Choosing the right workforce management or WFM software suite can be a critical factor in a company’s success. Beware of buying products that look good on the outside but are lacking on the inside. There are many vendors that market WFM software that lacks the functionality needed to accurately forecast workloads and generate optimized staff schedules to handle that work without over-staffing or under-staffing. Some vendors choose to emphasize the look of their user interface over their softwares’ capabilities under the hood. Investing in products that lack performance will result in wasted expenses, difficult management, and an unwanted commitment. Appearance alone should not be a determining factor when making a purchasing decision for your WFM software suite.
You get what you pay for
When you are shopping around for a WFM software suite be sure to avoid convincing but unsubstantiated marketing, unkept promises, sleek appearances that lack the necessary capabilities/functionality, or you will end up with a solution that isn’t right for you. The best looking or most expensive WFM software does not guarantee a fitting answer to your problems. Understand what you are investing in and decide based upon the knowledge of the product. The performance of the product is way more important than appearance.
The right WFM software suite will grow alongside of your company. Understand whether or not a product is stagnant or improving. Most consumers of WFM software create purchasing decisions on just factors of their features. Failure to recognize attributes such as flexibility, scalability, or continuous growth results in poor investments and a lower Return on Investment (ROI). Bottom line improvements will measure the accountability of the product. Furthermore, high prices and sleek designs does not mean that the product is right for you!
Often, vendors make promises that they cannot own up to. Investing in a bundled WFM software suite can sometimes mean that you are paying for unnecessary components. Speaking to past customers and making decisions based on results/reviews can be extremely beneficial. Pay for products that are 100% needed and that prove to be rewarding in the future. Vendors such as Pipkins offer pay-as-you-grow solutions.
Marketing of products that are based on superficial claims can be detrimental to your company’s success. It is important for vendors to show evidence of their product’s success. Understand the product so you aren’t paying too much. Taking time to research products will result in a smart purchasing decision.
When should you write the check?
A poor WFM software suite can be both costly or inexpensive. Some vendors will say anything while trying to get you to purchase their product. Spending a ton of money does not always prove to provide the best system. Your decision should always be based upon the product functionality not the price point. Follow these guidelines while shopping for a WFM solution.
Break out the bucks for:
- Longevity – The best WFM solutions have the historical data to back them up. Successful solutions have proven themselves by staying useful through the test of time. The ability to compete with time will eliminate expensive problems such as offer-staffing or under-staffing. Choose the system that implements at least several years of data.
- Powerful Algorithms – An accurate WFM software suite implements advanced algorithms (Such as Merlang) that are able to forecast based upon historical data. Competing and inaccurate products will use moving averages that only uses short periods of historical data and are unable to forecast special events such as high call volume periods and fluctuations due to holidays. Avoid manual editing by implementing a system that can forecast the future.
- Forecasting – The ability to schedule the right number of employees with the right skill sets consistently on a day-to-day basis to handle all expected incoming workloads.
Hold on to your cash for:
- Vendors lacking evidence of success
- Promises that can’t be backed up
- Bundled packages from vendors lacking experience with WFM solutions
- Assumptions that most expensive software package is the best
- Assumptions that the lowest priced software package will be adequate
- Vendors that emphasize “user friendliness” and an attractive UI over the actual capabilities of their software
Choose what’s right for you
Based on the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, it is important to know what your product is comprised of. Avoid purchasing solutions based on its price or packaging. Put old problems in the past by investing in the right solution. Understand your product and what you’re putting your money into. Purchasing the wrong system can lead to many problems including difficult recovery options. Select the WFM software suite that can collect data and prove results that provide future success. Be sure to select a WFM software suite that can utilize enough historic data to produce accurate workload forecasts, generate optimized schedules and handle all the variables you can expect to encounter in today’s complex omni-channel contact center environments.
A privately-held, American-owned company, Pipkins, Inc. was founded in 1983. Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, the firm is a leading supplier of workforce management software, providing sophisticated, cloud-based forecasting and scheduling technology, as well as other fully integrated solutions for performance management, real-time adherence, time and attendance tracking, task tracking, compliance monitoring, mentoring, collaboration, and more.