we don’t have too many staff scheduled at the wrong times on the wrong days.”

As Trek grows and scales across different locations, they also needed a system to help them manage labor law compliance. “Labor laws is another one that continues to come up as we get into new states. We’ve worked closely with Deputy to implement the right labor laws and make them flexible enough.”

Continued growth 

With their ongoing growth, Tom shares how Deputy continues to support their team with every milestone: 

“Because of the nature of the business, we're always onboarding. But management can come in and train the new staff quickly — and effectively — because of how intuitive Deputy is.” 

Trek's leadership team has a vision for the business to be an iconic company for hundreds of years. And they plan to continue their partnership with Deputy.

“We want to expand how we're using Deputy – not only the functionality but also where we're using it across the globe. Retail is continuing to grow, so that's always an area that we'll be supporting. There's a lot going on at the bike company. It's exciting times.”

“Deputy is making sure that we’re organized and have all our ducks in a row in terms of staff schedules, time tracking is working, and we have the right labor laws in place. That’s all stuff that our retail managers shouldn’t have to think about.”

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