In the security industry, keeping your profit margins high can be a difficult task. Between juggling operational costs, competitive wages and bill rates, as well as administrative costs, the line between costs and revenue is getting thinner and thinner. There are, however, ways in which you can leverage a workforce management solution to help alleviate the costs associated with Time and Labor Management, Payroll Management and Billing Management. Let’s take a look at three such ways.
Reducing Non-Billable Overtime through Intelligent Scheduling
Perhaps the biggest cost center of any security operation is in the time and labor management of your security staff. Guards are working posts, and if they are running over their hours, they will need to incur overtime. More often than not, this overtime is not directly billable to the client, and will need to be attributed to your costs, which can cut directly into margins. The trouble is, many guard companies do not know how to visualize and plan for potential overtime, or eliminate it completely.
Through the use of a Time and Labor Management system with intelligent scheduling, companies can effectively filter out the guards that are over their allotted hours for the week, or approaching their limit. This way, the system will know not to show employees that are nearing their limit and you can post guards that are under hours, making them more profitable in the long run. Look for workforce management solutions that have a Time and Labor Management system that enables this filtering within your scheduling application; it will enable you to identify and mitigate any risks of posting guards that are not as profitable as others who are willing and able to work.
Streamlining the Process of Time Worked to Time Earned through Intelligent Payroll Management
One major cost center isn’t in the ability to work a post, but in the time and effort it takes to process the payroll once the work is complete. Security operations and scheduling guards to posts is complex – not only are there multiple locations, posts and shifts within a single client, but also when you multiply this by multiple clients, you add to this complexity. Without an intelligent payroll management system, the burden falls on administrative staff to make sense of it all, and this can be a major time lag between time worked to time earned.
Having a payroll management system that is directly linked to the time and labor management system eases the administrative burden in a big way. When you set up employees within the system, the deductions, pay rates, taxes, wages, and all employee information is centrally stored. Once you complete the week, the payroll management system cross-references all this information on the employees and automatically runs this as a report on the payroll. Once the system runs the report, it will automatically flag for any exceptions – such as zero hours, employees that are under the minimum wage, or aberrations that do not match the norms required. This automation reduces the manual efforts to match time and labor management to payroll management as much as 50% – half the time, which can be spent on more value-added activities.
Getting Paid Faster through Integrated Billing Management
Organizing a schedule with profitability in mind is a great first step, and reducing administration costs in payroll is another great step, but the real value in workforce management solutions is getting paid on time and accurately. The trouble with billing management is similar to payroll management; you have to match up the time worked by your employees to the client, location, post and shift. This can be an administrative burden that can extend the time to process an invoice and get paid for your work.
With an automated billing management system that is also linked to time and labor management, you can reduce this administrative burden exponentially. Just like with payroll management, the employee information is linked to billing, including bill rates by employee, by post, by location and by client. This way, when a shift at a client is finished, you can run a billing report and automatically generate an invoice for the time worked. Just like in payroll management, billing management will flag for exception to ensure that your invoices are in line with your contract for each client. The goal is to generate an invoice within minutes of completing a week’s work, and submit – either by mail or E-mail – and get paid on time for your work.
Automation of a Workforce Management System Goes a Long Way to Saving Money
While this isn’t all the elements you might consider to help reduce costs, these are three major automation components that, with the right amount of efficiency and set up, you can leverage to reduce costs, and speed time to process. Time and Labor Management with intelligent scheduling helps to reduce the risk of incurring non-billable overtime in providing visibility into a schedule. Payroll management that pulls in employee wage and deduction information reduces administrative time to process payroll and free up staff time. Integrated billing management helps to speed time from time worked to time billed to a client through a centralized matrix of bill rates.
Having all these processes stored within a centralized workforce management solution will help to reduce costs, maximize your employees’ time, and ultimately save you in the long run through efficiency in your operations.