Time Is Money is an aphorism that originated in an essay by Benjamin Franklin that appeared in George Fisher’s 1748 book, The American Instructor: or Young Man’s Best Companion, in which Franklin wrote, “Remember that time is money.”
It is ironic that the words spoken by Benjamin Franklin over 4 centuries ago are more pertinent to the pressures today’s workforce faces than they ever were. With the pace at which things move, the speed at which data is expected, the accuracy and volume of data that is expected in today’s risk and compliance arena, working effectively and efficiently is no longer an innovation or a business of excellence, it is an absolute necessity.
The seemingly obvious solution to managing your risk and compliance is the use of Workforce Management (WFM) software – but these solutions take time to implement and can be very costly if not correctly chosen.
How do you know you will get the Return on your investment (ROI)?
Here are a few key indicators you may want to use to ensure that your WFM software investment delivers what you need it to.
Our experience shows us that 1 piece of data (for example, a supplier’s contact details) can be duplicated over 100 times in a single organisation. Just think about it – your supplier’s details need to be in your payment system, your ERP system, your OHS system, your contractor management system and available to your workforce. If you presented a budget for the manpower it would take to duplicate the same piece of data 100 times in different systems and platforms in your company, you would be laughed out of the boardroom. Yet exactly this happens every day in our businesses!
Any WFM system that can deliver efficiency in your business must be able to minimize the duplication of data. This can only be done if your WFM system works off a centralised database and is able to integrate to your other systems.
Measuring your ROI here is not difficult:
average man hours saved per month by only entering a piece of data once x average cost per man hour
will tell you exactly what your savings are.
Automated Report Generation
Don’t get me wrong, I love Excel, am an avid user of emails and can generate a word document with some degree of proficiency. Proficiency on these popular tools is not the problem. The time it takes to find the information you need, ensure it is accurate and put it into a format that meets all users’ needs is where you look up 3 hours later and don’t know where your valuable time has gone!
Many times I have spent countless hours creating a report, only to find that it does not meet the needs of the multiple users that use it. So I create a second, third and fourth report – all hybrids of the original data. All the reports must then be generated daily/weekly/monthly – and that’s when the weekends and late nights start. This results in information being delivered late and/or inaccurately, which can result in very costly inaccurate business decisions being made.
Using a WFM system that can create multiple reports, for multiple users, and supply them accurately and real time is critical for efficiency and ROI generation.
How do you measure ROI here? Ask each of your managers and supervisors to tell you how much time they spend generating their daily/weekly/monthly WFM reports and multiply this by their cost per hour. You will be amazed at how much this amounts to!
Of course, data integrated across multiple systems, such as the API integration services OVS Solutions (Pty) Ltd can offer, is crucial for this to work.
Data Input Accuracy
I remember receiving an OHS Group incident report for an Exco meeting, for multiple operations around Africa, only to discover that different operations had used different descriptions for various incidents when reporting their data. When this error was identified and the results compiled using standard descriptions of incident type, the results were vastly different. The corresponding actions that resulted – and the cost thereof – were vastly different. Had the initial information presented been used, the ROI on the proposed expenditure would have fallen very short! Added to this, many employee hours were consumed in generating accurate information.
The point is that no WFM system, no matter how sophisticated, will deliver if the input of data is inaccurate. It is important therefore to ensure that the WFM software you choose to use is designed to assist your team with the input of accurate data. A WFM system do this by:
· Creating drop down lists from which data can be selected, rather than allowing input in free text.
· Pulling data that already exists already in the WFM system into the data fields required.
· Only allowing the input of data in the required format (in date format where a date input is required for example).
· Not allowing the user to proceed with their input unless all data required has in fact been input.
· Providing the use of mobile apps that allow the User to upload information of their mobile phone, real time.
Cloud based WFM Software solutions, like Rapid, offer mobile applications that allow real time, on-site input of data that is quickly and easily uploaded.
Measuring the ROI of accurate data is not as easy; however a high-level measure is to ask a sample of 10 employees how much time they would save being able to input data with this functionality, and multiplying this by their cost per hour. It will give you a good indication as to what your overall ROI will be.
What is the cost of peace of mind that your actions are based on accurate information and therefore far more likely to deliver!
Employee Retention & Handover
The average time at which an employee will stay with your company seems to become ever shorter. This makes the cost of placing and training employees, to a level where they deliver as required, enormous.
The ROI on WFM software solutions that allow your staff to get on with the job, and not be burdened with long hours of tedious, time consuming administration is easy to measure. What did your company pay in placement and training of new employees last financial year?
Another ROI that a good WFM software solution will deliver is employee handover. WFM software solutions like Rapid, will allow an existing employee’s tasks, audits, incidents, inductions, and WFM requirements to automatically transfer to the replacement employee. The transfer will include all the WFM history, reports, information, schedules and tasks taken by the outgoing employee. The incoming employee will then know what is required to be done and can ensure they don’t miss anything the outgoing employee may have negated to hand over.
Choosing a WFM Software solution that lets your employees get on with the job can be a stressful task. Making a list of the issues you would like the solution to address, and asking the WFM software supplier to assist with answering those questions is a great way to ensure you are making the right choices
Companies like OVS Solutions (Pty) Ltd, the Africa Licensee of the award-winning Rapid Global Software, have been delivering Health & Safety software solutions for over 20 years. Their only business is the continued development and improvement of their software, to make sure that the solutions keep pace with the ever-changing landscape. All their solutions come with mobile apps.
OVS Solutions, the Africa Licensee of Rapid Global, also has a great support team who are available to assist with live or online demonstrations, user guides, and relevant information you may require. They can help you with the expected ROI calculations and can share their tips on how to best maximize user adoption and can help you deliver on your plan! Contact OVS Solutions today.