Published: May 21, 2019

Workforce management challenges today are unprecedented today. The widening talent gap combined with the pressures of today’s fast-paced, global distribution environment hinders an organization’s ability to maintain profitability.

Having the right labor analytics can help organizations identify areas of their business that lack critical skills in key positions, determine which employees are a flight risk and better understand what actions are required to improve performance and engagement.

Lacking these insights can make it difficult to determine where to focus attention or how to optimize efforts to support performance goals. It would be near impossible to fully understand the complex interactions among different staffing levels, recruitment needs, employee engagement numbers, compensation structures and other metrics that would otherwise help organizations maximize their human capital investments. Leveraging workforce data visibility makes it all possible.

Expand capacity, optimize your workforce, and cut costs

Intelligent, integrated workforce management and HCM solutions can help supply chain organizations work smarter, better and faster in any environment. For example, intelligent software can provide an accurate snapshot of what each worker is doing at any given point in the day, helping companies maximize employee resources, reach productivity goals and better manage costs.

As the highest expense for any supply chain operation, labor can be difficult to manage, orchestrate and budget. Workforce management solutions not only offer high levels of visibility, they also provide the right mix of monitoring, reporting and performance needed to improve productivity and plan more effectively. Companies can identify labor expenditures and compare activity against both established labor standards and their own historical data, enabling supply chain managers to make more informed staffing decisions to optimize efficiencies and increase employee productivity.

The right workforce technology empowers your employees

Today’s workforce expects on-demand scheduling and workers want to self-select which shifts they pick up, when they need days off from work, or when to swap a shift with co-workers instead of using a personal day. They expect these actions to be easy, intuitive, and accessible via a smartphone or tablet from anywhere. Tomorrow’s employees will not only expect this type of user experience, they’ll assume you already have it in place.

Many companies are wondering how to recruit and engage millennial and Gen Z workers, and technology is a key factor in attracting skilled talent in today’s market. Beyond simplifying routine tasks and empowering employees to work their way, workforce management technology has the capacity to help supply chain organizations develop processes that are more oriented toward a better employee experience. Using open scheduling, for example, allows employees to work shifts that align with their preferred availability, so they get to work on time, fresh, and ready to be productive. Plus, if employees feel like their company cares about them and has their best interests in mind, they’re more apt to be engaged, interested, and productive at work.

From piles of overwhelming data into actionable workforce intelligence

Armed with workforce data and using a modern platform powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, supply chain managers can begin to transform their data into actionable intelligence that can be used to address issues of turnover and retention.

For example, a manager looking at real-time employee-attendance data may find that one forklift driver tends to call in sick repeatedly on the same day of the week but is generally reliable for all other scheduled shifts. Upon recognizing this pattern, the manager can sit down with the employee and engage in conversation around the schedule and what the issue may be. With a better understanding of the employee’s scheduling conflict, that manager may consider swapping the employee’s shift with another driver on that particular day, or possibly scheduling the shift to begin 30 minutes later so the employee can make it in on time. As a result, the employee is happier and less stressed, regularly working shifts that better align with his or her availability.

Visibility is the key

Empowered by workforce data, managers can increase employee engagement, reduce idle time, more strategically schedule or reallocate workers onto more productive tasks, verify that customers are being accurately charged based on labor costs, and ensure full compliance with labor laws. With greater visibility, you’re ultimately getting the most out of your existing workforce by successfully recruiting new employees and ensuring the highest possible retention levels throughout your organization.