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staffing forecasting methods

This is why many contact centres focus on their weekly and monthly forecasts more than their yearly ones. 8 hours is spent on miscellaneous activities. Beware that this formula fails to account for the importance of contact and conversion rates. Having this higher level of granularity is really important, because at the end of the day, you’re likely to make contact centre staffing decisions every week or every day, rather than every year. The software compiles a goldmine of workforce data. The analysis methods are done with various time series methods. The problem with exponential smoothing is it fails to account for trends in data. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Forecasting outbound staffing needs Once again, when making outbound calls, forecasting is a little easier. Are there skills missing from your current workforce that you will need in the future to meet your business goals? Common forecasting techniques include time-series, averaging, point-estimate and intra-day methods. Cell P7 is an arithmetic average of cells P4:P6, which is then used as a predicted growth rate for each month. The process is similar to the jump between single and double exponential smoothing, but this third level of smoothing is much more complex. Use the following steps to learn how to calculate staffing needs and make a plan for the future. It fails to account for seasonality, product launches, and other factors that could increase call volumes. Create custom reports for forecasting contact center staffing needs. You do not want to edit the variables in the model, or this can massively skew your forecasts. Human Resource supply forecasting is the process of estimating availability of human resource followed after demand for testing of human resource. Forecasting is a systematic process of predicting demand and supply. Having some small difference is normal, but you really want to minimise your error value. Your employees are one of your greatest assets. methods of forecasting the demand for manpower To know the requirements of skill for a particular job, a job analysis is made. Determine new organizational structures for better workforce deployment in the future. These forecasts and recommendations will help you develop your overall human resources plan for the organization. As the name suggests, double exponential smoothing applies a second exponential filter to the data to account for trends. However, it’s important not to edit the variables in the model when trying to add leeway. The more data you have, the better, so that the function can “learn” about the trend. You can do things like: At the end of the day, you want to make forecasting as easy as possible. As we mentioned above, 0.2 to 0.3 are typical alpha values. For example, you might receive a consistent number of new records each month, and know that every call takes 2 minutes on average, excluding agent break time. Under this method, firstly experienced managers estimate the manpower requirements for their respective departments. Patient volume forecast models might allow hospital managers to prospectively adjust staffing levels. The forecast keeps up with the growth rate a lot better. Building extremely complex Excel macros, to help automate some of the process. Before we begin: be sure to download our ready-made spreadsheet to use as you learn the forecasting methods discussed below. For example, if you can cut down the amount of time it takes to complete a non-connected call from 45 seconds to 25 seconds, this becomes: It is possible to expand this formula to make it more granular. Top-down Method 3. If adding leeway, keep the model unchanged, and instead add an extra 10-20% to the final number of hours required. Increase employee retention and reduce turnover. For example, in this contact centre, call volumes are growing each period. hbspt.forms.create({ Learn how to conduct a skills gap analysis. In this case, you can skip to forecasting staffing requirements. Say your contact rate rises from 35% to 50%: You might not need 7 more agents, because you’re achieving better results. With this intuitive, cloud-based solution, anyone can learn to work visually and collaborate in real time while building flowcharts, mockups, UML diagrams, and more. This is an advantage for younger companies who don’t have the benefit of years of historical data to provide insight into future trends.Â, A ratio establishes a relationship between two things. Average call times (how long an agent typically spends on the phone for a successful contact AND for a failed contact such as a message bank, if not predictive dialling or using answering machine detection). However, if you have too many staff, this could lead to resource wastage, if agents are sitting around with no calls to answer, or no people to dial. The business plan will help inform those staffing decisions. Forecasting methods typically includes using past data to predict future staffing. Both must be between 0 and 1. In this case, you can simply use a weighted average based on the proportion of calls in each initiative. What you do with your staff will affect business outcomes (for better or for worse), so you want to make sure the two plans align. Lucidchart is the essential visual productivity platform that helps anyone understand and share ideas, information, and processes with clarity. Without a precise forecast of the work to be expected, the most sophisticated effort to calculate staff numbers and create intricate schedule plans is wasted effort. Do you need more staff? While alpha  denotes the data smoothing factor, beta  is the trend smoothing factor. Staff distribution (team size and who works where), Low performers or “flight risks” who could indicate turnover, Staff age and tenure (to anticipate retirement numbers), Business investments (e.g., new technology)Â. St Leonards NSW 2065 If you have a robust HR database, this step could be reasonably straightforward. Since finding m requires complex goal-seeking, you’ll need a macro to set it up in Excel. Now you need to determine how many staff you need. Trying to predict the future is not always easy. Let’s say you have this sales data from October 2019 to July 2019: In this example, you can calculate moving averages for a 2-month, 3-month, or even 5-month period. Ratio analysis links staffing levels to specific business activities. This is because call volumes might spike unexpectedly or staff might call in sick, forcing you to plan staffing needs on a more regular basis. The formula for exponential smoothing is: Here is an example of exponential smoothing in action. These goals are typically outlined in a strategic business plan. If you have too few agents on any given day, you won’t have the capacity to answer calls in a reasonable amount of time, and abandonment rates will skyrocket. Fortunately, there’s something called an Erlang C formula that you can use to solve this problem. In , we are doing something similar to single exponential smoothing. If, on the other hand, we find the annual growth rate, we can then find average growth by period, and use this to predict growth for 2021. For instance, if the business plans to open a new location, you may need to move current staff around or hire new employees to fill those roles. portalId: "2195310", Meaning, 75-80% of calls are answered within 30 seconds, in terms of an average each month. This the number of full-time equivalent agents you need. There does exist something called triple exponential smoothing which adds a third coefficient, known as gamma . Exponential smoothing is a forecasting method that assigns increasing weightings to data in the recent past when compared to the distant past. In this case, you can use the method below that inbound call centres use to forecast call volumes. Patient volume data were collected from a private hospital chain data war… For example, you might aim to have a service level of between 75/30 and 80/30 – this is the industry benchmark. Reduce the possible risk of staffing shortages. 2. Think about why a customer would initiate a call – how often is this likely to happen? Work with business leaders and managers to help you ensure accurate and complete data on your human resources. Human resources forecasting methods focus on both the demand and supply side of identifying future staffing needs. Once again, when making outbound calls, forecasting is a little easier. Forecast Staffing Like A Pro. The first step in the manpower planning process involves forecasting staffing needs and determining the actions needed to fulfill those needs. Or you may be missing this data if using a more basic technology solution. Hospital management experience fluctuations in patient volume which may be difficult to predict. Staffing table A clear graphical view of all organizational jobs and the current number of employees at each job 21. For new contact centres, you might not have a lot of historical data you can use to make forecasts. Make sure that your workforce has the skills and experience required to meet company goals. You might actually already know your future call volumes. However, with the right approach, you’ll be able to make much more accurate forecasts, helping you maximise efficiency while avoiding understaffing as much as possible. Managing staff levels is of utmost importance. Job analysis provides valuable information for forecasting future staffing needs and other personnel management functions. Bumping up your average handle time (for example) can result in a massive change in the number of FTEs forecast. Even with the best workforce management plan in place, your service level is always going to better on some days than others. In fact, according to a survey from the Society for Human Resource Management, 43% of HR professionals say human capital is the largest "investment challenge" for employers.Â, Plagued by turnover, skills gaps, over-employment, low productivity, and ever-changing business landscapes, it’s no wonder that businesses are struggling to keep up. But these issues can be mitigated with a strategic staffing plan.Â, Use the following tips to learn how to develop a staffing plan that puts the right people in the right place at the right time.Â, A staffing plan is a strategic planning process by which a company (typically led by the HR team) assesses and identifies the personnel needs of the organization. Time-Series Technique According to Six Sigma, a lean business philosophy, a time-series call volume forecasting technique is as appropriate for service desks and … The future focus can be drilled back to today's operations to prepare for any changes in strategy, product delivery, and staffing. Subscribe to get new posts delivered weekly to your inbox. Below, we’ll explain more of the actual methodology of call centre forecasting. However, using analytics tools with custom reporting features can help predict future staffing needs and produce correct forecasting for contact center staffing needs. Did you know you can create a free account and start diagramming with just an email address? You will also need to clean the data. Double exponential smoothing helps to solve this problem. A quicker way is to simply compare call volumes by year using double exponential smoothing, but compare actual and forecast volumes for each individual month. The lean approach is motivated by the observation that many forecasting process activities are not adding value – in fact, they fail to improve the forecast and may even make it worse! Bottom-up Method: Under this method various departments of an enterprise collect their own information/data […] Advisors call in sick, will be late, will need to leave early, won’t leave or return from meals and breaks on time for a variety of reasons. Be prepared for frequent changes to your staffing plan. Use staffing forecasting methods to predict your company's future needs and identify any gaps when hiring new employees. Average contact rates (so you can forecast total time spent calling – for both successful contacts and other calls). The assistance of work study, O&M, and human resource experts can refine the est… Demand and supply forecasting techniques use sales or production projections for the coming year as well as quanti… Triple exponential forecasting, as we touched on above. You don’t necessarily need to use a complex forecasting method – you just need to find a method that works for you. Manpower requirements-The very first step in staffing is to plan the manpower inventory required by a concern in order to match them with the job requirements and demands.Therefore, it involves forecasting and determining the future manpower needs of the concern. You’ll need to estimate how many sales employees you will need to support that growth.Â, To calculate this, you need to determine the ratio between sales revenue and staff. Forecasting is one of the most important parts of your job as a call centre manager. Note: we’ve used yearly/monthly data in the examples throughout this post, but the same method works with daily/hourly data as well. Click to see full answer In respect to this, what are HR forecasting techniques? ADVERTISEMENTS: This article throws light upon the top six methods of business forecasting. It’s easy to say that the weather will be colder in winter six months ahead of time, but it’s hard to say what the temperature will be on a specific winter’s day, until a week or so beforehand. Call volumes (the number of calls you will make). Divides this by 28,800 (the number of seconds in 8 hours) to find the total number of agent days worked per day, assuming an 8-hour workday. Reporting and analytics tools for dialer software are popularly used to optimize sales and marketing efforts. However, there are some problems with this technique: To solve the first problem with the aforementioned method, we can use a technique known as exponential smoothing. formId: "b9213ad5-6205-4fa0-a51b-a9f9fd729952", If we take a simple average, the growth is not accounted for, and the forecast is likely too low. This is a very easy and time-saving method. In other words, a good staffing plan helps you understand the number and types of employees your organization needs to accomplish its goals.Â, Staffing plans can encompass the entire company or apply to smaller teams or departments and even individual projects.Â, For example, if your company’s business goals focus on expanding its salesforce in the coming year, a staffing plan can help prepare the sales department for that growth—so that the right people with the right skills are brought on board at the right times.Â. Before you dive into staffing plans and changes, you need to know what the overarching goals are for the business. target: "#hbspt-form-1608117355000-5274537886", This is why the first four forecasts we significantly lower than the corresponding actual value. Use several methods and cross-check your findings to obtain the most accurate results. Trend analysis uses historical data (i.e., past experience) to inform future needs.Â, To perform a trend analysis, start by gathering historical data. Additionally, organizations can use survey, benchmarking and modeling techniques to estimate workforce staffing numbers. Plus, with contactSPACE Intelligent Outbound, many of our customers have seen their contact rates rise by as much as 50% – by making the right contact, at the right moment – and avoiding overdialling. Here we’ll share the latest & greatest contact centre industry news, tips and tricks, and advice to help you improve your team’s performance. While there are a wide range of frequently used quantitative budget forecasting tools, in this article we focus on the top four methods: (1) straight-line, (2) moving average, (3) simple linear regression, and (4) multiple linear regression. Historical Method 4. A ratio analysis is a dual-purpose, demand-side forecasting method used to forecast demand and to compare forecasting results against industry standards or business competition. A job is analyzed in terms of duties, responsibilities, skills, and competencies required to perform the job. If you normally see a massive spike in calls around Christmas for example, you’ll need to account for this. Instead, adjust the final value, as shown: It’s possible to be extremely advanced with your contact centre forecasting. However, it’s also one of the most difficult things to get right. Forecasting Fundamentals The Art and Science of Predicting Call Center Workload The basis of any good staffing plan is an accurate workload forecast. With your current and future staffing assessments complete, you can compare the two reports for gaps. Deductive Method 5. Once you have your staffing data in one place, you can assess the current staffing environment and begin to pull actionable insights from the data. The beauty of the ratio analysis is that it doesn’t rely on historical data to predict future demand. }); COPYRIGHT © 2020 CONTACTSPACE. Business Forecasting: Method # 1. Skills and competencies within the workforce, The 4 Phases of the Project Management Life Cycle. Or you might be able to use a formula such as “calls required = (conversions required)/(conversion rate)”. You want to consider: In terms of timeframes, you want to use as much historical data as is available, as long as it’s accurate. It applies equal weighting to each period’s performance, when in reality the most recent performance matters most. Out of all forecasting methods, this is the easiest to understand. 4. What matters is the period is the same all throughout. Note any gaps between the two assessments. As you go through this process, our skills supply and demand chart can help you determine how many current employees and job candidates have the skills you need and whether you should hire or train to gain those competencies. This should include everything from the start of the call to the point when the agent has finished wrapping (their post-call tasks). }); hbspt.enqueueForm({ A staffing plan involves three main steps: Once you’ve assessed your staffing needs, you can outline recommendations for how to address those needs, which might include recruiting and hiring new talent, promoting internally, focusing on training and employee development, or adding contractors to your staff. For example, there are 37.5 * 4 = 150 working hours in a month, and you estimate that on average: Accounting for shrinkage is the same as accounting for leeway, as we discussed above. Pulling out these data will help you better understand the current staffing landscape and more accurately identify staffing needs and opportunities down the road.Â. For new contact centres, it’s always advisable to have some leeway when taking your early calls. shortcode: "wp", For example, if you mostly call inbound leads from your website. The first thing you want to do is grab your historical data, and calculate period-by-period growth rates in call volumes. However, the number of calls you’re going to be making might be unpredictable or seasonal. However, this function does not allow you to define alpha/beta factors. 3 Resource Planning Methods to Help Predict Staffing Needs. 1 Chandos Street This is done on the basis of their knowledge of expected future workload and employee efficiency. Visualizing your workforce can help you identify important relationships, correlations, or gaps in the staffing.

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