With any business, the one expense in which you have the most control is often labour. Fixed costs include such line items as overhead, taxes, maintenance, physical plant and others. Usually, there’s not much flexibility in these costs, nor can you have much influence on the cost of materials and supplies.
Labour, on the other hand, can be manipulated up or down based on a wide assortment of factors: Seasonality, business trends, forecasted business levels, even the time of day or what the weather is like outside.
That makes managing the business’s labour expense one of the primary responsibilities of management. Have too much labour and it will eat into your profit margin. Fail to have enough labour and it can affect productivity and customer satisfaction. The key is to get it just right.
Don’t Leave Labour to Chance
For the simplest of businesses – those with only a handful of employees, for example – managing labour costs can be done relatively effectively manually. But when a business grows beyond a certain size, things can get a lot more complicated very quickly.
There are work schedules to write. Payroll to calculate. Benefits to include. Day off requests to consider. And most importantly, there’s the question of exactly how much labour you need to optimise your profits, productivity, and customer satisfaction.
Business owners who trust their managers and supervisors enough to leave this critical task up to their skills and experience are sadly often disappointed. Favouritism, calculation errors, misplaced paperwork, and even fraud can negatively affect both scheduling and cause mistakes in payroll. And when there’s a breakdown in scheduling, payroll, or benefits, it can lead to unhappy employees, a challenging work environment, and decrease employee satisfaction.
A Better Way
Fortunately, today’s business owners can rely on sophisticated rostering software that can take many of these critical decisions out of the hands of fallible human managers and supervisors and allocate them to high-tech software and advanced algorithms that can instantly manage the business’s labour cost more effectively.
Rostering software can manage a wide variety of data inputs – including forecasting, past performance, and even individual employees’ skill strengths and weaknesses – and create a work schedule that is fair and equitable for employees. Plus, it provides the business with precisely the right amount of labour to maximise profits, minimise payroll costs, and keep customers happy.
Understaffing is something that can sneak up on many businesses. Taking time to hire, train and onboard new employees can take weeks, if not months, in some cases. And if a business is operating below capacity for any period of time, that’s real money at stake.
But some rostering software programmes available today use real numbers to accurately predict changes up or down in business volumes well ahead of time, giving business leaders time to react.
Accommodates Both Salaried and Hourly Employees
Some scheduling software use advanced algorithms to track the business’s past productivity, revenues, profits, customer satisfaction scores, and a myriad of other data to actually become “smarter” when creating new work schedules.
Rostering software can even use a skill matrix based on individual employee performance reports to match each worker in the system to exactly the right job. Plus, the software can track ongoing performance which can then be collated and processed into clear, concise performance evaluations.
These can be used by managers and supervisors to get the most out the best workers, coach under-performing workers to improve, and identify the worst performing employees so they can be either managed up or managed out of the organisation.
Automatic Compliance with Collected Bargaining Agreements
Whenever human hands create, manage and change work schedules, businesses that have negotiated collective bargaining agreements with organised labour unions are always walking a tightrope between compliance and being in violation. This can lead to untold headaches for management on every level.
But the types of sophisticated scheduling software available to today’s businesses can be set to reflect the contract’s requirements so managers never have to worry about an individual filing a grievance due to a scheduling error.
Linking Scheduling to Payroll, Time & Attendance
But that’s not all. Some rostering software can even be integrated with payroll to automatically calculate individual employee pay, including benefits, taxes, withholding, garnishment of wages, and other details. Then it can match actual hours scheduled to time clock punches to track tardiness, absences, and even individual hourly performance against pre-established standards.
Time and attendance tracking is one of those tasks that can consume supervisors, trapping them in an office or in front of a computer for hours rather than physically watching workers or interacting with customers. But rostering software can handle all of these duties automatically – including compiling reports, issuing warnings and other disciplinary paperwork and other tasks — freeing up management for more important and more profitable responsibilities.
Build rosters, manage shifts, create accurate and effective scheduling and calculate accurate payroll with the sophisticated rostering software available to today’s businesses.