Riina Hellström, Director, Digital and Agile Organizational Development
Given the rapid pace at which enterprise technologies are evolving, companies can either rightfully leverage innovations to their advantage or risk losing their edge in the market. “The speed of change is huge. Companies know the trends, but don’t necessarily know what they need to do to stay aligned or how innovation is led. They don’t know where to start, which type of expertise they need to hire, or what type of tools to deploy,” says Pauli Dahlbom, Founder and Director, Analytics and Business Development at Peoplegeeks, a novel people and business consultancy firm from Finland.
Dahlbom founded Peoplegeeks with Riina Hellström, who serves as the company’s Director, Digital and Agile Organizational Development. The duo brings in their years of expertise pertaining to consulting and Agile principles to enable Peoplegeeks’ clients to modernize their operational model, their management- and HR processes. For Peoplegeeks any business change, any strategy, any tech implementation is ultimately about people’s behavior. The company has strategically networked with technology providers, consultants and freelancers to provide support for holistic changes and transformations, both for business leaders and HR alike. “We create involving and meaningful change, leading to productivity, collaboration and innovation” says Hellström, whose expertise is agile transformations on the management and non-IT/non-software side.
Peoplegeeks offers solutions that range from technology/product deployments such as HR analytics or employee lifecycle management tools to non-technical, service-oriented offerings such as change management and training. As opposed to the traditional, ‘selling oriented’ consulting methodologies, Peoplegeeks adopts a co-creation based, agile approach to working with clients and identifying their requirements. “Before we can setup agile portfolio management in a company; typically we will have to train the client in this new way of thinking; and then co-render projects with them. In the context of change management, we require our clients to own the change initiative themselves, creating sustainable change. This ensures the client won’t drop the balls when we consultants move on.” adds Dahlbom.
Peoplegeeks’ caliber as a reliable consultant and technology implementer reflects best through their client success stories. In one such instance, a leading retailer of pet supplies with more than 260 stores across the Nordic region partnered with Peoplegeeks to organize their workforce to function at optimum levels. The retailer’s workforce planning and management processes weren’t scaling effectively to meet the growing needs of the business, as they employed close to a hundred store managers who manually planned work schedule for the staff at each outlet.
Pauli Dahlbom, Founder and Director, Analytics and Business Development
Having the workforce dedicated to single stores rendered them inflexible and left the retailer with no means to schedule them to work at nearby branches. As a result, recruiting new hires locally generated an additional administrative burden on their HR department. To help them out from their predicament, Peoplegeeks’ consultants, by leveraging IBM’s Watson stack, collected and analyzed three years of sales receipts, employee data, and scheduling data from 119 stores to determine the most effective way to organize its workforce. They built hourly sales forecasts from the store data and applied machine learning techniques to determine optimized hourly level shift plans for each store. Peoplegeeks then connected the new forecasting models to the retailer’s scheduling system which enabled regional HR planners to automatically create accurate rosters that match the hourly level sales forecasts at each store. In a nutshell, Peoplegeeks first predicted the sales and customer flow with a better accuracy than the company could themselves, and then modernized the retailer’s end-to-end workforce planning analytics and its relating processes showing that the client could integrate the whole tech stack into the existing systems that they already had, without the client having to invest in any technology up front.
Let’s co-create a healthy future of work” is Peoplegeeks’ mission. It includes how we work (always with the customer), it includes human centricity and participation, it includes the requirement for win-win and ethical technology deployment. The future of work is already here
The multi-national retailer is just one among the many big entities that Peoplegeeks was able to partner with. Peoplegeeks has grown tremendously since their inception a few years back, to such an extent that the company has even earned interest from customers in Asia. Looking ahead, the company plans to develop and roll-out prebuilt workforce analytics optimization solutions that can be readily deployed by their clients. Furthermore, to democratize the access to expensive data analytics toolsets and hard-to-acquire expertise, Peoplegeeks is introducing analytics-as-a-service models into their solutions portfolio, realizing easy access to the huge potential of advanced analytics to large companies that are lacking a mature business- and people analytics setup.