Game Changer Profile
Amine Ayad, Head of Workforce Management at Bed Bath & Beyond Read insights
As a leader of Workforce Management at Bed, Bath & Beyond, the leading home goods retailer, Dr Amine Ayad is a scholar-practitioner with 25 years’ experience in both performance and turn-around strategies for multi-billion dollar retail enterprises.
As an Associate Professor at Colorado Technical University and an Adjunct Professor at Bellevue University, as well as the author of numerous books on leadership, he has been an influential thought leader in business strategy for two decades. And as a believer in “action-based research,” Ayad has harnessed academic and real-world insight for impact on both top and bottom line business results – and told BPI “In fact, I earned my doctorate degree while I was managing a multimillion dollar business leading to a half billion dollar business.”
He says: “Personally, I believe that being a scholar-practitioner is the future of effective leadership. You can be an executive in the field, but you can also be close to new ideas and new energy that comes from students while also benefiting from new rigorous academic research. In my case, I see my work as my laboratory where I design, execute, and reflect on business strategies and tactics to develop theory in reality; not in abstract.”
Ayad previously served as Senior Director of Strategy and Innovation at Walmart, after working in key roles at both Home Depot and Sears Holdings. At Bed, Bath & Beyond, Ayad says he is now operating in a technology-enabled environment that has not only transformed workforce management, but has also boosted the customer experience through their encounters with happier, more enabled employees.
For instance: he says, "thanks to innovative technologies, the era where managers dictated shifts, based on employees submitted availability, has been replaced with one in which full-time and part-time employees can choose available shifts via their mobile devices, and even switch with other fellow employees at the last minute if they choose to do so. Technology also enabled managers to better plan and respond to the needs of both the business and the employees."
Ayad sees a trend in the retail landscape where the front end registers disappear, and where check-out lines are eliminated through predictive data analytics, sensors, and artificial intelligence – and, eventually, where self-driving shopping carts meet you at the entrance of the store with your shopping list already uploaded into the cart screen, and even direct you to the items you need.