First aid for the evaluation of Workforce Management solutions

A new market guide from the renowned analysis company Gartner helps major companies navigate the landscape of Workforce Management solutions and suppliers. And ProMark is included. In addition to the market guide, we provide additional first aid for the purchase, expansion or replacement of a Workforce Management solution.

The purchase, expansion or replacement of a Workforce Management solution is typically not an easy decision for management in larger companies.

In part, the decision requires a beneficial business case based on more efficient management and planning processes in relation to the HRM strategy. In addition, the market is complicated with many types of suppliers, each offering different kinds of solutions, technologies and services.

ProMark included in an internationally recognized market guide

If you and your company are considering investing in Workforce Management, the “Market Guide for Workforce Management Applications” from Gartner is a good place to start.

The guide provides an overview of 18 selected suppliers and you gain insight into their typical customer types, geographical reach and developmental ambitions.

Most importantly, however, you get a schematic overview of what each supplier’s Workforce Management products contain in relation to the processes and tasks you expect the solution to handle. And ProMark is on the list.

Choose the company’s strategic argument

Before you and your company choose the right Workforce Management supplier, we first recommend that you evaluate the strategic argument for investing in a Workforce Management solution:

  • Is it the desire for higher productivity to improve business competitiveness which ranks highest?
  • Or does the company have a greater need to ensure that regulations, policies and laws from trade unions, the business itself or public authorities are respected?
  • Or is the argument directed at the need to improve data insight and analytical data in relation to the organisation’s work patterns and with regard to labour costs, bottlenecks and capacity improvements in the organisation?

Several surveys and qualitative research studies point to the improvement of business productivity as one of the main reasons to invest in Workforce Management solutions.

For example, the American company Aptitude Research Partners conducted a survey in 2016 in which 34% of the 388 respondents stated the need to increase business productivity as the main reason to invest in Workforce Management.

Does Excel still dominate the company’s core processes and analytical data?

A beneficial business case should be a key element in your and your company’s evaluation of a Workforce Management solution and supplier. The investment should be profitable.

In this context it is worth studying whether Excel (or paper for that matter) remains a widespread tool in the administration of the company’s core processes in areas such as attendance, absenteeism, staff roster planning and proper payroll calculation in relation to current collective agreements, local agreements and the company’s HR policy.

There are often significant and easily attainable benefits in replacing Excel with digitized and automated management processes.

Also note that the evaluation process should include how Excel is used across the organisation and throughout its geographic presence. In this way the process also helps you identify potential sources of errors and limitations in terms of speed, precision, analysis and reporting.

If you want to know more about how you can find the Workforce Management treasure in your organisation, then (re)watch the video with Workforce Management analyst Mollie Lombardi, explaining how using the “5C Stakeholder Workforce Management matrix” can help you define the business case.

Prioritisation of key functions

Perhaps your organisation already has a number of systems and tools that can handle more or less complete processes associated with the digitization and automation of Workforce Management related themes. This could be the company’s ERP, payroll or HCM system.

A good piece of advice is to first examine what the company’s existing systems can do and how they do it in relation to the company’s most critical requirements and needs.

Three key issues are important to discuss in an effort to prioritise which functions are most important and whether the existing IT infrastructure is adequate:

  1. How and how easily are the necessary planning and work time data collected among employees in the organisation?
  2. With what degree of automation, precision and speed are the data collected calculated and processed and in which systems?
  3. How, where and how fast are the data made visible and usable for middle managers, executive management, HR and employees?

The same advice applies if you already have a dedicated Workforce Management solution, which you are considering replacing or expanding.

In the latter case, interviews with other large companies point to the fact that it is often the need for improved and faster management reporting that leads companies to replace their Workforce Management system.

Here it is particularly the desire for better data insight into productivity patterns at the executive management level as well as the desire for automatic non-compliance reports to be sent to middle managers which are of high value in relation to management reporting.

Choice of supplier

You and your company can benefit from acquiring the “Market Guide for Workforce Management Applications” from Gartner and subsequently narrow down the field to 3-4 potential suppliers that meet your most critical business needs.

In addition to the guide, we recommend that you pay particular attention to which type of provider you want to establish long term cooperation with, and whether the provider offers the right solution.

If the choice comes down to a specialised “Workforce Management Vendor”, it is especially recommended that you explore the solution’s abilities to integrate with ERP and payroll systems, as well as the solution’s geographic reach.

ProMark is a market leader in international Workforce Management solutions in the Northern European countries.

Naturally we would like to be invited into larger and preferably international organisations concerned with maximizing the productivity of their organisation, says Torkel Olrik, CEO of ProMark.

He elaborates: We have more than 35 years of experience in Workforce Management. We invest heavily in the development of ProMark and are already at the forefront with respect to data integration, data analysis, reporting and mobility. At the same time, we have a wide range of new and value-creating functions in the final test phase before release to the market.

Regardless of how you and your company are planning to tackle the selection of Workforce Management supplier, we hope that this guide has helped you on your way.

And if you need further advice in relation to the purchase, replacement or expansion of a Workforce Management solution, you are very welcome to contact us.