Staffing Management

Labor analytics and reporting starts with access to the right data

By Jana Reserva

Dec. 6, 2020

fLabor analytics and reporting are vital to making informed decisions for better efficiency and cost savings. 

However, it might be easier said than done. Companies grapple with numerous issues surrounding labor analytics, from tracking the information they need to generating reports to making timely decisions that will actually impact their bottom line.

Lack of insight and failure to share analytics with frontline managers

It all begins with access to the right data. A common problem among companies is that they don’t have enough information to help them run an efficient operation and save money. 

“While most companies know how much labor hours they’re scheduling, they face a challenge with comparing that with other vital areas such as budgets, predictable revenue and historical information,” said Travis Kohlmeyer, vice president of sales at Workforce.com. 

Also read: The fair workweek squeeze on employee scheduling

Another issue is providing frontline managers with access to analytics, the very people who are creating the schedules and running operations. It’s crucial to provide them the analytical information before the fact or else data can only help after the money has been spent. 

“If you don’t give managers the tools they need to schedule more effectively, historical costs tend to repeat themselves,” Kohlmeyer said. 

Inability to capture data in real time

Leveraging labor analytics has a lot to do with how timely it is acted upon. Most companies face difficulties with capturing data in real time. 

“This means managers and team leaders can’t make game-time decisions,” Kohlmeyer said. “If a company has to wait for 30 days to get their labor analytics, it’s basically useless. Yes, you can tell your employees to shape up here and there but not providing the insight to help them in the process tends to be less effective.” 

Managers can better optimize operations when they’re able to see real-time costs and revenue throughout the day. With this insight available, managers can quickly see the peaks and valleys, decide whether to ask more employees to come in or let staff go home and ensure that the operation as a whole is cost-efficient. 

Difficulty in generating and customizing reports

Reports out of data analytics provide a big picture view essential for labor forecasting and making organizational decisions. Sometimes companies fail to do this because generating and customizing reports tend to be a tedious task, automated reports don’t match their needs or they don’t have a mechanism for it at all. 

“Every company is different, even those in the same industry,” Kohlmeyer explained.  “Typically, most solutions can provide basic cost reports, but you need more than that to better optimize your operation. Having the technology that generates reports specific to key components of your business is harder to come by and where the bottom line is lacking.”

Overcoming labor analytics and reporting challenges

Having the right technology can address pain points that come with labor analytics and reporting. “One of the key advantages of the Workforce.com platform is its ability to give customers accurate labor expenses real-time. With the real-time alerts and advanced reporting, customers gain insights into their labor expenses and proactively plan ahead in the moment and in the longer term,” said Leon Pearce, lead software engineer at Workforce.com. 

Being able to interpret labor expenses is helpful, but when you’re able to do so in real-time, it’s a game changer. With live insights, Workforce.com analyzes and interprets labor data even when staff are still on their shift. “It empowers managers to make strong decisions on the fly, think like a business owner and keep staff levels optimal for demand,” Pearce said. 

Labor analytics are also crucial to anticipating demand and staying on top of a budget. Workforce.com gives a strong projection in that regard, allowing companies to add in their actual labor budget in dollars. 

“This means that the platform can project real expenses of your schedule based on actual labor interpretation, giving you confidence that your labor expenses will be aligned with your budget,” Pearce said. 

Employee scheduling validations can be configured into the platform to help managers avoid building schedules that can incur potential unnecessary labor expenses such as overtime and missed breaks. 

Access to data and being able to get insights from it is vital to any business. For large operations, it can be harder with different areas and variables at play. Whether it’s improving clock punches, addressing understaffing leading to overtime, spotting missing breaks leading to compliance penalties, employers can handle such issues with full access to their data. 

“Workforce.com’s advanced reporting gives businesses access to all of their data and provides an easy to use tool for creating reports using exactly the information they need to make strong proactive decisions,” Pearce said. 

Data only becomes powerful when it is interpreted that aids in better decisions and cost savings. Workforce.com is built to do precisely that. See our reporting solutions in action and book a demo or sign up for a free trial today.

Jana Reserva is a content manager for Workforce.com.

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