Both the construction and manufacturing industries face challenges when it comes to managing their workforce. With a diverse workforce requiring special training, multiple activities in job roles and decreasing risk for injury and accidents, ensuring all work and functions are coordinated across the board is the only way to remain efficient and productive.
However, the more complicated the worksite or production line, the more challenging management becomes. The good news is advancements in technology provides an effective tool that improves performance in workforce management.
Workforce management (WFM) solutions allow managers to track performance across all roles in real time to mitigate risk, improve efficiencies and make real time adjustments to meet changing project needs.
Here are the benefits of WFM tools and software for the construction and manufacturing industry.
Tracking Labor Requirements
In both industries, managers are faced with the challenge of working in unionized environments. As well, many participate in federally funded projects that fall under certified payroll restrictions. Tracking labor requirements becomes easier with an effective WFM solution. An integrated management solution allows you to track labor requirements including the often complicated mix of skills and wages. Because those requirements change at a head-spinning rate, it is difficult for project managers and payroll teams to remain compliant in their certified payroll reports.
Project managers can keep track of the changing demands of their workforce and effectively share that information with HR. This ensures certified payroll reports remain up to date to avoid fines and the potential to lose future government bids.
Improved Workforce/Workload Balance
Communication between managers, administrators and line/site workers can be ineffective. This increases the risk of falling short on workforce requirements which can result in decreased productivity, missed deadlines and even increased risk for injury. With advanced WFM software, foremen and project managers track manpower demands in real-time. This provides complete visibility at the job site/floor level so that labor demand is met.
Managers become proactive using responsive scheduling so they can ensure their workforce matches workload demand. This works in the opposite way as well. When too many people are working, it cuts into the bottom line. With effective workforce management solutions, manpower levels match workload demand, saving money by cutting hours as required.
Accurate Cost Projections
When field productivity is optimized profitability increases. Managers who have access to the data they need to make accurate cost projections consider not only material and equipment-related costs, but also labor requirements. Because labor costs tend to be one of the most impactful cost variables, an effective workforce management solution is the best way to optimize labor productivity. It allows construction companies, and in some cases manufacturers to keep track of labor costs so they can accurately predict this aspect of the budget for future projects. As a result, they can improve pre-construction bids that help acquire higher profile and bigger budget projects.
Optimized Workforce Scheduling
On a more personal note, your team is your greatest asset. However, in construction and manufacturing, personnel hours are often dictated by demand. When business is good, hours are plentiful, and when it’s bad, hours drop. Because of this, it’s important to use a workforce management solution that allows you to track hours worked and keep hours equally distributed. Employees who work too many hours can burn out and be at higher risk for accidents. On the flip side, those who don’t get sufficient hours will seek work elsewhere. When you understand how hours are assigned, you can optimize your workforce scheduling to improve employee satisfaction and performance.
Smooth transition from task to task allows manufacturers and construction sites to operate at maximum efficiency. When you balance schedules that predict completion of each task accurately your schedules tighten up. An optimized schedule reduces downtime with paid certified workers standing around waiting to start their work. You control who is on-site or online to complete work when needed. That’s the best way to reduce time wasted and avoid unnecessary worker downtime. Your deadlines are met, your payroll budget becomes more cost-effective and your team remains productive. You also can reduce costs associated with equipment rentals sitting idle due to poor planning and scheduling.
Workforce Management Software Functions
An effective WFM solution manages vital tasks while integrating collaboration among all stakeholders. Managers can optimize performance across the board and streamline day-to-day processes with automated functions including:
- Email approvals and alerts to reduce approval steps for various processes
- An analytics platform to allow managers to make informed, data-backed decisions
- An integrated workforce optimization solution that works with existing processes to ensure maximum impact across your organization
- Optimized scheduling capabilities and time tracking
- A portal where employees can share vital information to enhance productivity and safety
- Cloud capabilities to improve collaboration for all stakeholders
The right WFM solution allows you to better understand employee performance and skills across your organization. In turn, you can identify skills gaps, predict workforce demand, and reduce costly downtime.
About The Author
Ingrid is the Content Marketing Manager at Paypro, managing both inbound and outbound marketing initiatives for the company. She has 15+ years’ of extensive marketing communications experience, leveraging brand awareness and strategic partnerships to increase sales revenue for a diverse group of B2B brands.