Time Evaluation in Workforce Management Software: Benefits for Production
Time is money – especially in the fast-paced world of manufacturing. With tight deadlines and fierce competition, every minute counts. As a result, organizations are constantly seeking ways to enhance productivity and streamline operations, and one area that cannot be overlooked is employee productivity.
Thankfully, workforce management software is the key to monitoring productivity and troubleshooting issues. Various sources claim that across industries, the average worker is productive for 60% of the day – as such, any tool that helps increase that figure pays off.
This article reviews how one of the core functions of WFM software – time evaluation – makes it possible to get insights into productivity, and the other ways it helps cut costs and improve operations.
What is Time Evaluation in Workforce Management Software?
It’s important to distinguish between the time evaluation and time and attendance functions you’ll find in WFM software. Time and attendance is the function responsible for recording the hours employees work, as well as breaks, leave and other factors required to calculate wages.
A time evaluation engine processes and analyses the data captured by the time and attendance features. It applies pre-defined rules and policies that have been set up in the system and calculates metrics such as wages, paid time off and shift differentials. It also checks for exceptions such as unapproved absences.
Using this data, organizations can derive actionable insights to apply to payroll processing, cost analysis and workforce optimization. The concrete output of a time evaluation engine is a set of calculated data such as attendance summaries, exception reports and labor cost breakdowns.
Why is Time Evaluation Vital in Manufacturing?
In the context of production, time evaluation means looking at the relationship between employee performance and production processes. Reviewing this data side by side can highlight bottlenecks that are slowing down processes, so they can be addressed and waste can be reduced.
Time evaluation can also help to improve delivery schedules through gathering data on shipping processes. Through identifying inefficiencies in this area, companies can reduce lead times and improve on-time delivery rates, thus improving customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Let’s explore in more detail how time evaluation helps in achieving the above – and more.
Optimizing the Production Process and Enhancing Employee Productivity
When the time employees spend working does not lead to the expected output, it’s time to troubleshoot. Time evaluation data highlights such discrepancies and from there, managers can look for the root cause.
If productivity is unexpectedly low in certain areas or among certain teams, this may indicate a need for further training, or perhaps an issue with the managers overseeing the team in-question. Likewise, employees that are meeting and exceeding productivity targets can be rewarded, further incentivizing high performance.
Some workforce management systems also monitor how time is spent on specific tasks within the production process, helping to pinpoint exactly where the inefficiencies arise. Manufacturers may then develop ways to optimize workflows and eliminate unnecessary tasks.
Staying Flexible When Sudden Changes Occur
In manufacturing, unexpected changes are inevitable, such as rush orders, machine breakdowns, or supply chain disruptions. Time evaluation enables companies to stay agile and respond effectively to these sudden changes, helping inform resource allocation, so that the right staff are available to meet changes in demand.
Generating Efficient Schedules
Efficient scheduling is crucial for maximizing manufacturing productivity. Software can automate the process of creating schedules by considering factors such as production targets, available resources, and employee skills.
Keeping production at its maximum is not possible when workers are only trained on specific equipment, for example, so having an intelligent system to match tasks with the right personnel ensures optimal resource utilization and minimizes idle time. In other words, it schedules the right worker to be in the right place at the right time.
Fair Scheduling for Shift Workers
Given the prevalence of shift work in manufacturing, it’s important to have the tools to ensure that shifts are allocated or rotated fairly. Workforce management software provides the oversight to make this possible, ensuring that nobody is left with the short end of the stick repeatedly.
The consequence of poorly-managed shifts include stress, sleep problems and other negative health outcomes, as well as lower job satisfaction. The link between wellbeing and productivity is confirmed by various studies, showing that not only do greater levels of wellbeing lead to enhanced productivity but also to lower absenteeism and other positive outcomes.
WFM software makes it extremely easy to create fair schedules for a large, multinational workforce while staying in compliance with labor laws.
How Will Robotics Affect Shift Allocation?
The use of industrial robotics in Europe is forecast to have an annual growth rate of 6.49% between now and 2028. The deployment of robotic assistants on the production line and elsewhere within manufacturing and maintenance brings about new requirements for scheduling.
Instead of re-adjusting resource allocation approaches manually, WFM software with its robust time evaluation capabilities provides the insights required to optimally deploy staff alongside their robotic counterparts. This ensures that not too many and not too few human workers are stationed where they need to be for maximum productivity.
Complying with Diverse Labor Regulations
Multinational organizations often face the challenge of complying with diverse labor regulations. Time evaluation helps mitigate compliance risks by accurately processing data regarding employee work hours, breaks, and overtime – no matter how many jurisdictions the organization operates in.
Reducing Labor Costs
Labor costs are a significant expense. Time evaluation provides comprehensive visibility into labor utilization; analyzing data on labor productivity, overtime allocation, and absenteeism helps in identifying opportunities for efficiency improvements and cost savings – without compromising production output.
Identifying Training and Development Needs
Time evaluation data has an important role in talent management. As mentioned, if low productivity is detected, training needs may be uncovered and the organization can then implement targeted development programs. In addition, by identifying high-performing talent, companies have a shortcut when putting individuals forward for internal promotions.
Training and development is essential for motivating Gen Z employees, so keeping on top of their needs is a must.
How Workforce Management Systems Enable Time Evaluation
Without the right workforce management software, there is no way to get the benefits that time evaluation brings to the table. Below are several ways in which the software makes it possible – in addition to having an advanced, time evaluation engine.
Data Collection and Management
Accurate data collection is the foundation of time evaluation. Manual and outdated time and attendance tracking methods such as paper-based timesheets often contain errors, which means that even if a company aggregated this data manually for analysis, the results may be skewed.
A workforce management software solution automatically processes all time and attendance data based on schedules and clock-in/out times. The time evaluation engine can then get to work.
Workforce management software streamlines and automates a range of everyday tasks relating to time evaluation and beyond. It seamlessly handles:
- Time and attendance tracking
- Employee scheduling and leave management – employees can request time off digitally, while managers can easily review and approve requests.
- Automatically provides data for payroll processing, ensuring accurate and timely payment calculations while integrating with relevant labor laws and collective agreements.
A flexible workforce management solution integrates with various other systems to streamline workflows even more, ensuring that you get the most value out of your time evaluation data.
Data Analytics Tools
Feeding your workforce data into a powerful analytics platform allows for the most comprehensive insights – not just when it comes to productivity, but also turnover, training and development, compensation and benefits, diversity, employee engagement, and much more.
Integrating WFM and ERP tools enables seamless data flow and synchronization between the two systems, eliminating the need for manual data entry, therefore saving time and reducing errors. This integration provides a holistic view of workforce-related data and operational information, allowing for better decision-making and resource allocation.
By combining WFM and ERP systems that have production planning tools, businesses can align workforce capacity with production demands in real-time. This integration also streamlines payroll processes and enables collaboration between departments, such as HR, finance, and operations.
Supply Chain Management Software
Integrating WFM software with Supply Chain Management (SCM) software allows for efficient coordination between workforce planning and supply chain operations. As with the above examples, it assists with forecasting labor requirements and allocation resources based on demand.
The integration also enhances collaboration and communication between the departments involved in supply chain operations. Teams can work then quickly respond to changes, such as unexpected orders, capacity constraints, or supply disruptions.
The Best Workforce Management Software for Time Evaluation
Using an enterprise workforce management system allows multinational organizations to derive all the key benefits we’ve discussed in this article. The ManusPlus WFM CloudSuite is built upon an advanced time evaluation engine that provides the following:
- Accurate and timely pay slips guaranteed for all legislative requirements, Collective Labour Agreements, or local business regulations.
- Complete adherence and for multinational corporations; certified ISAE3402 and GDPR compliant.
- Centralized management of multinational and multibranch operations within a single database, accommodating diverse legislations and regulations across all parts of your organization.
- Customizable parameters within regulatory frameworks, allowing flexibility based on employee type, role, location, department, or even individual employees, if necessary.
- Constant updates aligning with regulatory changes to ensure precise calculations at all times.
- The re-calculation analyzer provides a detailed trail, explaining the reasoning behind the results obtained.
- The employee self-service app lets staff view their schedules and request time off. This reduces the number of queries that HR have to handle and makes it easier and quicker for employees to have their leave approved, which naturally improves employee sentiment towards the company.
Time evaluation is a powerful tool that manufacturing companies need to include in their arsenal in terms of increasing output. It all starts with monitoring productivity – and from there, management can explore the causes of low productivity and uncover areas for improvement.
Time evaluation is an integral part of the best workforce management systems. WFM software gathers time and attendance data which is automatically passed to the time evaluation engine for further processing. From there, reports are generated so that management can gain insights and, for the most comprehensive insights, the system will pass data to an external analytics system.
Aside from the productivity benefits, time evaluation helps in generating the most optimum schedules. It also handles compliance and absence management, and reduces labor costs. All in all, it provides the ultimate agility in workforce management.
With the ever-growing competitive pressures in the manufacturing sector, adopting time evaluation software becomes a strategic advantage, enabling companies to thrive in a fast-paced and demanding industry.
Manus Software Europe/Softbrick B.V. are world class providers of workforce management solutions serving multinational organizations across world. With its flexible integrations, our solutions ensure the most streamlined HR processes. To book a demo, contact us today.