Workforce Management: Challenges, Opportunities, and Solutions
Based on interview with Coleman Barney
Companies, especially small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), face three main challenges managing their workforces. First, constant cost pressures place a significant burden on companies with limited revenues and financial backing. While employees are a company’s most important resource, they are also its largest cost. Because of this dichotomy, it makes good sense for companies to invest in solutions that help to better manage the cost of labor.
Second, the increase in regulations and labor laws, such as the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and numerous others creates tremendous compliance challenges for businesses with limited resources. In fact, a survey of small business owners by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) found that 43% of respondents cited “government red tape” as one of the top-two issues they face.
And because U.S.-based small businesses make up more than 99.7% of all employers and create more than 50% of the country’s non-farm private gross domestic product (GDP), this issue has a huge cumulative impact. The Mercatus Center found that regulation growth between 1977 and 2012 cut about 0.8% off the growth rate in the U.S. This cost the country a total of $4 trillion worth of GDP during that period.
The first two challenges lead to the third issue—risk of non-compliance. According to Bloomberg View, the cost of regulation “falls most heavily on smaller businesses, which cannot afford staffs of pricey compliance specialists, for example, to make sure that their desk chairs meet the new California workplace seating requirements.”
These challenges are just some of the issues driving the need for SwipeClock’s workforce management solutions that seamlessly integrate timekeeping, advanced scheduling, and leave management. SwipeClock uniquely provides its products to over 26,000 employers through a network of more than 850 partners across the U.S. These local, regional, and national payroll partners have a close working relationship with their customers and an in-depth understanding of applicable labor laws. “SwipeClock is extremely well positioned to deliver the workforce management solutions that enable partners to help companies succeed and keep up with the rapidly changing regulatory environment,” said Coleman Barney, CEO of SwipeClock.
SwipeClock Solutions Solve Workforce Management Challenges
SwipeClock offers TimeSimplicity for advanced scheduling and TimeWorksPlus for timekeeping and attendance. Combined, these products form the Workforce Management Suite that uniquely helps customer with leave management issues such as time-off, breaks, and accruals. The company also just announced the new Workforce Management Clock.
- TimeSimplicity is a cloud-based advanced scheduling solution that allows employers to create schedules with drag-and-drop simplicity, view schedules by group, week, and color code as needed for easy identification, and fill last-minute shift vacancies within seconds.
- TimeWorksPlus combines a robust feature set, plug-and-play time clocks, and ease-of-use to effectively automate the collection, management, and reporting of employee time and attendance.
- Workforce Management Clock gives employers the advanced technology they need to track breaks, enforce overtime rules, and overall increase the accuracy of data when employees punch in and out. It also helps keep employer records compliant with all of the latest labor regulations.
Integrated Workforce Management
By integrating the advanced scheduling capabilities of TimeSimplicity with the timekeeping and leave management features of TimeWorksPlus, SwipeClock delivers a workforce management solution that empowers companies with:
- Intelligent attendance management: New attendance controls and alerts enable employers to better comply with new and ever-changing labor regulations. For example, the new features combine time card and scheduling data to determine if employees start working on time, which workers showed up for their shifts, which employees, if any, were tardy, and break length based on the amount of time worked. Employers can set thresholds that once reached, trigger alerts so employers can take appropriate action to ensure compliance.
- Enhanced leave management: Approved time off requests from TimeWorksPlus are synced with TimeSimplicity and viewable in the scheduling window. In addition, approved time off from TimeWorksPlus is shared with TimeSimplicity so employers can see if an employee has approved time off so that they aren’t scheduled.
Additionally, SwipeClock’s integrated workforce management solutions provide a self-service portal for employees including mobile workers, real-time notifications for absence and other events, and robust attendance and labor management reporting. These capabilities help ensure that business owners are in compliance with state and federal regulatory mandates. Perhaps most important, SwipeClock enables partners to grow their own businesses by solving their clients’ most pressing labor challenges.
According to Steve Scheu, Founder and CEO of Time & Pay of Tennessee: “SwipeClock’s integrated workforce management solutions allow us to stand apart from the crowded payroll provider space. With SwipeClock, we’ve established a loyal base of customers that trust us to automate their payroll with the help of a simple and affordable time and attendance solution. With TimeSimplicity, we can now leverage that strong foundation to better help our clients with their workforce management needs so they can more effectively manage their employee costs and compliance risks. In fact, one of our clients has already implemented SwipeClock’s Workforce Management Suite and is ecstatic with the results.”
Future Growth Opportunities
Even with the success of SwipeClock’s current offerings, it is not standing still. The company’s integrated workforce management solutions and new clock create a platform for future opportunities and growth.
Within workforce management, SwipeClock plans to expand the services it delivers. SwipeClock collects a tremendous amount of workforce data from the close to one million workers who punch in and out every day with a SwipeClock clock. By mining and analyzing this data, SwipeClock can provide actionable insights available to employers. For example, the owner of a walk-in health clinic chain will soon be able to run ad hoc queries to answer questions like: How did my staffing plan impact sales over the past three months? Did the incentive program I offered workers in one clinic improve on-time attendance as compared to the other locations? Have schedule lock-out rules at the time clock reduced my overtime expenses?
SwipeClock also plans to open up its workforce management solutions so they can be embedded into workflow scenarios. An example of this is the Shugo HUB integration where we embedded our workforce management clock into Shugo’s Employee Self Service portal giving employees a single sign-on to access HR records and time cards, time off request functions, and time card approvals.
Additionally, the Workforce Management Clock creates a platform for SwipeClock to deliver its services while ensuring a consistent experience across any computing device including mobile phones, tablets, desktops, and even payroll partner portals. This provides much greater flexibility for employees and employers. “This is a significant step forward, as it expands SwipeClock’s time clock offering and continues to deliver on our focus of providing the industry’s best workforce management software, services, and support,” said Barney.
Key to Success: Listening to Partners and Business Owners
SwipeClock has always had the goal of staying close to its partners and their customers. The company does this in several ways including a Partner Advisory Council, the SwipeClock community IdeaXchange, the SwipeClock Mountain Summit, and an interactive online knowledge base.
Through these activities, SwipeClock can best understand what needs to be fixed with current products, as well as what partners and business owners want to have in future versions. With its vision and understanding of the workforce management market, SwipeClock can then add its ideas into the mix. The last component is especially important because partners and business owners are so busy running their own operations, it is often difficult for them to see the proverbial “forest through the trees.”
The result of SwipeClock’s unique approach to business is that the company’s solutions help solve both the current and future needs of employers who are challenged with constant cost pressures, increasing regulations, and the risk of non-compliance.
“By listening to the end users of our solutions and the partners who support them, we can understand and incorporate what they need with the vision we have for the company and workforce management,” concluded Barney. “In short, SwipeClock helps companies transform labor from a cost of doing business into a competitive advantage. This has led to our current success and we know it will be the key to our future growth.”
There are many reasons for SwipeClock’s success. In addition to the topics discussed in this article, please read the following posts for more information.