When you are making the initial decision to automate your workplace management apparatus, you may believe that any tool on the market will do the job and chasing price points is more important than analyzing features. This is a reasonable assumption, with many products on the market using similar technology and serving similar needs. However, the most effective workplace planning and forecasting tools are the ones that can be tailored to your individual needs. With this in mind, here are 4 questions you need to ask when deciding which workforce planning and forecasting tools are right for your business.
Is It Designed With Your Industry In Mind?
Not all industries are created equally. Manufacturing, Healthcare, and Local Government are discrete sectors with diverse needs that cannot be expected to use identical forecasting software to determine the individual staffing needs of their work forces. Likewise, forecasting the staffing required of a large corporation is much more complicated than that of a small business, and each different than what could be expected of a nonprofit organization. Take a closer look at the workforce management software you are considering and ask if it is favored by other entities in your sector. If reviews or testimonials are available, see how effective they have been in helping these organizations meet their goals.
What Is Its Potential ROI?
Any worthwhile workforce planning software will require an initial investment, and depending upon the size of your organization this could be a substantial one. Getting a sizable return on this investment should be a primary consideration. The best way to determine this is whether or not data is available on how this software improves workplace performance. There should be some quantifiable and verifiable case studies for you to reference which shows the efficacy of the software to forecasting and planning. The main reason to upgrade your systems in the first place is to save money by increasing efficiency, so don't be afraid to ask how this ROI is to be realized.
Does It Offer Full Integration?
Integration with existing systems is a highly underrated feature that is crucial to preservation of data and seamless upgrades to any new system. The ability to import data and work in concert with operating systems which will remain in use after an upgrade is perhaps the most important feature that any new software can have. Any implementation of a new system is bound to have a period of adjustment where the workforce familiarizes themselves with the new software and learns the ropes of using it to its fullest potential, and scalable integration is one of the best ways to ensure that there are as few bumps in this road as possible.
How Does It Manage Workforce Data?
The greatest virtue of an effective workplace forecasting tool is that it can deliver actionable data to your managers, giving them the ability to move on it and rectify any problems that may arise be it in staffing, payroll, or scheduling. A tool that is not geared toward filtering and sorting the torrent of data that every organization collects on a daily basis is not one that will be as helpful as you would like. The data presented from the software should be intuitive and easy to interpret as it is presented on charts and reports, helping you more easily interpret and report the information to the responsible entities in your organization. A software suite that is not data-driven may not merit further consideration as a potential solution for your company.