Monthly Measures: Labour scheduling yields big cost reductions Monthly Measures: Labour scheduling yields big cost reductions

Monthly Measures: Labour scheduling yields big cost reductions
30 Apr 2015

Scheduling is a part of the workforce management process that occurs in the business unit, but plays a very important role in the accuracy and timeliness of time review and approval. Problems with scheduling represent more than 50 per cent of workforce management improvement opportunities.

Why it’s important

As companies continue to focus on reducing labour and operation costs, they often forget the benefits of integrating their time and scheduling applications in order to control overtime, ensure the right amount of resources are in place for peak periods and better plan for paid time off.

This integration allows managers to make real time decisions such as adjusting labour needs throughout the day or week, quickly identifying who has not shown up for their shift or who has left early. In addition, some countries have legislation where insight into employee scheduled hours is very beneficial in performing calculations and reducing compliance risk, for example the Affordable Care Act in the United States and the calculation of holiday pay in the United Kingdom.

Finally, from a review and approval perspective, when scheduling is integrated, it shortens the effort required for timecard approval by making it easier to identify ‘exceptions’ (ie time worked outside of an employee’s schedule) ultimately expediting the timeline for this process as well as the overall payroll process.

Strategic implications

Refinement throughout the workforce management process represents big cost saving opportunities. Many companies focus on the time collection, review and approval process, which does have its challenges.

However, overscheduling or flawed scheduling represents the largest portion of labour waste. As a result, in order to make significant reductions in labour waste, companies must begin to implement automated scheduling systems and integrate them with their time reporting system.

Oversight of scheduling systems is also needed because at most companies they are owned by each individual business unit, with each having their own policies and procedures. As companies continue to focus on elimination of labour waste, optimising the scheduling process and system should be a top priority.

Felicia Cheek, Global payroll advisory programme practice leader and senior
business advisor at The Hackett Group.

Scheduling is a part of the workforce management process that occurs in the business unit, but plays a very important role in the accuracy and timeliness of time review and approval. Problems with scheduling represent more than 50 per cent of workforce management improvement opportunities.

Why it’s important

As companies continue to focus on reducing labour and operation costs, they often forget the benefits of integrating their time and scheduling applications in order to control overtime, ensure the right amount of resources are in place for peak periods and better plan for paid time off.

This integration allows managers to make real time decisions such as adjusting labour needs throughout the day or week, quickly identifying who has not shown up for their shift or who has left early. In addition, some countries have legislation where insight into employee scheduled hours is very beneficial in performing calculations and reducing compliance risk, for example the Affordable Care Act in the United States and the calculation of holiday pay in the United Kingdom.

Finally, from a review and approval perspective, when scheduling is integrated, it shortens the effort required for timecard approval by making it easier to identify ‘exceptions’ (ie time worked outside of an employee’s schedule) ultimately expediting the timeline for this process as well as the overall payroll process.

Strategic implications

Refinement throughout the workforce management process represents big cost saving opportunities. Many companies focus on the time collection, review and approval process, which does have its challenges.

However, overscheduling or flawed scheduling represents the largest portion of labour waste. As a result, in order to make significant reductions in labour waste, companies must begin to implement automated scheduling systems and integrate them with their time reporting system.

Oversight of scheduling systems is also needed because at most companies they are owned by each individual business unit, with each having their own policies and procedures. As companies continue to focus on elimination of labour waste, optimising the scheduling process and system should be a top priority.

Felicia Cheek, Global payroll advisory programme practice leader and senior
business advisor at The Hackett Group.