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Conference Room B, April 22, 3:45PM (cont.)

April 14, 2016 | Workforce Management

Throughout the week, Harry, Frank and Mary researched their overtime avoidance options - although Frank and Mary a little more so – they worked together in preparing their report for Jack, and looked to transition from worst practices to best practices in controlling overtime costs that were severely compressing margins at the factory.

Harry never did get around to buying Frank dinner, most likely because Frank had become all consumed by the opening of baseball season and his beloved Detroit Tigers. Mary worked long into the night that week researching workforce management providers.

Just as every Friday before them, the trio, followed minutes behind by Jack Nicklaus, climbed the steps to Conference Room B. Again, overtime costs were high, 13% in the period, better, but a far cry from where they needed to be. This time, Jack started the conversation, “Listen, don’t confuse effort and results, they’re not the same thing. I want results, how am I going to get them?” After a brief pause, Harry said, “We’ve made great strides this week,” only to be interrupted by Jack who said, “I’m not interested in strides, I’m interested in results.”

This time Mary took the helm, “We’ve researched both the use of workforce management solutions across our enterprise and throughout the country. Even within our multiple facilities, we’re using several different workforce tools, and at some of our factories, people are still using spreadsheets. Those people are telling us their forecasting and scheduling activities might be as high as 61% inaccurate. National research is telling us that 50% of companies similar to ours are using disparate workforce systems and that causes inefficiencies including excessive overtime pay.”

“Mary’s right, Jack. The thing is we need the technology to deliver actionable data about overtime. Then what we need to do is more accurately distribute overtime, if we have it, based upon rules and skill sets that the technology will enable us to do. We need to know the hours employees have worked each week, and we need to engage them real-time to see if they’ll volunteer, swap shifts, come early, stay late, you catch my drift,” said Frank.

Not surprisingly, Harry interrupted ready to take full credit for the overall overtime solution, “Based almost entirely on my findings, now’s the time to bring in a more current employee scheduling and time and attendance software system.”

“Wait a second Harry,” a thunderous and interrupting Jack proclaimed, “Let me get this straight, the man from the dark ages, the man who spends his evenings watching reruns of One Day at a Time and Full House, wants a single workforce management software solution in our very own facility, is that right, Harry?”

“Yes it is, and not just any solution; now I’m convinced we need a no upfront cost, pay for what we need human capital management solution that’s part of aSaaS subscription-based model. A solution that’s intuitive and will help us sort out employee skills and seniority, which will, in turn, lower our overtime costs. I want you to know, Jack, my research and findings are unwavering.”

Of course, Frank and Mary looked at each other in disbelief as “Sparky”, also known as a champion brownnoser, took credit for their hard earned work. Not surprisingly, Jack, a man who was no stranger to the world of intra-office politics, politely acknowledged Harry’s trumped-up accomplishments, then turned to Frank and Mary and said, quite profanely, “Mary, did your family do okay last week, and Frank, how did your Tigers do?”

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Originally published April 14, 2016, updated December 6, 2017
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