May 8, 2019

Workforce Management Systems: How Wise Can Help Your Expectations Become Reality

Continuous Improvement, HCM Implementation, HCM Support, HCM System Support, HCM Technology, System Review
nesa-by-makers-701360-unsplash

Picture this: after calling vendor after vendor and listening to sales pitch after sales pitch, you finally settle on a new time and attendance system. In fact, the whole process took so long that, turns out, time and attendance systems are now called workforce management systems. But, you’ve finally made a decision. Your vendor has assured you that this system has it all: mobile functionality, real-time information and visibility, a system for organizing personal demographic information at the press of a button…you can’t wait to get started. So your vendor arrives. They install the system, which takes much less time than you anticipated. Your company’s data is transferred over—or so you thought.

But then, you go to run a report, and you receive a big fat ERROR message. Or, your IT staff has been clocking their time as usual, but somehow all of their time has been categorized as overtime. Worse yet, one of your employees never made it into the new system, and each time they logged time, their information never registered. What now?

The fact is that all workforce management (WFM) systems have both great qualities and qualities that may cause challenges for your unique business. At the barest of minimum, all WFM systems should have five features. These features include:

  1. An Employee Time Card or Time System
    If your WFM system doesn’t have this capability, then we’re sorry to say that you’ve been bamboozled by your vendor. The fundamental essence of a WFM system is that it provides a way for employees to log their time so that it is able to be tracked and processed for payroll and scheduling purposes.
  2. Personal Demographic Information Storage
    Think names, numbers, addresses, jobs, positions, available hours: you need an organized way to manage the personal information of your employees to ensure you have accurate, up-to-date information on all of your staff members, including contract people if you use them as well. 
  3. Automated Scheduling Information
    Each of your employees may have different schedules, different clock-in and clock-out expectations, different roles, different rates of pay…the possibilities are endless. And, with the right WFM system, all of these factors can be programmed to ensure each employee is being scheduled and paid properly.
  4. Information Capture Functionality
    The sky is the limit here too…think biometric scanners, badges, clock-in/out machines, cell phones, tablets and more. Whatever your needs, a WFM system must have some way for employees to access and update their timesheet.
  5. Real-Time Reports
    Finally, a WFM system needs to have a way for you to run real-time reports so you can track schedules, payroll and more. This allows you to make more informed decisions about your labor force.

If your WFM system has all of these components, then we are starting at a good place. If not, we are happy to help you choose one that does. Every company can see real benefits from automated WFM systems.

It takes the average payroll person seven minutes to capture information from a paper timesheet. So, at a firm of 300 people, it would take 2,100 minutes, or more than a day’s worth of work for 3 people, to complete payroll…and that’s just for one pay cycle! An automated WFM system shaves that time down by 80%.

The same goes for the creation of schedules. It typically takes a manager about eight hours each week to create schedules manually, which means that 52 days are wasted each year scheduling employees, per manager. But, with a WFM system, that process can be automated, reducing that time by approximately 80%. An automated WFM system may also offer schedule optimizing features to ensure your labor force for any given day is perfectly selected for maximum efficiency and minimum expense.  

Automated WFM systems are one of the many reasons that big chain stores are able to wipe out mom-and-pop stores. They simply have a leg up by automating their processes, which save them time and money.

So, it’s easy to see why automated WFM systems are the way to go. But, what if this shiny new system isn’t performing as promised? What then? The reality is that most vendors don’t see it as their responsibility to make sure your new system is perfectly fine-tuned to their unique aspects of your business and industry. And, you can’t blame them: they might install WFM systems, but they don’t necessarily have the background to know your industry and how your new WFM system should be configured to work better for you. And, because of this, you are probably feeling stranded, uncertain and frustrated.

This is where Wise Consulting comes in. We like to say that we’re vendor agnostic, which means that no matter which vendor you’ve chosen, we will be able to lend a hand. We’ve been there for the businesses who, because of less-than-perfect software configuration, accidentally paid their employees twice in one pay cycle, as well as the businesses who couldn’t get their new system to run a report if their life depended on it. These things happen, especially after a new WFM system (or a new Human Capital Management system) is installed. The key is to make sure your WFM system is fine-tuned to effectively manage the complexities of your business and your industry. There are 60,000 different parameters that can be set within a WFM system, and we know them all. For businesses that need to fuse, say, five WFM systems into one, don’t worry. We’ve been there too. If your new WFM system feels like all promises and no delivery, give us a call.