Workforce optimization, explained

Optimization – it’s the ultimate business buzzword that you hear tossed around constantly these days. It’s about achieving better results with less resources and cost. It’s about efficiency. So, then, what does WORKFORCE OPTIMIZATION mean?

Workforce optimization is a strategy used in business that aims to achieve the maximum workforce and customer satisfaction while reducing operating costs. It’s often driven by software or data to spot problems or further reduce inefficiencies. It’s about better managing employee performance, and making your workforce as effective as possible.

Scheduling

Many of the common tools and tactics used in workforce optimization are built around scheduling. For example, an online schedule that can be accessed from any device. This provides complete transparency for workers, and can automatically adjust as changes are made to jobs and tasks throughout the day. It holds employees accountable and eliminates scheduling errors due to poor communication channels. Depending on your business procedures, you could even use a similar tool to allow employees to clock in or clock out, and have job scheduling automated and routed to them based on a variety of pre-set parameters.

Data analysis

Data collection and analysis is also a major component of workforce optimization. When your workforce management software collects data on things like jobs, worker performance, and routing, you are able to spot trends, both positive and negative. Decisions can then be made to take steps to reduce inefficiencies or enhance productivity. Additionally, data that is collected can be used for forecasting. For example, forecasting staffing requirements, job assignments, and faster physical routing of drivers or workers between locations.

Automation

Automation is commonly a key component of any workforce optimization tool. The goal is to automate as many of the basic or mundane tasks as possible. For example, when customers can track their delivery online, in real-time, based on GPS data from a driver, there is no need to call a call center to inquire about the location of their delivery. Notifications can automatically be sent to customers when their delivery is close. Routing for drivers can be automatically adjusted based on past data, or even adjusted based on traffic information, for example. The more processes and procedures that can be automated, the lower the error rate for your workers will be, and the higher customer satisfaction you will achieve. Automation can even be implemented for the customer side as well. For example, allowing customers to create their own jobs and track them through a customer portal.

Ideation

Photo by StartupStockPhotos on Pixabay

Workforce optimization is an on-going strategy and mindset. It’s not a one-time goal that you can achieve and then dismiss. It’s a continuing process that needs commitment. It takes time and effort, but when implemented properly with the appropriate tools, it can lead to drastic improvements in your business. Consider using workforce management software like Taskk.Me to help you in your workforce optimization goals.

Implementing New Operational Software in your company – Hassle Free

You’ve taken a big step and chosen new operational software for your company. Great! Now the hard work starts, as you have to navigate the challenge of the new software up and running, and fully implemented. For many, new operational software implementation is a long process with lots of headaches. It doesn’t have to be though. Consider these five pointers to help you implement new operational software, hassle free!

Scheduling at the right moment

Schedule the Go-Live for the slowest period of the year. You don’t do construction on the highway during rush hour traffic, if you can avoid it. Same goes for implementing new operational software at your company. No matter what you do, there will always be some element of disruption to your employees and customers as they adjust to the new processes and procedures. However, the disruption can be minimized if you schedule the Go-Live date for the slowest period of the year, (or day of the month).

Communication is the key

Determine an on-boarding period, and communicate that to your workforce. Assume the new system will take some time to become normalized to employees. It’s not reasonable to expect everything to be running at 100% on day 1. Communicate this on-boarding period to your employees and make sure they know your expectations during and afterwards.

Prepare for contingency

Include a contingency budget in addition to the expected costs of implementing new operational software. Ever hire a contractor to work on a construction project in your home or office? How often do they get the budget and schedule correct? Almost never. So be prepared with a contingency budget set aside to cover any unexpected costs or expenses.

Test, test and test!

Train, test, and train more. The contingency budget mentioned above may come in handy when you are allocating time and money for training of both managers and workforce employees. Do not go live with your new software until your workforce is adequately trained. Run as many tests as possible, and repeat training as needed. More time and money invested in training before going live will reduce wasted time and money after your new software is up and running.

Don’t pull out the plug immediately!

If you’re switching from one system to another (rather than adopting new software from scratch) you may want to consider running both systems concurrently for a short time. It might be a hassle, but in some situations, this may protect from mistakes made by your employees as they work towards full adoption of the new system.

 

Implementing new operational software in your company can be a daunting task. There are many pitfalls that can be overlooked, and many things that can go wrong. But, like all strategic maneuvers in business, planning ahead and planning for the unexpected will make a big difference. Just follow the above pointers and construct a thorough implementation plan, and much of the hassle can be avoided!

5 Reasons You NEED a Workforce Management System

Tracking your workforce and its performance can be difficult. If your business has mobile workers that spend time driving, making deliveries, or servicing customers outside of the office, it’s even harder. It can be almost impossible to get an accurate, birds-eye view of your business on a day-to-day basis. That’s why you should consider implementing a workforce management system. Think of it as a toolbox that encompasses all aspects of managing your mobile workforce. It will reduce operating costs, help with organization, and (if you’re a manager), make your day a lot less stressful. Interested? Read below for five reasons you NEED to use a workforce management system.

1. Compliance

With mobile employees, having a way to hold people accountable for doing the work they are supposed to do, in the right place, at the right time… We all know it can be difficult. Constant phone calls to “check in” is not the answer. With a workplace management system, you won’t have an accountability problem. If employees understand their jobs and location are tracked in real-time, they are much more likely to adhere to the regulations, rules, and performance expectations of your business. With GPS tracking you’ll see an instant boost in productivity. Employees know there will be consequences if they spent 45 minutes at a coffee shop between deliveries or service calls. When you have the map data to back it up, there isn’t even an argument.

2. Time Management

Being able to schedule jobs for your workforce and see the entire schedule at a “birds-eye view” can help you spot obvious gaps or issues with job scheduling. Reduce inefficiencies and schedule jobs based on estimated times. You can even see current progress on assigned jobs, so you know how long it’s taken, as well as how much longer a job is likely to take. Plus, giving your workforce a defined schedule at the beginning of the day creates clear expectations on what they need to accomplish. But of course, sometimes things change, so jobs can be slotted into the schedule, moved, or removed with ease when using a workforce management system. You can “optimize” your workforce and their job assignments based on both time and improved routing, and better predict when items will be delivered or drivers are likely to arrive.

3. Employee Satisfaction

A quick flow of information and planning efficiency to employees means that they are constantly updated on their workload, and provided with all the necessary details in a single place. This makes their job less stressful, and eliminates the blame game when important details are mission from a job or work order. Clarity, and clearly communicated expectations, can make a world of difference to a mobile workforce.

4. Customer Service

Saving customer data directly in your workforce management system can have a big impact on the customer. When an employee needs to make a delivery, for example, knowing the person at the company that the delivery should go to, as well as their personal data points, makes every customer experience feel personalized and seamless. You can give customers more accurate estimates for arrival of deliveries or service calls. You know how the cable guy says he’ll be there between noon and 8pm? That’s a clear customer service issue, and one that can be minimized with a workforce management system.

5. Analytics / Statistics

By using a workforce management system, you can collect data on the movements and performance of your employees. In business, we always hear about the importance of making “data-driven” decisions. The more data and statistics you can collect on your workforce, the better choices you can make about how to improve your business. It’s that simple.

 

A mobile workforce can create many challenges for a business. Using a workforce management system like Taskk.Me is a great way to simplify, analyze, and optimize your workforce and your business. You’ll see great results for your business, your customers, AND your employees.