Retail – Hardware and Building Materials

Caring for One's Employees Through Better Management and Communication

Canac is a Québec region hardware store chain owned by the Laberge family since 1985. As the province's 46th largest company, Canac now has 28 stores.

Located mainly in the Québec region, Canac expanded towards the western part of the province in 2016 and now employs over 3300 people.

Open day and night, seven days a week, Canac stores employ full- and part-time personnel of all ages. A number of managers also manage their stores remotely.

Important Challenges

Schedule management wasn't always so simple in Canac stores. In the past, each manager had to create the schedule for their entire store on Excel. For Sébastien, this meant planning the upcoming week for his 150 employees. On average, this time-consuming task would take him more than a day every week.

The schedule thus produced would then be put in an online file, allowing the employees to access the latest version anywhere. Sébastien still had to upload the new schedule manually each and every time it was updated. The employees had to stay up to date... without any real way of knowing a new schedule had been published.

A Stiff Process

Lacking a streamlined way of communicating with employees, everyone did it their own way. Each schedule change inevitably triggered a cascade of calls and text messages to check, confirm, or change certain things. On top of being inefficient, this practice led to omissions and uncertainty.

The burden was such that we just couldn’t do it, we were afraid of changing the schedules!

Tweaking the schedule was so time-consuming that last-minute changes couldn't always be made a timely manner. With these changes missing, the payroll service couldn't compare the hours worked to the hours planned accurately. This is why Sébastien even confessed to being afraid of changing the schedules. In the end, the employees were the ones who had to cope with this lack of flexibility.

Ancient Means of Communicating

Before Agendrix, Sébastien communicated with the employees using messages pinned to the lounge billboard. But since he had no way of ensuring these messages would be read, he could only rely on his employees’ good faith. Absentees obviously couldn't access these messages. Further, each update meant reprinting, wasting time and paper.

Centralize to Better Manage

Thanks to Agendrix, schedules and communications have been uniformized across all Canac stores. The managers in charge of several stores no longer have to go from one system to the other. Their account can be used to access all of their stores’ schedules from a single unified system.

On his end, Sébastien now creates his weekly schedules in less than two hours. Centralizing employee availability and constraints was the key to this significant improvement. How is Sébastien making use of the six hours he saves every week? He spends more time on the floor training and coaching his employees. Feeling better supported, the customer service they provide improves.

More Flexibility

On top of allowing the employees to access their schedule online, the Agendrix app also makes it accessible on their smartphone. Further, the moment Sébastien publishes a change, the schedule is updated instantly, and the employees concerned are sent a mobile push notification. Nothing goes unnoticed. And since there's only one version of the schedule around, everything is clear for both the employees and the payroll service. Trivial calls and emails are a thing of the past.

The speed at which Sébastien can now make and communicate changes lets him be that much more flexible with last-minute requests.

Agendrix's implementation in the Canac network was incredible; it took less than a month, and their customer service was always topnotch.

Communicating the Right Way

The read confirmation feature lets Sébastien see who acknowledged the schedule and messages. This is far more practical than crossing fingers and hoping for the information to be seen. Messenger, Agendrix's internal chat feature, is particularly useful for follow-ups and reminders. The news feed, through which company-wide messages can be published, replaced the aging bulletin board in the employee lounge.


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