Retail & Hospitality Industry Summit: Moving Ahead With Agility and Analytics

Business leaders in the retail and hospitality industries at a recent Workday summit talk about how they’re finding a path forward that looks less like surviving and more like thriving.

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Retail and hospitality companies have needed several key attributes to survive and thrive in the pandemic: The flexibility to make changes on the fly when the situation requires it. A clear view of how to take care of their front-line workers. The agility to solve short-term problems while also creating long-term, positive momentum. The ability to unlock truly predictive analytics. 

If all that sounds like a lot to balance while trying to remain profitable, you’re not wrong. But with the right pieces in place, companies in these industries are finding a way forward that looks more like thriving than just surviving.

“This is allowing finance operators to be successful because they can start making changes on the fly. If they need to adjust course, they can.” 

Asim Aleem Chief Financial Officer Midtown Athletic Club

At Workday’s recent Retail & Hospitality Industry Summit, leaders from Innisfree Hotels, Midtown Athletic Club, Nordstrom, and PVH joined us to talk about their experiences and how Workday supports them every day while building a solid foundation for the future. For the whole experience, check out the on-demand replay, but read on for a few choice tidbits from the summit.  

Managing Change and Gaining Insights

Asim Aleem, CFO of Midtown Athletic Club, chatted with John Hugo, vice president of financials and go-to-market at Workday, about how Workday helps them stay agile when changes come. 

Leaders at Midtown, a high-end fitness club with resort-like amenities, planned to replace their systems with an enterprise management cloud before the pandemic. As the timing worked out, they went live with Workday while many of their clubs were shut down. 

With a task force in place to make sure that the deployment wasn’t siloed, they first deployed human capital management, and then payroll and financial management. With Workday, the finance operators can make changes to financials in real time instead of waiting for month end to see if they’re on course to meet their monthly financial metrics. “This is really allowing them to be successful because they can start making changes on the fly,” said Aleem. “If they need to adjust course, they can.”  

Analytics for Real-Life Impact

Making changes to policy without the data to support those changes isn’t a road retail and hospitality companies want to go down. But when used effectively, analytics can unlock real changes that make employees’ lives better and companies’ futures brighter. 

Hari Dorai, vice president of HR systems and analytics at PVH (which owns brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein), talked about PVH’s analytics philosophy and real-life benefits. The company has taken a centralized approach to analytics with a focus on consistency and scale. There’s a key connection between analytics and the happiness of the front-line workforce, which is essential for a thriving retail or hospitality business.

For example, PVH saw from its data that single parents were at high risk of turnover, so the company improved its backup care plan. Pre-COVID, it created risk profiles from HR data to help identify what drives turnover and what traits are common with key talent. These types of real-life changes based on analysis are made possible by Workday’s core reporting and analytics.

For more insights like these, including what leaders from Nordstrom mean by “hitting the gas and the brake at the same time” and how Innisfree Hotels adjusted to multiple disruptive events, watch the on-demand replay of the Retail & Hospitality Industry Summit.

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