What Is Workforce Management Software And Why Do You Need It?

Woman using a workforce management software

Workforce management software has made life easier over the past decade with the introduction of the cloud and business-specific apps for teams of all sizes.

What used to be a complex and time-consuming task that most managers avoided like the plague is now a streamlined process made simpler by the power of technology.

In this article, we’ll focus on the new generation of workforce management software and discuss why you need to incorporate it into your business.

What Is Workforce Management?

Woman using a workforce management software

Workforce management (or WFM for short) is a combined set of interrelated processes and practices that businesses use to guide, track, and improve the productivity of their employees — essentially, helping them perform at their best every day.

At first glance, workforce management may seem like little more than a list of jobs that need to be finished. While that is a big part of the process, it’s so much more than just checking off items on a to-do list.

It often involves:

  • Planning due dates
  • Directing employees where to work and what to work on
  • Testing
  • Tracking
  • Reporting
  • Enforcing deadlines
  • Integrating task dependencies
  • Creating priorities
  • Managing time on task
  • And so much more…

In some ways, workforce management looks a lot like project management, but the two are actually very different.

Project management focuses on the phases a large-scale undertaking goes through and the team effort behind it, while workforce management focuses on individual jobs that must be done to keep the project or the business running smoothly.

Sound like a lot of work? It is. But that’s why WFM software has become so important to businesses of all sizes and types.

What Is Workforce Management Software?

workforce management software

A mere 20 years ago, the complex task of keeping your team organized and focused on the job at hand was done almost exclusively with pen and paper (or a word processor or spreadsheet program if you were really lucky).

It was difficult and time-consuming work that most managers dreaded.

But along came personal computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, Wi-Fi, and the cloud. These advances made it possible for managers to access powerful workforce management software like Inch.

Apps such as Inch automated many of the complicated and time-consuming parts of the WFM process. This, in turn, allowed managers to dedicate more of their valuable time to improving the business itself.

Now, instead of spending hours planning and getting everyone organized, busy managers can create well-thought-out task assignments and schedules that incorporate labor-cost and overtime controls in a fraction of the time with just a few clicks or taps.

But saving time is only one of the many reasons why WFM software has become an integral part of business in the 21st century.

Why You Need Workforce Management Software

workforce management software

1) Improves Access

Modern, cloud-based workforce management software, like Inch, makes it possible — and remarkably easy — to access the necessary data anywhere, anytime.

It doesn’t matter if you’re on a desktop, a laptop, a tablet, or a smartphone, as long as you can connect to the internet, you can create schedules, assign tasks, make changes, and communicate with your employees.

2) Increases Productivity

Maintaining employee productivity can be a challenge for even the most successful managers.

The tools and resources in workforce management software simplify that task by providing insight into the way your employees operate and how that contributes to your business as a whole.

Armed with that knowledge, you can make the necessary changes to increase employee productivity company-wide.

3) Minimizes Errors

Using the tools of the past — pen, paper, Word, Excel — it is incredibly easy to make mistakes that ruin your task planning and execution.

But with workforce management software, the app itself will alert you when it detects an error.

How does this work? Inch incorporates a built-in artificial intelligence that keeps track of time off, time on task, hours worked, location of assignment, and other variables. This means if you arrange something incorrectly, the software will notify you to make a change.

With these features, you can minimize errors and keep confusion and conflict to a minimum.

4) Decreases Labor Costs

Labor costs are one of the largest expenses that most businesses have to deal with.

But with workforce management software in place, your business can gain more control over both the way your team works and the costs associated with this activity.

Decreasing labor costs in this way can have a profound effect on your company’s bottom line and, by extension, its ultimate success.

5) Improves Efficiency

workforce management software on a tablet

Workforce management software helps you discover ways to streamline workflows, improve communication, and boost efficiency throughout your business.

These tools promote a happier and more engaged team that is better able to tackle any problem or project that comes their way.

6) Eliminates Risk Of Non-Compliance

A big part of WFM as a whole is about complying with local, state, and federal employment laws. Where your business is located plays a large role in determining what those laws will be as practices differ from state to state, county to county, and even city to city.

When you use workforce management software to abide by all the statutes, regulations, and ordinances (e.g., payroll, overtime, work hours) — and communicate those rules to your team — you all but eliminate the risk of non-compliance in your area.

7) Integrates With Other Business Software

Business-specific workforce management software often integrates with other digital components of your business like payroll and invoicing.

This connectivity makes other complicated jobs easier because the information is already available for use. All you have to do is click a few buttons and the software exports the data into a wide variety of reports and formats.

With some apps, though, the integration isn’t as smooth as it could be and actually causes more problems than it solves. Not Inch. Our WFM tools integrate nicely with the Sling scheduling and budgeting software that many businesses already use.

No more cobbling together disparate apps that don’t work well together. Inch and Sling form a fluid pair that simplify and streamline a manager’s busy day.

8) Improves Recruiting

Finding the right employees for your team can be a difficult task.

With an effective and efficient workforce management software in place, though, your human resources department will be better equipped to recruit the high-potential employees your business needs to succeed.

Overall, workforce management is part of a larger program of strategic human resource management that operates with the goal of attracting, hiring, developing, rewarding, and retaining employees for their benefit and the benefit of the business as a whole.

A clear-cut WFM program — and the software to help you manage it — allows you to identify the needs of every department, match skills with positions, and recruit team members with specific goals in mind.

9) Streamlines Onboarding

Once you’ve recruited and hired the right employee for the job, how do you go about integrating them into the team?

With workforce management software in place, you won’t have to wonder. Your business’s human resources department will be equipped with the tools to create an onboarding program that is personal, effective, and efficient.

With help from WFM tools such as Inch, you’ll be able to initiate the onboarding process before your new hire’s first day, prepare your team for the new arrival, set expectations, and make the employee feel as welcome as possible.

10) Reinforces Data Security

workforce management software

Data security has always been an important part of a successful business workflow. In the past, when the majority of employees worked at one central location, that meant locking up hardcopy files and securing the local area network.

But as the distributed workforce becomes the new norm and remote teams replace on-site teams, data security takes on a new level of meaning and becomes more difficult than ever before.

The new mobile workforce — be they field service techs working out of a van or coders working at their living room table — all demand access to information and tools whenever and wherever they need them.

How, then, is your business to reinforce data security and keep its proprietary information out of the public eye? With workforce management software such as Inch.

The strong security built into top-of-the-line workforce management software helps keep files, documents, and other data away from prying eyes while still making them accessible to your employees with just a few clicks or taps.

Pair this advanced security with the proper employee training and business protocols, and you’ve got a powerful tool for maintaining the security of the data that keeps your company running.

Essential Components Of Workforce Management Software

workforce management software

1) Task Control

One of the cornerstones of any good workforce management software is task control.

The ability to quickly and easily assign, organize, and optimize essential (and nonessential) team tasks can mean the difference between progress and stagnation.

Bottom line: Task control is crucial for your business’s success, whether your team works in-house, offsite, or online.

When you can assign work in a few seconds and ensure that it gets done in a timely manner without excessive supervision, your job will be easier, your employees will perform better, and your company will thrive.

2) Communication

One of the most substantial restrictions of workforce management software from just a few years ago is communication.

With these outdated programs, staying in touch with your team — whether they work in the office, in their living room, or on the road — is a full-time job in and of itself.

It doesn’t matter if you communicate by talking directly to each employee face-to-face, calling them on the phone, distributing information via SMS and push notifications, or a combination of all three, the tool you use makes all the difference in the world.

Advanced and robust tools, such as Inch, make communication with all employees — wherever they are — easier than ever before.

With Inch, you can send private and group messages at the click of a button and organize conversations by different teams, locations, or skill sets.

That way, you can stay in touch with your employees and they can stay in touch with you without skipping a beat or taking up a lot of time.

3) Time Tracking

For many businesses, clocking in and out at a single on-site location has become impractical and, in many cases, impossible because everyone is working remotely.

At the same time, tracking total work hours as well as time-on-task has become even more important for those very same reasons.

How is a forward-thinking company supposed to solve this issue while at the same time making it as easy as possible for employees? With the advanced time tracking features offered by tools like Inch.

The right software gives your business the power to track both your team’s full workday from start to finish and each employee’s time on task (regardless of how many different tasks they tackle while at work).

For example, let’s say Abigail uses the Inch app on her phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop to clock in at 6:55 a.m. to start her workday. Then, the rest of your team clocks in earlier or later based on where they’re working or what schedule you’ve arranged for them.

While she’s working, Abigail uses the Inch app to record when she starts a specific task (7:05 a.m.) and when she stops (8:30 a.m.).

This process continues throughout her time in the office (or wherever she works) until she clocks out at 3:02 p.m. to end her workday.

workforce management software

In the past, many businesses relied on pen and paper to conduct these important tracking activities. That often meant hand-recorded data (and inevitable mistakes), time-consuming manual data entry, and a long list of numbers that only the most analytical could interpret.

But new software makes it easy to track and control when your team works without having to allow for user error, deal with incomplete forms, collate reams of paper, or spend hours entering information into your computer.

Add to that the powerful reporting features that come built into the Inch software, and anyone can successfully analyze the data, identify trends, and pinpoint discrepancies — all in just a few taps or clicks.

With Inch, you no longer have to utilize multiple pieces of software that don’t mesh well just to keep everything digital.

Our suite of tools provides everything your business needs, including the ability to:

  • Turn any phone into a time clock and allow employees to clock in and clock out from anywhere
  • Set up geofencing so that team members are in the right place when they start and end their work
  • Prevent early clock-ins and forgotten clock-outs
  • Reduce time theft
  • Export timesheets for simplified payroll processing
  • Much more…

Whatever type of team you manage, the Inch workforce management software can help your business simplify time tracking for improved workflow and reporting.

4) Accessibility

Woman using a workforce management software on her phone

Accessibility is no longer an option your business can decide to go without. It’s now necessary for your workforce management software to work anywhere, anytime, on any device.

Whether you manage a team that’s always on the go (e.g., out in the field), a remote team spread around the world, or even a team that still works face-to-face, they all need access to the tools, documents, and information that make it possible for them to do their job.

Our Inch software, for example, harnesses the power and scope of the cloud so you and your team can use it anywhere there’s internet access — be it wired or wireless.

Inch is also available on Windows, iOS, and Android devices, giving your team the flexibility necessary to be in sync no matter what devices you all use.

5) Budgeting

Modern workforce management software sheds light on aspects of your business that may have been confusing or difficult before.

For example, with the data you can derive from our advanced Inch app, you can more accurately budget for — and better control — your largest expenses, including:

  • Raw materials
  • Technology
  • New equipment
  • Vehicle fuel
  • Maintenance and repairs
  • Upgrades and expansion

Such insight gives you more control over your spending, which, in turn, helps you conserve and redirect much-needed funds to other parts of your business.

6) Compliance

workforce management software

Compliance is one of the most complex variables your business and your team will have to deal with on a daily basis. Employment laws and regulations differ from city to city, county to county, and state to state, and certain industries operate under more restrictions than others.

Add to that your company’s in-house processes and procedures, and it can be very difficult for your employees to maintain compliance while doing their job.

That’s where workforce management software can help. Specially tailored tools, such as Inch, can help you track important information, including:

  • Necessary certifications
  • Training
  • Labor standards
  • Missed breaks
  • Union agreements
  • Family and sick leave requirements
  • Process checklists

When your business complies with these and other employee-related issues, you won’t have to worry about your team forgetting a certain procedure or running afoul of local, state, or federal legislation while on the job.

7) Route Optimization

For today’s mobile workforce, location, map, and route optimization features are more essential than ever.

That’s why the best workforce management software allows you to see where your team is in real-time and redirect them at a moment’s notice should the need arise.

The maps and location feature also allows your employees to see where they are in relation to their next appointment (and their coworkers) so they can maximize travel time and get help if they need it.

If a technician breaks down en route to an appointment across town, they can contact you through the app, and you can dispatch another salesperson to cover the call with as little downtime and inconvenience to the client as possible.

Similarly, if a technician runs out of a certain essential supply or needs a tool that they don’t have, they can see who of their coworkers is nearby and arrange to get what they need.

This gives your business and your team the agility and the speed to manage the ups and downs of your workforce without breaking a sweat.

Choose The Best Workforce Management Software

The Best Workforce Management Software

Want to improve the way your business and your team operate? Choose the best workforce management software available. Inch is that software.

Imagine leaving work at the end of the day with a sense of satisfaction and a completed to-do list. It may seem like an unattainable goal, but you (and your team) can achieve it — not by putting more time into work, but by making more of your time at work.

With the workforce management software in the Inch app, you can guide your entire staff — be they on-site, in the field, or working remotely — in the right direction in a timely and cost-effective way.

You can also help them stay productive and support them in their daily work, while simultaneously leading your business towards better growth. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.

Inch even helps you improve your own efficiency by allowing you to create, save, and reuse task templates for recurring work assignments so you don’t have to start everything from scratch.

Then, you can break down tasks into specific actions and distribute checklists so your team can easily meet expectations.

And that’s only the tip of the Inch iceberg. With Inch, you also get:

  • Powerful scheduling tools
  • Cloud-based schedule distribution and communication
  • A wide range of reports to help you make adjustments for the future
  • Paid-time-off control to help you keep expenses low
  • A built-in time clock
  • Messaging and communication features
  • And much more!

When it comes to organizing, managing, and optimizing your workforce, there’s no better suite of tools than Inch. Take your workforce management software to the next level by downloading the Inch app for free today.

For more free resources to help you manage your business better, save time and energy, and keep your team on task, visit TryInch.com today.

Share post on

Get employees accountable and easily control the quality of the work

Try Inch — a free scheduling tool that solves these issues.

Save countless hours scheduling employees while controlling quality of their work and reducing cost of labor.

Get Inch – a free work management tool that can help resolve accountability issues!