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How Manufacturers Use Workforce Management for Strategic Advantage

In a world of narrow margins and high competition, manufacturers can struggle to find a strategic advantage. Workforce management can create many opportunities to save time and money across the board. Take a look at how!

Manufacturing companies generally operate in competitive fields, with extremely narrow margins. They are very vulnerable to changes in the market, which means any competitive advantage they can grab could be the difference, and set them up for success. One of the best ways to beat out the competition is to find your strategic advantage, right? Well, manufacturers can do that through optimising their workforce management.

In fact, workforce management has been the secret to success for many leading manufacturing companies. We define workforce management as a set of strategies, tools and processes working together to ensure maximum productivity. It’s having the right people in the right place at the right time to make things happen. It goes without saying that productivity is directly linked to profitability, particularly for manufacturing companies. An inefficient workforce is one of the most avoidable problems in the manufacturing industry. So, focusing on workforce management is one way to guarantee a strategic advantage. 

Key Problems for Manufacturing Companies 

Cost is king in the manufacturing industry. Customers will generally search high and low for the cheapest option when looking to create their product. So, it’s in the best interest of managers to keep costs low to improve their strategic advantage. So, how can they do that?  

Quality standards are critical which means there is no cutting corners here to save costs. Material costs do provide a small opportunity to improve margins, but those are often specified ahead of production contracts. Packaging and shipping are areas that manufacturers have some wiggle room in, but generally it’s not a guaranteed strategic advantage.  

Manufacturing companies rely on long-term, sustained volume for profitability. This only works if your customers maintain high sales and momentum. If orders drop off or decline before a certain point, manufacturers lose money. Being at the mercy of your customers success is not a great place to be in for any business. So, how does a manufacturing company ensure long term strategic advantage over their competitors? Workforce management. 

Why is Workforce Management the key to building Strategic Advantage? 

Simply put, workforce management can provide a strategic advantage that can improve your manufacturing processes, and of course, your success. Automation and efficiency are key for both manufacturing and workforce management which is why they go hand-in-hand to provide strategic advantage.  

In manufacturing, companies utilize automation and robotics to enhance the assembly process. Similarly, workforce management software and automations can be used to enhance overall workforce management strategies. Utilizing automation and other workforce management tools can help manufacturers achieve savings that simply aren’t available elsewhere. Your employees are always your most valuable asset, so making the most of them is key for strategic advantage. Workforce management is how you ensure you can best manage them. Let’s see how! 

Streamline Employee Onboarding  

According to research by Gallup, approximately 88% of businesses have a poor employee onboarding experience. Why does that matter in manufacturing? Well, the sooner an employee is onboarded and trained, the sooner they can be productive for the company. In an industry like manufacturing, efficiency is essential.  

Using workforce management software can help improve onboarding in 2 ways. First, it can help you measure the success of your onboarding process. Measuring and reporting on your employee onboarding process can help you identify problem areas and bottlenecks that are costing you valuable time and money. Secondly, the right workforce management software can help you automate processes. Celayix workforce management software can help you automate a wide range of steps in the employee onboarding process to improve your strategic advantage. Onboarding forms can be sent directly to new hires. Employee manuals or handbooks can be distributed through WFM software to ensure compliance. Data can be collected and stored within the software to streamline data management.  

Save time on Employee Scheduling 

manufacturing strategic advantage

Employee scheduling is one of the more complex areas of workforce management for any business. Considering that manufacturing is often a 24/7, 365 industry, employee scheduling can be very time consuming and costly. An optimized employee schedule is often overlooked as a path to strategic advantage.  

Celayix workforce management software has helped manufacturing companies save up to 100,000 dollars in scheduling related costs and overtime. We do this by speeding up the process by up to 95%, which of course saves both time and money. Our software is full of useful tools such as autofill which can create a fully optimised schedule in a matter of minutes. Schedulers can also create business rules which prevent avoidable overtime to make huge savings. Speeding up the scheduling process is one way to make savings, but optimising it is another. Our software uses artificial intelligence to offer schedule enhancement opportunities so that you can save even further. It may not be the most obvious way to gain strategic advantage, but employee scheduling is a huge area of opportunity.  

Eliminate time theft and payroll errors 

A big part of workforce management is managing employee time and attendance. Most manufacturers don’t realize how much employee time is being wasted due to time theft. The only way a manager could spot these losses, is by tracking them. A surprisingly high number of manufacturing companies simply do not track employee time and attendance.  

On average, manufacturers are losing 4.5 hours per employee per week due to time theft. Considering there are over 325,000 factory workers in the US at present, that’s a huge amount of money being wasted. Saving that money would offer a huge strategic advantage, right? Well, workforce management software makes that possible. Whether your employees clock in via their smartphone, or with a timeclock, you should be tracking those hours. Celayix offers customers automated attendance matching to ensure that your hourly workers only get paid for the time they actually work. That information can then be passed directly over to your payroll provider to avoid costly payroll errors.  

Are you ready to find your strategic advantage?

Workforce management can provide a huge competitive and strategic advantage to manufacturers who take advantage of the software available to them. When you consider the potential savings, and potential business growth, your return on investment in WFM software could be huge. If you’d like to learn more about how Celayix can help your manufacturing company save money and grow, get in touch today! Schedule a free, live demo or sign up for a free trial to see if for yourself! 

Written by Chloe Driver

Written by Chloe Driver

Chloe is a Digital Marketing Specialist at Celayix, focusing on content strategy and website management. She has been working with Celayix for over 3 years and learned a lot about SEO and Website Development in that time.

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