Effective workforce planning is crucial for optimizing productivity, making better business decisions, and fostering collaboration. When it comes to long-term planning, it’s vital that your workforce data is visible to your Operations team (responsible for assigning people to projects), your HR team (responsible for recruiting new employees and developing current employees), and Business Development (responsible for going out and getting new business). Being able to merge these functions around your workforce will help you make decisions that steadily grow your business.
One of the key places this overlap occurs between these functions is when you’re trying to forecast labor for the medium to long term. All three of these teams benefit from the ability to look 6-24 months in advance to see what projects are coming down the pipeline and what the required labor looks like for them.
Bridgit Bench has a powerful Forecasting Dashboard, tailored to aid your workforce planning and recruiting processes. Let’s dive into what Forecasting offers and how it can transform the way you manage your workforce.
Scenario Planning: Proactively address workforce gaps
Having insight into the impact of project pursuits on your workforce is an essential part of your workforce planning process. Bridgit’s Scenario Planning feature helps you identify gaps in allocations and plan in advance for potential project bids, ensuring you have the right people in place when opportunities arise. By using Scenario Planning, you can make more informed decisions when it comes to recruiting and allocating resources.
One of Texas’ largest contractors, Rogers-O’Brien Construction, uses Scenario Planning to forecast resources for project pursuits. Johnathon Grammer, Director of Quality, explains:
“We’ve turned a new leaf. It’s amazing. The ability to do scenario planning has been incredibly useful. We’ve got allocated resources on awarded projects and then we have all these “what if” projects. We gauge project pursuits off their chances of winning. Are we going to win it or will somebody else? And then is it even going to be built? If those two criteria meet that threshold, then we’re able to consider that something that we need to start seriously allocating potential resources to.
It really allows us to think through multiple scenarios. Where before it was really tough to think about it at that granular level when you’re thinking 12, 20, and 24 months out. It’s become much more streamlined and it’s much more accessible.”
Human resources as a strategic function
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Utilization Reporting: Unlock the Full Potential of Your Team
Understanding your team’s utilization is probably the key metric to understanding if your workforce plan is working. Bridgit Bench’s Utilization Reporting feature offers two essential metrics: True Utilization Rate and Average Utilization Rate. The True Utilization Rate uncovers areas where your team can take on more work, while the Average Utilization Rate helps you understand how stretched your team is in the coming months and years. With these insights, you can make strategic decisions to increase productivity and prevent burnout.
At Wohlsen Construction, the forecasting capabilities that they have with Bridgit Bench helped them exceed their target metrics for the utilization of their people. Ed McCauley, VP of Innovation at Wohlsen Construction, told us about the benefits of forecasting:
“We can see what the impact is, learn on the fly, and make quicker decisions. I think that the speed to the decision that Bench gives us has helped in planning and determining go/no-go scenarios. We can ensure that we have the talent to put on the project to be successful for ourselves and also for the clients.”
Bench Cost: Minimize Wasted Resources and Optimize Efficiency
The Bench Cost module helps you to visualize the total cost of underutilized or unassigned team members. By identifying the financial impact of inefficiencies, you can make data-driven decisions to minimize wasted resources and maximize profitability. Bench Costs can be kept private from your larger team, ensuring sensitive information remains confidential.
Strategic Workforce Planning Reports: Gain Granular Insights into Workforce Needs
Bridgit Bench’s Strategic Workforce Planning Reports provide a comprehensive picture of your workforce capacity and project demand, both for ongoing projects and upcoming opportunities. By filtering these reports by role, you can obtain granular insights into your workforce needs, enabling you to make smarter decisions about recruiting, training, and resource allocation.
This feature is especially useful for HR teams tasked with recruiting. With a quick look you can see where your labor gaps are and proactively put together a recruitment strategy, helping you stay ahead of labor shortages.
At The Boldt Company, both their HR and Business Development teams use forecasting in Bridgit Bench to have strategic conversations across different functions in their company:
“HR and Business Development both have access to Bench and they can see the staffing changes as well as trends, and it leads to a conversation around business development and available resources and how that affects speeding up and slowing down in certain areas. HR can see the number of needed roles climbing and the number of available people not matching that and initiate the conversation [around recruiting]. It creates a proactive engagement as opposed to a reactive one on hiring, which is more burdensome and more expensive.”
Forecasting in Bridgit Bench is an invaluable tool for taking your workforce planning to the next level. By providing you with the ability to plan ahead for project bids, minimize wasted resources, and gain deep insights into your workforce needs, your days of data silos and reactive action to late information will be a distant memory.