The benefits to businesses from being able to accurately forecast their staffing demand are many and significant for the bottom line. Labour demand forecasting can help businesses fully optimise their workforce to meet demand and remain on budget.
Why do companies put so much effort into staff forecasts
Have you ever been to a coffee shop at 9am and there is a long queue? That is what a bad staffing forecast creates and it doesn’t make for satisfied customers. Sales and labour demand forecasting is an important part of running any business. It’s a way to determine the number and type of employees you need. If you do not have the tools, the process can be very time-consuming and inaccurate.
A forecast of sales and footfall produced by a sophisticated AI solution allows for a better estimate of staff numbers and shorter queues. Once a business has an accurate sales forecast a second AI using employee scheduling software can work out how many staff are needed per role for every 15 minute slots.
If you forecast accurately, then your company will be prepared for spikes in demand and avoid overstaffing in quiet times. You’ll also save money on wasted resources and remain competitive in challenging times.
Staff forecasting reduces costs
It’s easier to control labour costs if you know exactly how many workers you’ll need at any given time. Footfall and sales forecasting gives you accurate information about your peak periods, letting you predict demand and in turn staffing needs and avoid high labour costs. These accurate staffing plans also reduce errors, as it’s harder to mismanage people if you have a clear idea of their workload.
Labour forecasting reduces stress, you can avoid burnout by monitoring sales and labour demand and adjusting staff levels accordingly. This helps to ensure that everyone is working in an environment with a healthy work-life balance, which can increase morale and decrease stress levels among employees.
Staff forecasting improves customer service levels
Happy employees are more productive than stressed ones! Staff forecasts improve customer service: A lack of staff during busy periods can lead to unhappy customers who don’t get served quickly enough or who receive poor service because there aren’t enough servers on hand. Having enough staff on hand means that customers will be served quickly, increasing customer satisfaction—and therefore your reputation—in turn.
Labour forecasting is much more than just guessing at how many people will be needed in a certain department, for a certain time period. Take, for example, wait times at a restaurant or a bar. If staffing is lagging behind demand—if there are too few staff on hand—customers have to wait longer to get their orders taken and served. This hurts their satisfaction with your business and creates an opportunity for them to take their business elsewhere. Sales and staff forecasts that properly take into account customer data can help prevent these kinds of staffing issues by giving you a clearer picture of how many people are needed in every 15 minute slots.
Staff forecasting can increase profit margins
If we think about the coffee shop example and how long queues lead to losing customers, the same applies to all businesses with labour intensive processes, if your staff numbers are wrong then customer service suffers, increasing customer dissatisfaction and reducing repeat business. A good sales and labour forecasting system will help ensure you have enough staff on hand to meet demand, without over-staffing or under-staffing. This means greater profits, happier staff and customers and more efficient working practices.
The key is finding an accurate way of forecasting your labour needs so that you can minimise waste while keeping up with demand. Asking how many people you need isn’t always as simple as it sounds.
For example, during busy periods some workers may be able to work longer hours than usual, whilst others may be able to cut back their hours when things quieten down. These fluctuations in staffing levels mean you need a flexible forecasting system that always learns and allows you to adjust staffing levels accordingly; something which most legacy systems aren’t capable of doing.
Staff and sales forecasting reduces business risk & inefficiencies
Once a business has an accurate sales forecast a second AI can work out how many staff are needed we then have an accurate forecast of required staff. Staff forecasting is not just about headcount but also about skill sets, availability, experience, tasks that need to be filled and what roles you need to cover your business needs. This means businesses will not be caught short on labour when there is a surge in demand or overstaffed when demand drops off. Accurate sales and staff forecasting reduces business risk: Inaccurate forecasts mean that it’s likely that businesses will be paying more than they need to for labour and not have the skills they need to operate.
Staff forecasting improves management performance and HR decision-making
When managers have a more accurate understanding of sales and labour demand, they can make better decisions about when and where to hire. This means organizations will only have staff on hand when work is available and can save money by reducing workforce churn. Businesses with good forecasting are able to predict customer demand and trends better than their competitors, which ultimately helps them gain a competitive advantage.
If your business relies on a steady supply of labour, forecasting can help with planning. Using a tool that draws on an analysis of historical data and AI-powered predictive analytics to make estimates about future demand, you can ensure that you have enough staff to meet your needs in the next 15 minutes and in 6 months time. With more accurate forecasts, you will be able to act appropriately before it’s too late. Staff and sales forecasts are valuable not just from a recruitment perspective; they also impact your ability to hire great talent. By making informed hiring decisions based on solid figures, you stand a much better chance of finding high-quality candidates who really fit in with your company culture.
Our sister company SolvedBy.Ai has created the most advanced AI solutions of their kind that can deliver sales forecasts with more than 99% accuracy and then predict exactly how many staff you need to cover that sales demand. Having these tools available gives your business all of the above benefits and peace of mind that your business is fully optimised and efficient.