Workforce management (WFM) is built to maintain a productive workforce. It includes everything from payments, human resources planning, training and development, time-keeping, performance management, forecasting and scheduling.
It allows planners to quickly and easily allocate the right employees, with the right skill sets at the right time in order to meet service level agreements in the most efficient and cost effective way possible. It allows planners to forecast required resource for the next few days, weeks or even year. It collects multimedia statistics to help with your planning – including seasonal variations, market trends, campaign periods and more.
How is this important functionality going to develop in the next few years?
We have already started to see the emergence of mobile workforce optimisation, with forecasting becoming fully web based and with a more graphical user interface. As we move forward, employees outside of the planning team will also be able to run their own forecasts thanks to the deployment of a more intuitive user interface. This will be coupled with increased “What If” capabilities, to allow various forecast scenarios to be produced in a very simple manner.
As more and more employees are becoming multi-skilled, forecasting will continue to develop further in order to take into account emerging channels. Agility is essential to enable the capture and incorporation of new types of customer contacts into the overall forecast requirements. For example, with the growth of chat and text, the forecasting processes are being amended to include these channels. The use of video for customer contact is also being incorporated into the standard WFM process and it is important to keep an eye out for any other channels that may arise.
The tool will also support accurate and dynamic re-forecasting in real time, allowing for real-time management of resource to combat any unexpected events. For example, if there were to be an increase in customers’ calls, more agents would be scheduled on that channel to support the demand.
Moreover, forecasting parameters will start to leverage the data provided by other applications such as speech analytics and business intelligence tools, which will provide more insight into demand drivers and enable greater accuracy of forecasts.
Improved forecasting models will develop to take into account the longer service levels required for back office processes. This will work in conjunction with easier integrations to back office applications.
Forecasting will also start to be used outside of the customer contact areas. Other areas of the business that are demand driven or require staffing profiles will be able to utilise the forecasting capabilities. Regardless of the business area, if staff require scheduling then forecasting can be used to optimise the resource.
For more information on how to make Workforce Management work for you, check out our WFM advice hub.