I recently came across some interesting research from the Aberdeen Group. According to a 2013 study, 45% of business managers believe the marketplace demands a more agile and flexible workforce. (But how best to promote that agility and flexibility?)

As a result of rapidly-changing business conditions, 44% report they need better access to workforce data to improve their decision-making. (But where to find this workforce data?)

Perhaps it’s time to consider automating your workforce management.

What is “workforce management,” anyway?

Many people, when they hear the term “workforce management,” think of time and attendance, but there’s much more to true workforce management (WFM). For instance, in addition to automating time & attendance, automating your workforce management system also involves automating payroll and HR processes. Working together, these can help businesses achieve the agility and good decision-making they need to survive in today’s environment.

Unfortunately, many companies are still missing out. About 32% of the companies that responded to the survey reported they’re still using manual time tracking. Of the remainder, only 24% are using an automated time and attendance solution that’s part of an integrated WFM suite.

What are the benefits of WFM?

As many of us already know, automating time and attendance brings many benefits. For instance, those who used automated time tracking systems reported a 57% decrease in errors related to paid-time-off calculations, half the benefit qualification errors than on a manual system, and a near-elimination of manual correcting transactions.

But automating total workforce management can bring even greater benefits. For many companies, integrating time and attendance with payroll is the first step. According to Aberdeen, these are some of the benefits reported by those that had integrated payroll with time and attendance:

  • A 30% reduction in the payroll processing error rate
  • A 32% reduction in time tracking errors

In fact, according to an Axsium survey of large companies conducted in 2006 through 2008, the companies they surveyed saved an average of $1,614 per employee in direct payroll costs in the first year following implementation of a WFM system.

According to the Aberdeen survey, workforce management automation offers additional benefits. Survey respondents reported:

  • A 39% reduction in the time spent by HR on workforce management
  • A 36% reduction in the time spent on HR by the rest of the business
  • Data accuracy improved by 36%

Those are some impressive numbers!

Employees and managers also noted other key benefits: more accurate pay, the elimination of data entry errors, reduced time calculating payroll, decreased time spent tracking benefit accrual balances, less time spent updating employee personal data and less time spent requesting and approving time off requests, among other things.

According to Axsium, 88% of supervisors reported their WFM system met or exceeded their expectations and 81% of end users were “satisfied” to “extremely satisfied” with the automated time and attendance module.

So why isn’t everyone automating their workforce management?

I suspect the main fear for many companies may be the cost. Installed workforce management software can run to tens of thousands of dollars (or more), not to mention the high-priced consultants you may need to bring in to install and configure the system.

This is where Saas (Software as a Service), otherwise known as “the cloud,” comes in.

A cloud-based workforce management suite such as AcroTime® allows even small and mid-sized companies budget-friendly access to all the advanced features the “big guys” enjoy — with low monthly subscription fees and a very reasonable threshold for entry. For instance, the configuration and training costs for AcroTime can be as low as $75, depending on the module(s) chosen and the complexity of your set up.

(With no expensive consultants needed!)

The best time to get started is now

The best part is that you don’t have to start with everything all at once. Since AcroTime uses a single database (meaning a single employee record) for all modules, if you like you can start with one module and easily add on additional modules once you’ve experienced for yourself the time and dollar savings the first module brings.

A cloud-based service lets you manage your workforce like a much larger company right now, and scale up as your company grows.

The sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll reap the benefits. Automating payroll, human resources management, and time and attendance will save you time, money and headaches over cumbersome, error-prone manual processes… not to mention the built in checklists and reminders can help you avoid inadvertently missing government reporting deadlines or overlooking required forms.

We’ve all heard stories of companies hit with big fines and penalties because of a simple clerical oversight. None of us want to be in that position. AcroTime’s cloud-based payroll services and HR management can help your company avoid becoming another statistic.

I admit I’m biased, but I honestly can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want at least to check out the full AcroTime Workforce Management suite. (Especially since you can get a free, no obligation demo just for the asking!)


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