5 ways workforce management software can improve your cash flow - Planday


7 min read

5 ways workforce management software can improve your cash flow - Planday


    5 ways workforce management software can improve your cash flow

    You only have to be on social media, read a newspaper or watch the news to know that inflation is a huge challenge for Australians. Interest rates continue to rise and with that most mortgages have increased significantly. This can impact small businesses as customers look for ways to save money. Often the first thing to go is disposable spending. Many reduce their spend in businesses that need us, including retail and hospitality.

    So how are businesses responding to this challenge?

    Xero’s 2023 ‘Money matters’ report cites that 61% of small business owners have increased their prices in the last year to stay ahead of rising costs and make a profit. And 29% of business owners and managers need to check their cash flow position daily.

    Businesses may also need to streamline their operations to remain profitable.

    There’s no doubt that the global economy can be unpredictable. But there are things that small business owners can do to manage this uncertainty.

    In this guide, we’ll discuss the 5 ways a workforce management software like Planday might improve your cash flow. It could even give your business a competitive advantage.

    What is workforce management software & why is it beneficial?

    Put simply, workforce management (WFM) is getting the right people, in the right roles, doing the right thing at the right time with as little effort as possible. Most business owners and managers will be doing the following tasks that would fall under WFM: 

    • Building rosters for their business and assigning shifts 

    • Coordinating cover for sick and annual leave 

    • Communicating to staff 

    • Managing pay rates and complex awards 

    • Manually updating and inputting timesheet information 

    • Processing payroll

    Signs you need a WFM software

    • Challenges with unplanned absences and filling rosters, that are time consuming and painful 

    • Frequent or complex payroll errors 

    • Chasing timesheets and adjusting pay 

    • Lack of awareness of modern awards rules and general unease at award compliance 

    • Multiple communication systems and processes to manage staff

    • Forecasting the right staffing to meet peak trading periods, based on expected revenue

    1. A WFM software saves time and money

    Business owners and managers often run businesses without using the latest technology available for WFM. And as a result have manual processes which can be time consuming and error prone. It can end up costing unnecessary time and money. Their time is better spent on activities that drive growth, expansion or general business success.

    Dealing with leave requests

    Leave is usually a legal need but it’s also vital for attracting and retaining good employees. It’s usually up to managers, owners or HR to manage these requests.

    Planday allows you to review leave requests based on the employee and the time they want to take off. Or by other specific filters such as which location, or type of work an employee does.

    You’ll be able to review the hourly cost of the request as well as see if the leave overlaps with an existing shift.

    It can help with cash flow because it allows you to find someone to fill the shift based on a similar hourly rate.

    Managing staff absences

    Staff absences can have a negative impact on a business. For example, lost productivity, reduced customer service and satisfaction and lost revenue.

    Sick leave can be a near constant challenge for Australian businesses. A study by Frost and Sullivan found that in 2022 businesses experienced a 70% rise in absenteeism. Especially retail and hospitality businesses, who rely on workers for weekend shifts.

    Planday allows you to quickly fill shifts by checking staff availability or sending group messages to the right types of employees (for example baristas). Ideally this means you won’t be left understaffed for key shifts so you can drive productivity and revenue.

    You can also use the reporting feature in Planday to track out of the ordinary shift types. Such as which team members are taking a lot of sick days and what days sick leave is often taken. Allowing you to either manage team performance or have back up plans for days where sick leave is high.

    2. WFM software can benefit employees

    WFM software no doubt benefits managers. It may surprise you that it can also be a valuable tool for individual team members.

    Inflation is an ongoing issue, the Australian unemployment rate is currently 3.6% (as of May 2023). When coupled with high employee turnover rates you get staff shortages. So you can see why employee retention is so important.

    A well run, organised business, especially within busy industries like retail or hospitality, can be a huge benefit to employees. A WFM software like Planday can help. Planday can provide a sense of structure and ease within an employee’s day as well as improve productivity.

    WFM can enhance productivity

    Planday is a cloud-based software which means changes are instant. This means employees can always access the latest roster no matter where they are via the app. In addition you can message, either via the app or SMS, any changes you need employees to know immediately. 

    According to an employee of Planday customer Racecourse Road Health Centre;

    The best feature of Planday is the app. Because I can be anywhere and can request or swap a shift. I can also check my hours without calling or emailing my manager.  

    Farida, Receptionist – Racecourse Road Health Centre

    Employees can get frustrated when requesting and getting approval for time off. Planday easily allows employees to submit requests and see their status on one system so they’re more likely to feel satisfied. Job satisfaction can lead to job retention.

    With less turnover you reduce your recruitment, hiring and training costs and so save your business money and improve cash flow.

    3. Forecast revenue & payroll costs

    A business owner or manager must understand a multitude of factors to make a business profitable. For instance understanding how much wage costs are. In Planday you can import an Award from our built-in award interpretation library. Or set up wages and rules manually. This gives you a clear understanding of how much you’re spending per employee, per shift. You can then set up a budget for salary costs against your revenue.

    Revenue forecast

    You can potentially predict future revenue based on understanding your businesses past performance. Do this in Planday by inputting your real-time sales revenue. Either manually or by connecting your POS system. We currently integrate with Square & Lightspeed Retail. This allows you to see which days are busiest and create a schedule that works best for you.

    Forecast payroll costs

    Payroll can be a complex and time-consuming process. Especially for businesses with more variability in their rostering. WFM software can streamline the payroll process by collecting and organising employee data.

    Planday can track worked hours and scheduled leave to forecast most payroll costs.

    Inputting revenue and setting a budget for salary costs makes it easier for business owners to control most of their labour costs. Which in turn can help with profitability and improve cash flow.

    4. Faster decision making

    Planday can generate data that business owners or managers can use to make proactive decisions that may influence business growth.

    Analyse costs

    Businesses that have a lot of roster variability may find it tricky to schedule. You need to make sure you have the right amount of people servicing the right time of day. Being overstaffed or understaffed can have negative impacts on a businesses bottom line.

    WFM software can help organisations understand their data. You can optimise your future scheduling by comparing against revenue you’ve made that’s been imported from your POS system and optimise your rostering compared to your wage costs.

    This information shows areas within the business where costs are high. Business owners and schedule managers can then develop strategies for reducing costs and improving cash flows.

    5. Cloud-based software facilitates collaboration

    Collaboration and communication are key to the success of any business. Planday’s reporting feature makes it easy to share reports with other team members or stakeholders by exporting them e.g. as a PDF, Excel, or CSV.

    If you want to keep a data trail in the Planday system you can share the reports using the Planday messaging feature. Of course you’re welcome to send reports via any other method such as email or other file-sharing tools.

    You can also customise the reports to include only the information that is relevant to each stakeholder. This makes it easier for them to understand the data and make informed decisions. In some industries a wage increase is required when staff have a birthday. In Planday you can use employee reports to run weekly, or monthly cadences where you can see staff birthdays so you know when you need to update their wages in line with their relevant classification.

    By sharing the right information with the right stakeholders, you could get insights into different parts of your business. A collaborative approach may find unexpected ways to improve employee processes and your bottom line.

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