By-Niren K. Shah (50)
Human Resource Management
The workforce is the labour pool in employment. It is generally used to describe those working for a single company or industry, but can also apply to a geographic region like a city, country, state, etc. The term generally excludes the employers or management, and implies those involved in manual labour. It may also mean all those that are available for work.
Workers may be unionised, whereby the union conducts negotiations regarding pay and conditions of employment. In the event of industrial unrest, unions provide a co-ordinating role in organising ballots of the ...view middle of the document...
The term is differentiated from traditional staff scheduling because staff scheduling is rooted to time management and simply manages the administration of past and future working times.
This traditional approach has since evolved into the more integrated, demand-oriented workforce management, which includes changes in personnel requirements and objectives when optimising the scheduling of staff. Besides the two core aspects of demand-orientation and optimisation, workforce management may also incorporate:
* forecasting of workload and required staff
* integration of employees into the scheduling process
* management of working times and accounts
* analysis and monitoring of the entire process.
The market for workforce management (WFM) is still quite young. In the eighties and nineties, entrepreneurs mainly focused on topics such as SCM (Supply Chain Management) or PPS (production planning systems) and, in recent years, on ERP (enterprise resource planning). As cost pressures have increased, managers have increasingly turned their attention towards HR issues. In all personnel-intensive industries, workforce management has become an important strategic element in corporate management.
Workforce management software
Workforce management solutions can be deployed enterprise-wide. While special software is commonly used in numerous areas such as ERP (enterprise resource planning), SLM (service lifecycle management), CRM (customer relationship management) and HR (human resources) management, the management of the workforce is often still handled by using spreadsheet programs or time recording. This often results in expensive overtime, non-productive idle times, high fluctuation rates, poor customer service and opportunity costs being incurred.
In contrast, by using a software solution for demand-oriented workforce management, planners can optimise staffing by creating schedules that at all times conform as closely as possible to the actual requirement. At the same time, a WFM solution helps users to observe all relevant legislation, local agreements and the contracts of individual employees – including work-life balance guidelines.
A key aspect of workforce management is scheduling. This is achieved by establishing likely demand by analysing historical data (such as the number and duration of customer contacts, sales figures, check-out transactions or orders to be handled). Many workforce management systems also offer manual adjustment capabilities. The calculated forecast values are then converted into actual staffing requirements by means of an algorithm that is adjusted to the particular use case. The algorithm itself is based on the work of Erlang though most modern adaptations of WFM have shifted towards a richer state management and optimizations to the original idea.
Current and future staffing requirements, short-term peak loads, availabilities, holidays, budget allowances, skills, labour law-related restrictions, as...