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FAQ about Workforce Management

What is Workforce Management? How do you get the optimum from a Workforce Management system? And how do you choose the right solution? 
Find answers to these questions and more in our list of frequently asked questions.

 

What ...?


 

What is Workforce Management?

Workforce Management (WFM) includes all the activities that are necessary to ensure efficient companies and organisations with an efficient workforce. In essence, Workforce Management is about allocating the right resources at the right time and for the right job. In this way, the company can ensure that its job and activity needs are met and that the employees are remunerated correctly in accordance with current company and collective agreements in the most effective way. 

A modern Workforce Management solution includes software, services and hardware for optimum support of the processes.

What are the benefits of Workforce Management?

With modern, digital Workforce Management solutions companies can eliminate a number of manual and time-consuming workflows. This saves significant time for both employees and administration, reduces the risk of errors and delays, and provides reliable information about the company’s operations. With real-time data, the company always knows what it is all about and is guaranteed a factual and valid decision-making basis to optimise the use of time and resources, respond promptly to possible changes and achieve savings.

What is the most common Workforce Management functionality?

The core Workforce Management functionality includes:

  • Accurate measurement of employees’ working time and absence – and to make this information available to payroll and other HR systems
  • Measurement of whether employers comply with legislation regarding working time and holiday/leave
  • Support of the planning task to be able to create efficient and fair work schedules
  • Track the productivity of the employees/company 
  • Self-service to view one’s working hours and account balances and to swap or sell shifts

What types of Workforce Management solutions are available?

There are different types of Workforce Management vendors in the market. The options include specialized Workforce Management solutions with varying functionality and opportunities (best of breed), Human Capital Management solutions (HCM) covering the entire HR area (best of suite) and industry-specific solutions with Workforce Management functionality for e.g. the healthcare sector or call center solutions.
The solutions are offered as on-premise solutions, cloud solutions or SaaS solutions.

For more information on the variety of solutions see Gartner’s "Market Guide for Workforce Management Applications".

 

Why ...?



Why Workforce Management?

In many companies, Excel or pen/paper are still widespread tools when it comes to registration of working hours and absence, payroll calculation and staff roster planning. It is both time-consuming, increases the risk of errors and delays and impedes the availability of data for analysis and reporting – and thus the ability to react proactively in case of deviations.

With a modern Workforce Management solution, the company can automate the processes. This reduces the risk of errors and ensures that legislation and local agreements on working hours are respected. In addition, factual and current information about the company’s use of time and resources helps to strengthen the decision-making basis and allows to respond promptly to changes in demand or capacity.

 

How ...?



How do you get the most out of Workforce Management?

An IT system landscape of well-integrated and dedicated systems often provides flexible and efficient support of the company’s business processes. Therefore, the optimum solution is to integrate the Workforce Management system with other business systems in the company such as ERP, HR and payroll systems. In that way, valuable and current information becomes available where and when it is needed – without the risk of manual errors and delays. In addition, a number of administrative routines in payroll calculation, production planning, purchasing, logistics, inventory, sales, management etc. are eliminated.

How do you choose the right Workforce Management solution/supplier?

The market for Workforce Management solution is relatively complex with many types of vendors, each offering different types of solutions, technologies and services. Moreover, the solutions vary when it comes to geographic localization, industry focus and ambitions to developing the solution. The optimum decision depends on some internal conditions that should be uncovered before the decision is made:

  • What are the strategic arguments for investing in a Workforce Management solution (e.g. increased productivity, compliance with rules, improved data insight and analysis basis)?
  • Which processes and tasks do you expect the solution to handle?
  • What can the existing systems in the company handle? And how do they do it in relation to the company’s most critical requirements and needs?
  • Which type of vendor do you want to establish long term cooperation with? A specialized Workforce Management vendor (best of breed) or a vendor with a broader suite/product portfolio (best of suite)?

Get inspiration for the selection of vendor/solution in Gartner’s "Market Guide for Workforce Management Applications".

How much does a WFM solutions cost?

The cost of a Workforce Management solution is typically based on how many employees are to register their time in the system, the extent of functionality and which registration device(s) the company chooses. Thus, the cost comprises a basic investment in the desired software and hardware as well as an annual support and maintenance fee.

Most vendors charge a fee per user per month/half year/year.

How do you calculate the return on investment (ROI) on a Workforce Management solution?

An investment in a Workforce Management solution enables the company to become more efficient and achieve significant savings through the reduction of administrative time and errors, absence due to illness and overtime. The more agreements, rules and complexity the solution must handle, the greater the benefit of the digitalisation.

Examples of benefits:

  • Reduction of administrative cost through: 
    – Saved time on attendance registration for hourly-paid workers and salaried workers (minutes per day per employee)
    – Saved time on approvals for managers (minutes per week per employee)
    – Saved time on balancing accounts, corrections etc. in the payroll administration (minutes per month per employee)
  • Reduction of errors related to manual administration (wrong registration of time, forgotten registrations etc. The average human error rate of manual administration is 0.8-1.2% of the working time)
  • Reduced overtime payment (better allocation of the right resources at the right time)
  • Reduced absence due to illness through more flexible staff roster planning, compliance with working time rules etc.
  • Reduced administration in the billing process by 25-85% if employee working hours are to be invoiced 
  • Increased billing rate with regard to customer deliveries
  • Less need for temporary employees or reduced costs in relation to this


Depending on the specific company’s situation, the solution often turns out to pay off within one year.

If you want a more specific calculation / business case calculation, you are more than welcome to contact us.

How is a Workforce Management solution implemented?

The specific implementation process varies from company to company and is planned individually. However, the process will include the following steps:

  1. Preparation: A thorough site study during which all relevant issues such as working time rules, local agreements, any 3rd party suppliers and more are uncovered and a planning meeting where the parties define who is responsible for what
  2. Implementation: Setup/configuration of the solution, training of superusers and pilot project/test
  3. Operation – which might be completed in phases – and handover to support

 

When ...?



When should you get started with Workforce Management?

Due to continuously increasing competition, many larger companies and organisations are concerned about maximising productivity and efficiency through increased digitalisation of the administrative core processes. 

Workforce Management makes sense for companies who wish to:

  • Keep track of the employees’ time to get an overview of their working hours and payroll
  • Plan the work to have the right number of employees to meet the company’s needs
  • Predict the company’s needs so that they know how many employees and what skills they need in the short and long term
  • Monitor and analyse results to see if the company reaches its milestones (tasks/orders) and react quickly if it does not 

 

Who …?


 

Who benefits from Workforce Management?

Workforce Management can be used in most types of companies and in all parts of the company. The primary users of a Workforce Management solutions are:

  • HR who are responsible for correct calculation of payroll and reporting on sick leave
  • Middle managers with the operational responsibility for combining orders, resources and employees
  • CFOs and other top managers who need reports and KPI monitoring in real time
  • Employees on any type of collective or local agreement

Who offers Workforce Management?

There are different types of Workforce Management vendors in the market, each offering different types of solutions, technologies and services. The options include specialized Workforce Management solutions with varying functionality and opportunities (best of breed), Human Capital Management solutions (HCM) covering the entire HR area (best of suite) and industry-specific solutions with Workforce Management functionality for e.g. the healthcare sector or call center solutions.

For more information on potential vendors see Gartner’s "Market Guide for Workforce Management Applications".

 

Which ...?



Which companies benefit most from Workforce Management?

Workforce Management can be used in most types of companies with focus on minimising heavy, manual internal processes related to payroll and management of the workforce. It is rather widespread within food & beverage and manufacturing but can also be used with great advantage within building & construction and service companies, including the financial sector, and within logistics and transportation.

Which areas/functions within the company benefit from Workforce Management?

Workforce Management can be used in all parts of the company and provides definite advantages for:

  • HR, payroll administration and Shared Service Centers who are responsible for correct calculation of payroll and reporting on sick leave
  • Middle managers with the operational responsibility for combining orders, resources and employees
  • CFOs and other top managers who need reports and KPI monitoring in real time
  • Employees on any type of collective or local agreement