There are several possible priorities to consider when optimizing a workforce, like customer experience, employee experience, and cost savings. Because it is impossible to maximize all three at the same time, it is important to understand each of these dimensions, including their benefits and tradeoffs, in order to strike the right balance for your company.
If each team member’s work time is matched to their ability and availability, productivity will be high and your customers will feel well taken care of. And what’s more, by ensuring that everyone’s preferences are taken into consideration, your employees will feel valued and function as a harmonious team.
Learning about the ways AI-based forecasting can improve the world today is certainly a worthwhile investment of time, particularly if your business deals with fluctuating demand. AI is peeking into the future in all sorts of markets – and if there is a prediction to be made, chances are, AI will make it more accurately than a human can.
External data covers factors that affect demand but that are not directly related to your operations and that you typically have no influence on. These are factors like weather, economic conditions, holidays, or, like we have witnessed over the past year, a global pandemic.
Particularly service businesses can benefit greatly from the power of AI. While most business owners and managers have some sort of idea how their upcoming customer demand will fluctuate, few truly know and none are fully prepared when things suddenly deviate from past performance.
For service businesses, there are few constants when it comes to forecasting workload because everything depends on seemingly unpredictable customer flow. The result is scheduling based on one-dimensional historical views, hoping for a repeat of customer flow. Not only is this method ineffective, it is also inefficient.
While there are uncountable applications for AI, demand prediction for service-oriented businesses is providing a noticeable edge to those businesses that are utilizing the power of artificial intelligence.
Can you imagine going back to paper calendars and landlines? Technology has advanced so much that these cumbersome business practices seem almost laughable. A similar revolution is now emerging for employee scheduling.
Workload demand prediction and employee scheduling utilizing applied AI has just emerged in recent years. The capability to predict demand and assign schedules that meet this demand is nearly an impossible task for a human. However, employing software to aid in the process makes this challenge manageable.
2020 was an emotionally taxing year for all of us. Whether your employees retained full time employment, experienced periods of furlough, or were laid off completely, the entire work culture changed. Just as the initial adjustment to working from home was stressful, returning to the office will also be a challenging adjustment.
Currently, the vast majority of businesses are still using shift scheduling software for time and attendance that merely repeats past schedules. While that may work for some professions, if you are running a service-oriented business with unpredictable, fluctuating workload, this approach is fundamentally flawed.
As a business owner or manager, have you considered that each employee’s contributions could be optimized through improved shift scheduling? Their talents and energy could be used to greater potential if you truly understood their unique needs and had the right scheduling tools available.
Many business decision makers use a form of judgment-based forecasting. They use their own subjective knowledge to set work schedules based on experience, intuition, and past behavior. While this method can prove effective in some situations, there are typically busy or slow periods that don’t align with one’s intuition and seem unpredictable.
While we’re all beaming with excitement over uncertainty and overtime in the world of sports, when it comes to your business operations, uncertainty and overtime are the last thing you want to face.
Much like a team’s performance on the playing field, success and productivity in the workforce is driven by a few foundational factors. Encouraging employees to build on their strengths and work as a team towards a common goal can be easily achieved by implementing 5 principles.
You are aware that your business has chronic periods of being short staffed. Your employees are often rushed to assist customers at hand during peak hours, and customers frequently turn impatient due to long wait times or poor service. Now what? How do you go about fixing understaffing issues in a systematic, effective way without increasing the number of employees?
Often, understaffing is not a conscious decision by management but is instead caused by an inability to predict the peaks and valleys of demand. Staffing to the average customer flow does not account for sporadic peaks in demand. Stores that have fluctuating rush periods may inadvertently become understaffed during these sudden demand peaks.
Negative employee interactions are often caused by a mismatch between the service to be rendered and the employees available to provide it. While staff members must of course be trained in positive customer interaction, even experienced staff members can leave customers with negative impressions when their skill set or capacity for workload is not adequately matched to the job requirement.
Rather than falling behind by duplicating last week’s schedule, jump ahead to the labor optimization tools that can predict tomorrow’s needs and match workforce to workload-providing certain forecasts in uncertain times.
Building on the foundation of a clear view of productivity and a robust forecast, a business can truly optimize their workforce to fit the future workload. This will allow them to minimize excess labor costs from overtime when demand is high and avoid overstaffing when demand is low.