The story of Safeway began in 1915, when M.B. Skaggs purchased a small grocery store in Idaho from his father. His concept of maintaining a narrow profit margin in order to provide greater value for his customers proved to be a wise one, allowing him to grow the business quickly. By 1926, the business grew to 428 Skaggs stores in 10 different states.
By continuing to modernize the business through moves such as branching out into e-commerce to offer home delivery since 2000, Safeway has managed to grow steadily and today has more than 1,300 stores in the United States and close to 200 in Mexico.
Never shying away from implementing innovative technology to improve the way they do business, Safeway turned to Humanity several years ago to help schedule and manage more than 1,500 employees at 27 different locations across the country.
Troy Pugeda, an Operations Manager who manages six different Safeway locations in Northern California, was lucky enough to never know the pains of having to schedule and manage his employees without Humanity.
“It was all manual, like notebook and pencil from what I heard. This was not too long ago, probably around 2012. You had to manually call up the employees, you had to manually schedule them, I hear it was rough back then,” he said.
While Pugeda can’t really speak about how much faster scheduling is with Humanity compared to the notebook and pencil approach, he can confirm that the process is very efficient with Humanity.
“I literally posted my shifts right now, it took me no more than five minutes to create a new schedule,” he said.
Pugeda lauded the completeness of the Humanity suite and the fact that it allows him to take care of every aspect of his staff management duties right from his desktop computer.
“It’s very convenient for managers who have a lot of employees under their belts,” he said, adding that he uses every module of the Humanity platform in his daily routine.
“Everything. We are using all the features. I check the Time Clock every five minutes. We are using the scheduling, training and leave features. I can’t speak for other managers, but I’d say we use 70 percent of the features at least here,” Pugeda said.
Even within the ShiftPlanning module, Pugeda tries to take advantage of all of the options that Humanity offers. His staff members are encouraged to use the Availability feature to let him know in advance when they won’t be available to pick up shifts. This allows him to see who can and can’t work at a glance and schedule the available staff members right away.
While he doesn’t use the Payroll module personally, his colleagues from the payroll department do. Once Pugeda and the rest of the managers confirm timesheets for their staff, the payroll department goes into Humanity and exports that data for payroll processing.
According to Pugeda, one of the biggest reasons Humanity is such a great fit for Safeway is because it enables management to make sure that employees are coming in on time and clocking in and out from the right locations.
“We send them notifications via SMS and email, not just when new shifts are published, but also as reminders before shifts so that no one misses a beat,” he said.
Pugeda even uses the Print & Save schedule feature to create a PDF version of all his schedules, which he also sends out to all his stores every week so that they can have a “hard copy” of the schedule to display as well.
“I have several tabs of Humanity open all day, every day. I’m always refreshing Time Clock to see who is clocking in and out, Leave to see if there are new vacation requests coming in,” he said.
Pugeda said that punctuality is very important for Safeway and staff members have a five-minute leeway when it comes to clocking in on time.
“I am managing tons of people, so it’s very important for me to be able to monitor them. I need to be aware of when they are clocking in and what location they are clocking in from,” Pugeda said.
Humanity’s GPS feature has also proven to be useful for Pugeda, who said that he actually had to let one staff member go after he noticed that the employee was trying to cheat the system by clocking into shifts from home.
“It’s an amazing tool. I can’t physically be at all six of my stores all the time, but Humanity is so efficient and convenient that I can manage all my locations from literally anywhere. There are so many features available that help us in every phase of the staff management process. It’s definitely been a huge change for us,” Pugeda concluded.
“I can’t physically be at all six of my stores all the time, but Humanity is so efficient and convenient that I can easily manage all my locations from literally anywhere.”
Troy Pugeda, Operations Manager
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