Evaluating Workforce Management Solutions: Best of Breed vs. All in One

Evaluating Workforce Management Solutions | SynerionHow do you make big decisions? Better yet, what do you use to evaluate your options, poke holes in proposals, and ultimately come to a confident conclusion about a decision that will impact your entire company, every day? After decades of talking to CFOs and decision makers in HR and Payroll, we’ve seen Workforce Management solutions fall victim to poor evaluation tactics...and it’s time to start speaking frankly about it!

Consider this: Why do people buy shoes at their grocery store? You know what we’re talking about; grocery stores are now expanding their inventory to the point where they’re selling sweaters, shoes and backyard furniture an aisle over from where you’d pick up paper towels. Grocery stores have not spent years and years developing the next best shoe, or the type of shoe you could wear every day reliably. Yet, people choose to buy shoes at grocery stores because it’s convenient (heck, they’re already there buying paper towel), inexpensive, and because they have built some level of trust in their other products.

This “all-in-one” consumer mentality has bled into B2B and companies are making massive technology decisions based on this theory of evaluation. Listen, there’s something to be said for convenience, but have we tossed out every other method of determining value? Why in the world would one assume a grocery store could rival long-standing, trusted shoe brands in quality just because they make incredible bread products?

These are the kinds of conversations we have with key decision makers about Workforce Management Software. In fact, we’ve been able to boil down almost every single “decision” to the following 5 methods of evaluation:

  • Delegation of minds: the round table approach
  • Convenience: or, the path of least resistance
  • The bottom line: what’s the cheapest option?
  • Total impact: the greatest long term effect on the company
  • Value: what does the company value most? i.e functionality/ease of adoption, quality, employees, product innovation, support, etc.

Too often, the first two or three methods supersede the rest, or at times, become a roadblock for proper evaluation. We know that Workforce Management Software is very much related to payroll. That's why, there are often options to “snap-on” or “add-on” WFM functions to your pre-existing payroll systems. We call that convenient. But don’t stop there - for a decision that affects each and every one of your employees in their daily tasks - you owe it to your company to dig deeper.

Here’s what we advise when considering your Workforce Management Solution options:

Read the reviews
If you read reviews on those grocery store shoes that said they hurt your feet, they don’t last any longer than 10 wears, they’re non-refundable, and the colour tends to bleed onto your clothing...would you be less inclined to purchase them regardless of convenience? Read reputable review sites of the solutions you’re considering as a way of “peer reviewing” before purchase.

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Respect the complexity
Synerion has invested over 30 years of R&D into our WFM software solutions. We’ve developed our products around the intricacies of even the most complex business processes. We’re talking about workforce calculations like overtime, vacations, sick days, shift-swapping, scheduling, paid and unpaid leaves, union dues and regulations, etc. It’s very important to get this stuff right. Not all add-on solutions account for sophistication - it’s “out of the box”, and be honest, most companies wouldn’t consider themselves standard.

Don’t be scared
The right decision isn’t always the most popular one. We’ve seen companies with thousands of employees in desperate need of a workforce management software to help them retain seasonal employees, or implement a more mobile solution, become paralyzed because of the nay-sayers in the room. A company-wide solution dictated by one or two people.Take time to consider the total impact, not the impact on the loudest person in the room.

The decision to implement a workforce management solution is one that deserves proper evaluation. It matters in a very real and tangible way to each and every one of your employees, every day. So it can be crazy to evaluate this implementation in the same way you would say, a last minute purchase while waiting in line at a grocery store. Consider your options thoroughly and make the decision based on what you value, not on what’s most convenient.

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