Like any investment in manufacturing, you should build a business case if you’re seeking funding for any type of workforce management software. Of course, it might be simpler to make the case for a piece of equipment that you know will produce 30,000 key rings per week, or a forklift that’s needed to deliver metal materials to the start of the key ring finishing line, but every investment needs to have a return-on-investment, and it’s probably your responsibility to make certain labor scheduling and time and attendance software also show that type of return.
If you’re a manufacturer, or even a service provider of any sort, here’s a good way to plan your business case for an investment in workforce management software:
It starts with documentation
Make note of every instance and occurrence where technology could have alleviated some sort of workforce management disaster or obstacle. How much time was wasted on resolving each issue per day, per week and per month? Believe us, the costs will add-up in a hurry. Chronicle each time you were short-handed, overstaffed and had to make overtime payouts that were avoidable. Did your production forecasts suffer because of labor shortages and labor scheduling? Could you have managed inventory better and production environments more effectively with demand-driven scheduling, a natural byproduct of workforce management solutions? When you have all of these cost calculations that resulted from missteps detailed, you’ll be prepared to further build your case for a workforce management investment.
Start to identify the benefits to your factory
Employee scheduling, absence management, and time and attendance software are all loaded with advantages to manufacturers and their employees. Make a list of what those advantages and benefits are on very general terms – perhaps on one side of your business case – and then make a corresponding list of how those specific benefits will drive production and cost efficiencies within your operation. But here’s the key; stay away from the general features and benefits list from a workforce management company’s brochure, you’ll need to make these advantages germane to your enterprise. If, for example, you’re part of the millwork industry, how will you keep-up capacity during the winter holidays using advanced vacation scheduling and what will that impact be? How will you schedule labor on the fly for your cutline when an unexpected boxcar of lumber arrives at your location? The more specific and detailed, the more likely you’ll receive a thumbs-up on your investment request.
Now put it all together
You’re ready to breakout the abacus, calculator or computer. What will be the total cost of the workforce management software investment; how long is the implementation time; what is the rapid time to value and the ROI; how long is training; what are the short and long term goals of the solution; what is the expense of updates and new releases? These questions and more will need to be answered in your business case.
When you move systematically though this process, you’ll have tremendous knowledge and data that will allow you to know exactly the costs you’ll incur, the challenges you’ll be able to alleviate, and the results that will be achieved. Although the research and documentation process might take several months with consultation among some diverse business units, ultimately, the right decision will be the culmination of your business case.