This is the conclusion of the recently published report by the leading U.S. market research firm IHS
The global report, IHS' fourth highlight the following points in relation to Europe and the UK:
- Firstly, there is increasing demand for workforce management solutions with the European market growing with 6%
- Secondly the growth in UK & Eire is expected to be around 6% until 2016, whereas the growth in the Nordic region is expected to reach 8,3%
- Thirdly, the reports shows that Mark Information (headquartered in Denmark) is a market leader in the Nordic region with a 19.3% market share - with SAP as its nearest competitor (17.8%) and Kronos and Oracle with market shares of around 10%. Source: IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS)
The slightly higher demand for Workforce Management solutions in the Nordic region compared to the UK & Eire is not surprising for market analyst, Sam Grinter of IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS), who performed the analysis in the report. He points out that growth in the Nordic countries is being driven by improved economic conditions and a growing demand for the replacement of outdated workforce management systems.
According to Grinter the fundamental reason for the general growth in UK & Eire and Europe as a whole is that both private and public companies are constantly battling with tighter budgets, greater risk and tough competition. In addition, it is expected that additional purchases of software modules for planning, optimisation and task management will drive growth in a market where customers are looking to maximise the efficiency of their workforces.
Jens Henning, Business Development Manager at the Swedish company Lantmännen Maskin is only too well aware of this: "Time is money – planning of free space in the booking system is the key to profitability. It's the last 10% of time each day that really improves the bottom line. Therefore, we must ensure that it is productive. Workforce management gives us the opportunity to manage the workforce much more efficiently."
This is not only the case in Sweden. Steinar Gundersen, Manager, AF IT Subsea SAP Support of Norwegian Aker Solutions with a very strong presence in the UK, shares this viewpoint: "It is the daily monitoring of order flow and staffing in production, which is the key factor in reaching the target. For us, daily detailed order and time follow-up is therefore crucial."
Aker Subsea uses ERP to steer projects and related production of subsea equipment. Looking ahead, Steinar Gundersen sees the continued use of workforce management as absolutely critical. "It is vital that a WFM system, for example ProMark can complement SAP and integrate with it" says Steinar Gundersen.
This functionality is also in high demand at Lantmännen Maskin. Jens Henning explains. "We have a good solution that is customised and integrated with our ERP. But the system itself is not everything. There must be capable employees at the system supplier end who are able to understand the client's unique needs. WFM is a tool that if used correctly provides great efficiencies."
It comes as no surprise to CEO Torkel Olrik of Mark Information that the high demand for efficiency in particular is the driving force in both UK & Eire and the Nordic market:
"Every year we invest more than 30 percent of the budget in research & development of new products, and this is done in close cooperation with existing customers. For us, the most important starting point is customer needs, which combined with technological developments results in continuously smarter and simpler solutions. There is strong demand for workforce management in the UK & Eire and the Nordic market, and I am very happy that this is the product that we can deliver."
Workforce management is more important than ever as a competitive factor, and according to IHS, new and smarter functionalities as well as focus on mobility and SaaS solutions are set to become increasingly important in both the UK & Eire and the Nordic market in future.