Summer is in full swing and it’s vacation time for many. Planning for vacation may mean a high administrative workload for people in charge of workforce management. But there is a way to efficiently manage vacation planning as well as daily labor scheduling, that saves both, employees and shift planners, a lot of time.
Shift planning can be a very complex and time-consuming job. But it is also a very important one: accurate plans are key for maximizing resource utilization, ensuring service levels, and optimizing operation costs in today’s fast changing environment. Planning with spreadsheets has its shortcomings. What shift planners need is a workforce management tool that saves time and supports agility.
What makes workforce management efficient?
An intelligent workforce management solution can free up to several hours of time per manager per week, making them more productive and efficient. But which features make a workforce management tool intelligent? Here’s a short overview of the most important features.
1. Automatic allocation of the right people
You need the right people in the right places at the right time. An intelligent tool calculates resources automatically to match order volumes and shift requirements. It ensures that staff are utilized in the most effective way. Various factors like competences, teams, working time restrictions, etc. need to be taken into consideration to assign the best operators to get the task done. With the click of a button, all operators are automatically assigned to the tasks.
2. Efficient communication
Quick and easy communication with employees is essential. A smartphone app helps to create more transparency. Managers can publish shift plans and notify operators directly via the app. Operators can see from their own personal smartphone, which shifts they work, alert their supervisors as to their upcoming availabilities, and also send vacation requests via the app. Requests are immediately available for the managers who can quickly approve or deny any changes.
3. Flexibility to adjust plans
The best plan can quickly get compromised by unforeseen sick leaves or other unavailabilities. Also, managers need to effectively deal with daily order fluctuations and changes in order profiles. With intelligent workforce management, operators can put their shift up for grabs so that coworkers can pick them up, if something unexpected comes up and managers can quickly notify the other operators via the app about open shifts and fill the empty spots with people who want to work. This system allows management to plan more accurately and employees to fit their work schedule better to their plans outside of work.
4. Learning from the past
An intelligent workforce management system should learn from the past and make smart forecasts based on historic data. On the one hand, there are past operator performances, competences and trainings that should be considered for planning. On the other hand, machine-based learning can help to optimize shift planning. By matching historical data with actual figures, shift times can be planned more accurately and help enhance future performance.
5. Saving time and money
The more accurately shifts are planned, the better resources can be optimized, and expenses minimized. They ensure that service levels are efficiently met, and operations can be continuously improved.