Cutting Edge Workforce Management Must Be Social, Mobile and Available in the Cloud

Simon MacphersonPlease accept my apologies for the quiet week last week but I had had a busy time attending our exciting annual KronosWorks event where Kronos customers from all geographies and industries (Retail, Manufacturing, Logistics, Healthcare and Services) come to exchange views and discover what’s new at the leading edge of workforce management. I got to meet up with friends, old and new, and it never ceases to amaze me how many of our international customers make it to the US. So today, I would like to share with you some key highlights.

In CEO Aron Ain’s keynote speech he talked passionately about how managing your workforce should be easier, how employees need to be interconnected, how to make technology simpler and more efficient and the way that Workforce Technology in the Cloud has become the fastest growing part of the business. And, most importantly, how we are committed to delivering workforce management innovation that works to ensure our customers continue to enjoy higher productivity, lower costs and competitive advantage.

Exciting new product enhancements were launched which got everyone talking. These were based on our key principles of delivering products with an intuitive interface that consumer products have led us to expect; making the relevant tools available on the mobile platforms we, as consumers, are so used to and continuing to provide guidance to our users to optimise the use of labour in their organisations.  Things such as data analytics enhancements that give organisations access to visualisation and exploration tools that make managing big labour data much easier. The fantastic new social networking platform  that allows organisations to use the power of social collaboration to help their business perform better. And workforce management technology  that makes it easier for employees to embrace more flexible working which can improve an organisation’s productivity, efficiency and agility including the sleek Intouch®  time clock which now incorporates new biometric technology and enhanced wifi capabilities for faster employee deployment.

Now, whilst I and our Kronos customers may well be very excited about the new innovative products at the show. I can’t forget that these developments have been driven by our customers and their need to manage their employees more efficiently and effectively. Businesses today have to be more agile to remain competitive. They have to retain their best employees and keep their workforce engaged and productive. They have to manage their people more effectively in order to control costs – things like reducing the cost of absence; reducing payroll errors or scheduling employers more effectively to improve productivity and reduce overtime helps organisations improve their bottom line. Organisations must make their people front and centre of their business and are missing an important opportunity to achieve their business objectives if they don’t.

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The Future of Workforce Management & 10 Deadly Sins of Software Development

IMG_0161Sorry I have not blogged sooner, last week was a very busy time and our annual customer event was even more successful than ever with greater numbers of attendees and some really great speakers. We were delighted to welcome Kronos customers from across the UK and Western Europe. Aron Ain, our CEO kicked proceedings off with an insightful presentation about the future of workforce management. In his presentation he mentioned that Kronos will be investing $100 mill into R&D this year to ensure that our solutions continue to meet the growing demands of our customers; intuitive, easy to use solutions, delivered on mobile technologies, guiding management decisions and providing real insight into the business with Workforce Analytics – this speaks volumes about how important it is to continue to provide our customers with real competitive advantage. Aron went on to talk about how Kronos can help customers focus on what they do best by letting us run their Kronos solution in the Kronos Cloud.

Mollie Lombardi of Aberdeen Group gave a research analysts perspective on the impact that Big Data is having on organisations globally whilst Charlie DeWitt described how we eliminated the 10 Sins of Enterprise Software development over the last few releases, how we engage with customer advisory boards to ensure our solutions meet with the current and future needs of our customers and confirmed we are still searching for the book that describes all of the employment rules and practice around the world 😉 The key focus was on how we can provide solutions that truly help organisations achieve operational excellence and the “gold” at the end of the Big Data and Analytics trail.

Following those fascinating sessions I was delighted to be hosting the main discussion panel. Where valued customers like Duncan Rouse of Hall and Woodhouse, Jay Brereton of The Co-operative Group, Mark Wales of Ralph Lauren, Alan Murphy of Hozelock and Richard Baxter of Aramark bravely took to the stage, together with Mollie who spoke earlier. They gave us their reaction to the main themes of the day. All had valued input on how the changing demographics of their business and the demands of their employees could be better accommodated by workforce analytics, mobile workforce management and the Cloud. On each topic they even took questions live from the audience.

IMG_0224In the afternoon we held industry specific breakout sessions that allowed our customers to share their challenges and show their peers how they are using their Kronos solution to manage their workforce more efficiently and the impacts it has on their organisation – whether it is by reducing absence, improving scheduling efficiencies or reducing labour costs. Analysts, partners and sector experts also contributed their knowledge and views to the sessions.

All in all it was a fantastic day and we are already looking at ways that we can take the feedback and lessons that we have learned to make next year’s event even better. Here is a link to Mollie Lombardi of Aberdeen Group and Charles DeWitt, Kronos VP of Enterprise and Product Marketing’s presentations that will give you taste of the themes for the day and if you wish to know more please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

The Big Event!

It’s been a while since I posted as I have had a brief break on the boat (which was quite exciting as the weather was pretty awful on the south coast of England with rain and poor visibility making sailing quite challenging). I have then been busy preparing for our big customer event, KronosLive EMEA, which we are holding in London tomorrow. We are expecting over 200 delegates and it is our biggest event yet in the UK.

I really am very excited this year as I have been asked to chair a panel discussion which will comprise of customers from all industries including retail, manufacturing, hospitality, services and logistics.

The focus of the panel session will be around three key themes:

1) Labour related Analytics
2) The increasing need/expectations around Mobile data
3) Utilising the Cloud to offload the support and management of business applications from overstretched IT departments.

In addition I will be asking our customer panel questions related to opportunities for productivity improvement in their organisations from new functionality available in our Workforce Central Solution v7.0 such as Task Management.

Before the panel session Aron Ain the CEO of Kronos, Charlie Dewitt of Kronos and my good friend Mollie Lombardi from the Aberdeen Group will all be touching on the 3 key themes in varying degrees of detail and the way all of them can improve labour productivity within organisations.

Mollie will also be presenting at our Retail Executive Summit which we are also holding this week and I will be looking forward to hearing her views and opinions on; ‘The State of Workforce Management in Retail in Western Europe’.

I look forward to letting you know how the panellist discussions go and finding out more about how they are using their workforce management solution to meet the new challenges they are facing in each of their industries. Meanwhile if you have any thoughts on any of the topics we will be covering I would be very interested to hear them.