No matter the size or nature of your business, the workforce you employ is one of the most important factors in determining your success. At times, however, demand and supply can fluctuate unexpectedly, leading to staff shortages that can seriously hurt your operations and lead to lost revenue. By improving your sales and labour demand forecasting, you can more accurately predict how many employees you need to hire at any given time, thus avoiding shortages and keeping everyone happy. Here are some steps you can take to improve your forecasts as well as some tips to keep in mind during the hiring process.
Staff shortages outlook
Our sister company ShopWorks did a survey in October 2022 which revealed that 47% of customers are reducing opening hours because they don’t have enough staff. This is significantly impacting their revenue and bottom line. The survey has revealed that 60% have a staff shortage of over 10% and 72% of respondents aren’t filling all the shifts they have.
As you’re probably aware, finding and hiring skilled staff can be challenging. But if you’re aware of how many people you need in advance, your recruitment efforts can be much easier. You can also use these forecasts to schedule additional training sessions with existing employees so they have more skills on hand when you need them. This is a great way to improve your customer service while also keeping costs down by avoiding unnecessary staffing spend.
What you can do to mitigate staff shortages
One of the most effective strategies for mitigating staff shortages is actually not recruiting more employees, but optimizing your existing staff. Make sure that staff are working at their full capacity—too much overwork or under-utilized employees can lead to morale issues, which may result in unproductive workers who eventually leave for better jobs.
AI sales and labour demand forecasting tools can take into account your entire workforce and ensure that everyone is optimised and that they are working exactly when your customers need them, reducing queues and costs, and increasing revenue. Such tools use historical and current data, internal and external data to predict future staffing demand. This process allows companies to understand how much labour they need for a specific time period, what parts of their business are driving that demand and whether certain areas will be required more often than others. Forecasting helps you plan in advance for periods of high turnover as well as down times, increasing efficiency and overall output.
Benefits of using labour demand forecasting in dealing with staff shortages
You may already use sales or labour demand forecasting (LDF), or you may be considering implementing it. LDF is a method of ensuring customer service delivery, by balancing staff workloads in advance.
It aims to forecast sales and customer demand for future periods so that staffing plans can be optimized and managed much more effectively. By accurately estimating customer demand, businesses avoid unnecessary queues and long wait times for customers – which could result in dissatisfied customers choosing to take their business elsewhere, along with significant revenue losses.
By incorporating sales and labour forecasting processes into your operational decision-making, you can ensure your business operates as efficiently as possible while maximizing revenue and reducing costs (via overmanning). Tools such as the ones created by our sister company SolvedBy.Ai can help keep your organisation running smoothly through peak times and avert potential customer dissatisfaction at busy periods by having enough staff on hand when you need them the most.