Rich and useful reporting is a must for a Workforce Management solution. The key phrase is “rich and useful.” Every WFM vendor provides some kind of reporting module, but they’re not all created equal—not all of them are either rich or useful.
One of the reasons for weak reporting modules is the raw economics of software development. When a project starts to run long or over budget, one of the first (often, one of the few) places to cut is the scope and depth of the reporting module. After all, it’s easy to hide limitations in things that aren’t highly visible in the first place. Quality reporting is put off until Version 2 or Version 3 or Version Never. (That’s often a sign that the vendor is more committed to the top line than they are to the customer.)
Another pitfall with these modules is lack of the focus. You’ll see this most often in general-purpose WFM systems—those that don’t target a specific industry (the way Teleopti does with Call Centers). Those reports are based on the principle of least common denominator: build just the basic reports that everyone in every business might need (everyone needs to know Hours Worked).
The best systems don’t cut corners and provide you with just enough reporting to make their features list look like everyone else’s. Instead, they make the investment to deliver all of the report templates that can drive meaningful information to the business.
Meaningful information can only be delivered when the WFM system and its reporting are focused on an industry. A department store and a call center may both want to report on sales per employee, but they do it in very different contexts, with very different forecasting requirements, and they’re looking for very different outcomes. With Teleopti, the reports were designed from the ground up—from the first SQL statement—to deliver the right kind of reports.
As you evaluate reporting packages, look beyond the data sheets and product pages. Take the time to define what would be your ideal report portfolio. Then, compare reporting module features against your specific requirements. Which, in the end, is the only comparison that matters.
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