This article is written for system administrators.

Use the Labor Modeling dashboard to help your business forecast requirements based on metrics. You can determine the number of required staff based on:

  • sales data

  • your own custom metrics that best suits your business

  • planning for fixed tasks that need completing in your organisation

This will empower your business to stay on budget and forecast employees according to demand.

In this article you will learn:


What is Labor Modeling

Labor Modelling is a useful tool to allow businesses to create rules that automate the scheduling process based on staff requirements and demand. You can now use Labor Modeling to save time on manually calculating the number of employees needed. All of this is done in Labor Modeling, as it’s calculated on various metrics for you set out for your business.


How to Access Labor Modeling

1. Go to the Schedule page and click on Insights.

Insights

2. On the left-hand side you’ll find Labor Modeling with the other metrics that can be used for business insights.


Definitions of Terms Used

  • Labor Model - Enter rules to help determine your staffing requirements for each area based on your metrics

  • Manager Forecast - Enter manual forecasted sales data based on manager’s expertise and calculation

  • Forecast/Deputy Forecast - An automatically calculated forecast based on past sales trends

  • Actual/Actual Sales - are real business sales that have been entered manually or automatically through an integration

  • Required Staff - Predicted number of staff required based on metrics and rules

  • Rules - A set of minimum and maximum requirements for required staff for an area

  • Linear - A simple type of rule that allows you to set up a minimum and maximum of required staff

  • Range - A granular type of rule that allows you to set up a minimum and maximum of required staff

  • Task - A specific job or assignment in your organisation that can be planned for a specific time and has a known requirement for how many people / hours it will take to complete. eg. unpacking a truck delivery at the same time each week.

  • Operating Hours - Time range entered in location settings to determine your employee’s working hours


How to set Operating Hours and how to use them in Labor Modeling

Labor modeling takes into account the operating hours of your business when calculating the suggested labor requirements.

To set or edit your business's operating hours, go to Locations, then click on Edit Settings for the Location you wish to edit. Click on General on the left-hand side and you’ll be able to set up the operating hours for the location selected.

To mark a day as closed, unselect the checkbox and this will automatically mark the day as closed. Marking a day as closed doesn’t prevent you from scheduling employees or adding sales data.

Setting up operating hours for this location here will be reflected:

  • when scheduling employees,

  • processing leave requests and

  • within the labor model.

For each type of labor modeling rule you create, you also have the option to apply the rule:

  • any time

  • within operating hours

  • within operating hours with a customised buffer to opening and closing times.

If you hover over the tooltip you can see what Operating Hours have been set in Location Settings.


Ways to configure Labor Modeling settings

Once you have accessed the Labor Modeling page, there are two ways you can configure your labor model.

  • Add > New rule - used where your labor demand will be relative to a dynamic metric you can define and measure as such sales (or any other metric you define).

  • Add > New task - used where your organisation needs specific and planned tasks completed as a one-off or regularly and you already know how many hours of work this task will require to complete and when it needs to occur.


Add New Rules Based on Metrics

You can create labor model rules where the number of staff you need in your business is relative to a dynamic metric you can measure, such as sales data. You can even add a custom metric that is relevant to your organisation and labor modelling will be based on that when selected.

The rules can be applied in a linear or range mode.

To create a new labor modeling rule:

1. Access the Labor model page, then click on Add and select New Rule.

2. The new labour model rule modal will appear and give you the option to select the Coverage as either Linear or Range.

3. Select the Area, Metric and designate the details of the new rule.

4. Click Save to ensure the new rule is saved.

To delete a rule you've created, just click on it and select Delete.

You can continue to create any other labor modelling rules you require by repeating the process with a new rule.

Linear Coverage Explained

The linear rule is a simple way to set up the minimum and maximum amount of required staff for a location based on a metric.

In this example, we are using the 'Main Floor' area and 'Sales (Forecast)' Metric.

An example you may want to use is, for every $x of sales per hour, add 1 required staff (this example is to the area 'Main floor') with a maximum of 3 employees and a minimum of 1 employee to the 'Main floor' area.

Example: Based on forecasted sales not actual sales

8am - $0 - Deputy will recommend 1 required staff
9am - $80 - Deputy will recommend 1 required staff
10am - $125 - Deputy will recommend 2 required staff
11am - $220 - Deputy will recommend 3 required staff
12pm - $400 - Deputy will recommend 3 required staff. This is the case because we set up a maximum of 3 employees in this area.

Range Coverage Explained

Range is great for more complex metrics or requirements, where your business would require granular and more precise required staff with a range of data.

In this example, we have used the range of $0 - $50 of 'Sales' per hour must have 1 employee (similar to the Linear’s minimum required staff) to work in the area 'Main floor'.

Range is great for more complex metrics or requirements, where your business would require granular and more precise required staff with a range of data. An example of this could be for the range of $0 - $50 of sales per hour must have 1 employee (similar to linear’s minimum required staff) to work in the area Main Floor.

Example: Based on forecasted sales, not actual sales

8am - $0 - Deputy will recommend 1 required staff
9am - $80 - Deputy will recommend 2 required staff
10am - $125 - Deputy will recommend 2 required staff
11am - $220 - Deputy will recommend 3 required staff
12pm - $410 - Deputy will recommend 4 required staff
1pm - $475 - Deputy will recommend 4 required staff. This is the case because we set up any forecasted sales of $401 or above will have a maximum of 4 required staff in this area.

Range allows you to add as many steps as needed to accomplish your staffing requirements based on sales or any custom metrics.


Add New Tasks Based on Planned Jobs

When you know that you have specific or regular tasks that need to be performed in your organisation and you know how many hours or staff they will require to complete them you can add a task into your labor modeling settings. This will ensure that your schedule will have the staff on hand to cover these specific events.

An example of when you might use fixed task based labor demand planning is when a truck needs to be unloaded at a regular time each week or perhaps an annual stocktake that takes a specific amount of time on top of your usual schedule.

To create a new labor modeling task:

1. Access the Labor model page, then click on Add and select New Task.

2. The new labour model task modal will appear.

3. You can complete the fields to add:

  • the Task Name

  • any subtasks (optional - with a breakdown of duration to complete each subtask)

  • the total time you will plan to complete the task (this is automatically totalled if you complete the subtasks

  • the Area of your Location in which the person completing the task will be scheduled

  • What time the task starts and finishes

  • Whether it repeats periodically and when

4. Click Done when you have configured the task.

If you have a task that needs to be completed within a limited amount of time and will need more than one person to complete the task in that amount of time then labor modeling will account for this when calculating required staff.

An example:

Stocktake needs to be completed between the hours of 9pm and midnight but you know it takes 12 hours of total labour to complete a stocktake.

Labor modelling will calculate that 4 team members are required to be scheduled between the hours of 9pm and midnight to complete the stocktake task.


Run the Labor Model

Once you have configured all the settings you require, such as labor modelling rules or tasks, for each area in your organisation then you are ready to run the labor model.

1. Click on Run labor model

2. Select the time period you wish to calculate required staff for.

3. Once the calculation has run you will see the total hours of required staff that have been calculated for each Area you set up a labor modelling rule or task in

4. If you click on Go to required staff you can see an hourly/daily/weekly breakdown of where the labor hours have been allocated as required. You can manually edit this data if needed as well, or adjust your configured labor rules and tasks and run the labor modeling tool again until you are happy with it.


Create a Smart Schedule Based on Your Labor Model

Once you are happy with your labor modelling, it's time to create your schedule based on the required staff you've calculated.

1. Click on Schedule and use the date and location selector to match the location and time period you created a labor model for.

2. Select Auto-build shift structure

3. Configure the settings you require for your shifts including your preferred shift length and what time on the clock you'd prefer the shifts to start.

4. Please select Required staff (most accurate) from the drop-down menu and then click Build Shifts.

4. Wait while the Auto-build tool creates your shift structure.

5. Now click Auto-fill empty shifts

6. Complete your preferences in regards to cost, equal hours, learning and time taken to fill the shifts then click on Auto Fill Shifts.

7. You should now see that all or most of your empty shifts have been filled.

8. Don't forget to publish your shifts when you are ready.


Read more about our other Smart Scheduling features.

We would like to hear your feedback regarding Business Insights or Labor Optimisation - book a 30min meeting with us.

Otherwise for help with Smart Scheduling please get in touch with our 24/7 support team.

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