January 17, 2023

How Safeway Managers Effectively Schedule & Oversee Multiple Store Locations from Anywhere

Technology saves the day for scheduling employees

The story of Safeway began in 1915 when M.B. Skaggs purchased a small grocery store in Idaho from his father. He grew the business quickly, expanding to 428 Skaggs stores in 10 different states by 1926. Today, Safeway holds 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 to help schedule and manage more than 1,500 employees at 27 different locations across the country.

“From what I heard, managers used to schedule employees using a notebook and pencil. This was not too long ago, probably around 2012. You had to manually call up the employees, you had to manually schedule them,” said Troy Pugeda, an Operations Manager who manages six different Safeway locations in Northern California.

…managers used to schedule employees using a notebook and pencil…You had to manually call up the employees.

Shift scheduling from paper and pencil to online in real time

Humanity Scheduling allowed the retailer to go from notebook and pencil to online and in real time. Today, Safeway managers use Humanity to create shift schedules in just a few clicks.

Pugeda particularly appreciates the robustness of the Humanity suite. He and his team are now able to take care of every aspect of staff management duties right from their desktop computers. He even uses Humanity to create a PDF version of all schedules, which he sends out to stores every week so the team can have a “hard copy” of the schedule to display as well.

“We are taking advantage of all of the features, particularly scheduling, training and leave management. I’m always refreshing…to see who is clocking in and out, as well as Leave to see if there are new vacation requests coming in,” Pugeda said.

Pugeda’s 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 provides him with a clear view of the entire team and allows him to schedule the available staff members in just a few clicks.

According to Pugeda, one of the biggest reasons Humanity is such a great fit for Safeway is because it enables management to ensure that employees are coming in on time and clocking in and out from the right locations.

Punctuality is very important for Safeway and staff members have a five-minute leeway when it comes to clocking in on time. Humanity’s GPS feature has also proven to be useful to 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 in to shifts from home.

“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.

“There are so many features available that help out in every phase of the staff management process. It’s definitely been a huge change for us,” Pugeda concluded.

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.

Get ready to get time right.