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  • Becoming More Productive Through Workforce Management

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    In-Depth

    Managing Work Schedules for Increased Profitability

    Let’s say the local supermarket has long checkout lines because they don’t have enough cashiers on the floor. That’s an example of inefficient workforce scheduling. If it happens frequently, it could hurt their customer loyalty and long-term sales.

    But staff scheduling can get complicated. And some people may consider it more art than science. Filling and trading shifts? Juggling vacation schedules? Communicating the constantly changing data to the workforce? It’s enough to crash your Excel spreadsheet.

    Scheduling software solutions
    One answer may be scheduling software. These integrated, Web-based systems can help you forecast staffing needs based on historical data, such as number of customer contacts, sales figures, checkout transactions per hour per day, or product orders for various time periods. The program can then predict optimal staffing requirements built around customer traffic loads, employee availability, holidays, work/life balances, financial limitations, worker skills, and many other factors.

    Scheduling software allows you to control customer service and employee productivity in multiple remote locations. You can deploy resources based on customer demand, skills needed, locations, and service commitments, helping you meet anticipated workloads with better capacity planning and resource allocation. Imagine being able to respond in real time to scheduling changes due to meeting cancellations or highway traffic congestion. Cloud-based software solutions give you that flexibility.

    Efficient workforce management scheduling can enable you to:

    • Serve more customers during high traffic periods to boost sales
    • Ship more products faster and smarter to meet demand
    • Provide better customer service to improve loyalty
    • Operate more efficiently leading to increased profits.
    Game PlanGame Plan

    Game Plan

    • While you might be tempted to create rigid schedules in an effort to maintain control, studies suggest that flexibility may actually boost employee productivity. A report by Dice.com, a leading career site for technology and engineering professionals, found that more than a third of tech professionals would cut their salary by up to 10 percent in exchange for a full-time telecommuting option. Telecommuting may not work for your business model, but being flexible in how you schedule employees, and providing them a little trust and freedom, can make for a happier and more engaged workforce. And that can turn into higher productivity and increased profits for you.
    • Monthly subscription pricing for scheduling software generally is based on number of employees and can be as low as $25 a month for 10 employees. For side-by-side comparisons showing ratings and features of the top 10 scheduling software solutions, see this page.