Forecasting & Scheduling, a guaranteed value solution
The success of any organization is necessarily achieved through the background work performed by the workforce and the work teams. The knowledge, flexibility and continuous improvement are the values that today’s executives aim at bringing forward and are also performance and success vectors for the modern management cultures.
The employees’ engagement and efficient management become major factors in organizational success. Thus, human resources represent an important cost and, at the same time, the greatest wealth for any organization. Today, one of the fundamental issue is to find the tool that will optimize costs and efficiency without interfering with employees’ well-being. Incidentally, it is the main mission of many HRIS (Human Resources Information System) software: Find a recipe that will combine organizational efficiency and employees’ satisfaction through various modules. WorkForce Software (WFS) offers numerous functionalities such as Time & Attendance, Advanced Scheduler, Fatigue Management and Absence Compliance Tracker, which cover a very large scope of a client’s potential requirements.
In 2016, WorkForce Software adds a string to its bow by acquiring Workplace, a British company leader in the field of personnel planning cloud solutions. Twenty years ago, this company, with more than 30 years of expertise in this domain, had developed a forecasting and scheduling module (Forecasting and Scheduling). This module, now property of WorkForce, allows making precise business forecasts down to a 15-minute level, many weeks in advance.
This acquisition brings a new toolbox of functionalities to the WorkForce Software solutions. The Forecasting & Scheduling tool comprises 3 parts. First, there is the Forecast module that ensures generating forecasts dynamically in order to always include the optimal number of employees working. This function allows organizations to reduce planning mistakes and their costs through a more precise evaluation of the real demand. Many factors are taken into account to define the daily staffing. An analysis of historical and actual data such as orders, delivery periods, customer demand, etc., allows the creation of extremely precise workforce needs forecasts. The cost overview of the planned workforce option is also available in this module.
Furthermore, the solution is flexible and can adapt to customers’ requirements. Three options are available to assess the forecasts and the demand based on historical data or not, migrated in the system. That means the current year average linked to recurrent trends, and linked to the previous weeks, and finally, the average of the previous year at the same period compared to the numbers of the current year. The first two use the data migrated in the system but the last one is based on the raw data. These 3 options are used to generate volume forecasts for the coming weeks.
Secondly, the Schedule module allows an overview of all the calendars and schedules in real time, which will promote an almost instantaneous responsiveness to any situation requiring an action. Also, schedules can be automatically generated as per predefined models, or by using the analytical strength of the data to combine various performance indicators (KPI) with the availability of the employees. This tool will give organizations the opportunity to increase staff productivity and to find more reliability in creating calendars. This benefit plays a direct role on the balance between work and personal life and augments the organization’s profitability.
Continuous improvement is put forward with the new Schedule Quality Rating (SQR) functionality, which will assess the schedules created as per an evaluation based on 5 in order to optimize the review patterns and, thereby, the changes. This grade takes into consideration the performance indicators based on the weight chosen by the manager. Thus, the SQR will align itself with the identity of the organization and adapt to various styles of management.
Lastly, the Optimize module offers the option of optimizing the calendars. This function gives rise to millions of changes to potential calendars. The managers instantly get a view of the schedules that maximize the levels of productivity as per the fixed budgets. While avoiding overloads and insufficiencies, Optimizer takes many factors into account such as: company policies, employees’ availability, and labour laws to create the most complete and optimal schedules possible.
The executives will find in Forecasting & Scheduling an optimization solution centered on the employees that will meet the specific requirements of every structure. With its easy integration to other WorkForce modules, Forecasting & Scheduling will be able to use data analytics to propel the companies. In 2013, T-Mobile, a global provider of wireless, voice, messaging and data services, and Wireless Vision, the largest T-Mobile US retailer, decided to implement the Forecasting & Scheduling and Time & Attendance modules in 189 American stores. The results were immediate. The conversion rate of the stores surpassed 2.5 times that previously observed. The staff turnover rate of the organization went from 125% to 40% in less than 1.5 year. We can see a savings of about $7000 per new hiring as well as an interesting augmentation of 22% for hourly revenues and of 60% of new profit after breakeven point.
“The staff turnover rate of the organization went from 125% to 40% in less than 1.5 year.”
Ride Aid, another pharmaceutical company, has decided to implement only the Forecasting & Scheduling module for its 89,000 employees throughout its various American subsidiaries. The results are clear: 60 days to deploy the solution in the 4800 stores; annual savings of 1.5 M$ in overtime and a drastic augmentation in sales and in the quality of customer service due to the enhancement of the concerted effort and engagement.
The observed outcome for the previously mentioned companies show the extent of the Forecasting & Scheduling module power. With a better knowledge of the magical recipe to optimize the employees’ quality of life as well as revenues and benefits, all the reasons are the right ones to adopt a solution that transcends the limits of the traditional management.
Amine El Graoui, Consultant, Workforce Software Practice
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