Anyone that’s had a conversation about labor management in the last 10 years has likely heard much of the same messaging. Catch phrases like proactive management; right people, right place, right time; optimized labor scheduling; machine learning; AI; employee engagement; compliance; fair workweek; managing in the moment; and so on. These phrases roll off the tongues of (more often than not) operationally unversed people as they attempt to “sell” the value of their solutions, without making the effort to intimately understand operations AND a prospective customer’s specific business challenges.
Granted, highlighting the features and capabilities of one’s solutions and services is an important step in developing a relationship, but knowledge and education only get you so far. You need to walk a mile in an operator’s shoes before you can really distinguish yourself as a thought leader in the industry.
Why does managing in the moment matter?
So, let me take you back to the aforementioned buzz words. Some are fresh; some a bit older; however, the most important is often the most overlooked (or the most over promised and under delivered). I am of course talking about the concept of managing in the moment. Talented operators plan for the expected and manage the unexpected. There are countless moments of truth each and every shift. An operator must make a snap decision based upon his knowledge, his gut, and/or the tools he has at hand. The best operators know that these tools had better provide access to real time data and allow for managing in the moment. Otherwise, they don’t provide value and should be considered obsolete.
What does it take to manage in the moment?
Managing in the moment is a critical activity for every manager. Access to the most up-to-date information is the only way an operator can effectively and efficiently manage their business. Real-time sales and labor data, shielding your business from the threat of exposure to the myriad of possible legislative violations, hyper accurate sales forecasts, immediate visibility into the impact of shift swaps, etc. These are no longer “nice to have” features. Rather, they are table stakes to be in the game. Yet, there are many solutions on the market that can’t provide these capabilities, either due to the provider’s lack of desire to do so or their inability to easily integrate to the necessary 3rd party solutions to access the real-time data necessary to manage in the moment (or both).
Don’t be misled. Having a solution that allows you to easily manage in the moment through real-time exchange of data via open APIs is the only technology you should truly consider in today’s competitive marketplace. Be wary of those providers that cling to older technology and earmark these sorts of capabilities as “roadmap” items.
Today’s environment makes it paramount to be nimble and stay ahead of the competition. Hanging on to old operating processes and old technology solutions means it is only a matter of time before you may count yourself amongst the shuddered businesses. If your current solution doesn’t allow for managing in the moment, look for one that does. If your current solution already allows for this – great! Just make sure your solution provider continues to innovate. This one capability alone will enable your operation to reach new heights, increase guest satisfaction, create happy employees, save you money, simplify your life, and make you the envy of your colleagues at your next event!
How to evaluate labor management software
When evaluating a new labor management solution, make sure to ask this question: will it allow me to manage in the moment? Below are some considerations to help you along the way.
Does the labor management solution…
- Integrate with my POS system?
- Utilize open APIs?
- Expose labor costs in real-time, including people currently on the clock during the course of the day?
- Provide notifications around out of tolerance/compliance issues AND provide direction on best fixes in real time?
- Provide real-time sales and labor data for monitoring metrics such as SPLH?
If you can answer “yes” to all of the above, chances are good that you’ve found a system that will help you easily manage in the moment. If you found yourself answering some of these questions with “no,” you may want to consider TimeForge instead. TimeForge not only integrates with numerous leading POS platforms and offers open APIs, but it also features proactive compliance tools and all the real-time sales and labor data you need to make informed decisions about your business. Contact us today to learn more!