Is your workforce prepared for Artificial Intelligence?

Jasper Cooper

25 May 2017    |   

Ikea recently announced its intention to explore Artificial Intelligence (AI) through a customer survey ‘Do you speak human?’. It’s a novel idea for a company that makes a living selling flat pack furniture, however, they are right on the money. AI has grown dramatically over the last few years, and it’s expected that the market will be worth $5.05 billion by 2020. Stunts like Ikea’s provide an intriguing insight into the expectations society holds for AI technology. However, building an intelligence system capable of matching the capabilities of the human brain is no easy feat. While the creation of such technology is a celebration in itself, what’s really impressive are the real world applications that are only just starting to appear. Imagine having a system that can not only synthesise data faster than a human, but can make better inferences, predictions, and decisions. This has the potential to revolutionise how we live, work, and interact with each other. But what will this technology look like in the space we spend 50% of our day, the workplace? According to a survey conducted by Narrative Science, 80% of company executives believe that AI solutions boost productivity. Whether this is by automating labour intensive tasks or improving process efficiencies, AI is becoming an effective part of businesses of all shapes and sizes. Workforce management companies like Tanda are heavily investing R&D into the potential of AI technology and the impact that it will have on the workplace. Managing a workforce with all the administrative work that goes along with it is no easy task. It becomes infinitely more difficult when managers lack the experience and necessary information to make complex informed decisions. Using AI technology empowers managers with actionable intelligence to make smarter decisions in rostering, wage calculations, and workforce management. What is the future of Artificial Intelligence in the workplace? Artificial Intelligence can be used in a variety of ways within workforce management technology. Firstly, predictive analytics is where AI is used as a tool to assist the user to make decisions, such as the optimal number of staff for a shift. The next step up is a completely autonomous system, capable of performing tasks independent of a human. Cognitive Rostering® for example, extends on predictive workforce analytics to create an optimised roster automatically, without human user input. So what benefits can we expect by implementing AI technology into our workforce? 1. Make faster decisions Using AI technology to automate your workforce management results in greater efficiency, profitability, and productivity. Rostering is a major pain point for businesses, due the time it takes and the impact of having too many or too little staff rostered. Automating time-consuming tasks such as rostering, assists manages to make faster decisions, and spend more time focusing on priorities. 2. More accurate decisions It’s hard to make the right decision when you don’t have all the information. There are numerous sources of data that could affect making great rosters, such as wage costs, sales data, and staff availabilities. Using Predictive Workforce™ allows managers to pull useful data sources into one system, which leads to more accurate and smarter workforce decisions. For example, you could import foot traffic data into Predictive Workforce™ with customised ratios. This will inform managers of how many staff are needed, and what specific roles are required. Thus, this enabling managers to not exceed their labour cost budgets, while also ensuring that enough staff are rostered to meet customer demand. 3. Competitive market advantage Using AI technology to manage your workforce provides an unparalleled market advantage. According to Narrative Science, “by 2020 predictive analytics will attract 40% of new investment made by enterprises”. In a time when operating and overhead costs continue to increase, AI automation assists businesses owners to improve workforce productivity for future growth. Businesses therefore need to be using predictive analytic technology to manage their workforce today, if they want to stay competitive and ahead of the market tomorrow. AI technology and predictive analytics give you the confidence to make great decisions, and capitalise on new exciting opportunities. Artificial Intelligence may well still be in its infancy, however, it is quickly becoming a necessity for businesses wanting to remain competitive. Using the best workforce management technology leads to faster and more accurate decisions, as well as a competitive advantage within the market. It is therefore vital for key personnel to ensure they are using the best technology to achieve the greatest outcome.

Ikea recently announced its intention to explore Artificial Intelligence (AI) through a customer survey ‘Do you speak human?’. It’s a novel idea for a company that makes a living selling flat pack furniture, however, they are right on the money.

AI has grown dramatically over the last few years, and it’s expected that the market will be worth $5.05 billion by 2020. Stunts like Ikea’s provide an intriguing insight into the expectations society holds for AI technology. However, building an intelligence system capable of matching the capabilities of the human brain is no easy feat.

While the creation of such technology is a celebration in itself, what’s really impressive are the real world applications that are only just starting to appear. Imagine having a system that can not only synthesise data faster than a human, but can make better inferences, predictions, and decisions. This has the potential to revolutionise how we live, work, and interact with each other.

But what will this technology look like in the space we spend 50% of our day, the workplace?

According to a survey conducted by Narrative Science, 80% of company executives believe that AI solutions boost productivity. Whether this is by automating labour intensive tasks or improving process efficiencies, AI is becoming an effective part of businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Workforce management companies like Tanda are heavily investing R&D into the potential of AI technology and the impact that it will have on the workplace. Managing a workforce with all the administrative work that goes along with it is no easy task. It becomes infinitely more difficult when managers lack the experience and necessary information to make complex informed decisions. Using AI technology empowers managers with actionable intelligence to make smarter decisions in rostering, wage calculations, and workforce management.

What is the future of Artificial Intelligence in the workplace?

Artificial Intelligence can be used in a variety of ways within workforce management technology. Firstly, predictive analytics is where AI is used as a tool to assist the user to make decisions, such as the optimal number of staff for a shift. The next step up is a completely autonomous system, capable of performing tasks independent of a human. Cognitive Rostering® for example, extends on predictive workforce analytics to create an optimised roster automatically, without human user input.

So what benefits can we expect by implementing AI technology into our workforce?

1. Make faster decisions

Using AI technology to automate your workforce management results in greater efficiency, profitability, and productivity. Rostering is a major pain point for businesses, due the time it takes and the impact of having too many or too little staff rostered. Automating time-consuming tasks such as rostering, assists manages to make faster decisions, and spend more time focusing on priorities.

2. More accurate decisions

It’s hard to make the right decision when you don’t have all the information. There are numerous sources of data that could affect making great rosters, such as wage costs, sales data, and staff availabilities. Using Predictive Workforce™ allows managers to pull useful data sources into one system, which leads to more accurate and smarter workforce decisions. For example, you could import foot traffic data into Predictive Workforce™ with customised ratios. This will inform managers of how many staff are needed, and what specific roles are required. Thus, this enabling managers to not exceed their labour cost budgets, while also ensuring that enough staff are rostered to meet customer demand.

3. Competitive market advantage

Using AI technology to manage your workforce provides an unparalleled market advantage. According to Narrative Science, “by 2020 predictive analytics will attract 40% of new investment made by enterprises”. In a time when operating and overhead costs continue to increase, AI automation assists businesses owners to improve workforce productivity for future growth. Businesses therefore need to be using predictive analytic technology to manage their workforce today, if they want to stay competitive and ahead of the market tomorrow. AI technology and predictive analytics give you the confidence to make great decisions, and capitalise on new exciting opportunities.

Artificial Intelligence may well still be in its infancy, however, it is quickly becoming a necessity for businesses wanting to remain competitive. Using the best workforce management technology leads to faster and more accurate decisions, as well as a competitive advantage within the market. It is therefore vital for key personnel to ensure they are using the best technology to achieve the greatest outcome.

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The Print Bar uses MYOB and Tanda to control costs

The Print Bar’s warehouse in the inner-suburbs of Brisbane is a symphony of people and machinery, churning out some of the highest quality custom t-shirt printing available in Australia. In just 5 years, Managing Director Jared Fulinfaw has grown from 2 employees in his parents’ garage to become one of largest suppliers of custom t-shirt printing in Australia, with 28 employees working around the clock, 7 days a week. It’s a resounding success story, but it’s clearly been no accident. Jared is keenly focused on running a lean business and striding ahead of the competition. Tools for rapid growth To run The Print Bar, Jared is hands on with everything and believes that up-to-date and forward looking financial data is essential. He uses MYOB to manage his finances, and Tanda to manage his people. “MYOB lets me keep track of my inventory and expenses, I even have my accounts reconciled fortnightly so I know exactly where I am. Tanda is for managing my biggest asset and my biggest expense – my team. To sell my product at competitive prices and maintain my margins, I need to be great at managing, rostering, and keep a very close eye on the costs of my staff.” “My team is everything,” says Jared. And the team agree — they say he’s the best boss ever. Rostering Every week, Jared uses Tanda to put together his roster. He starts by copying the last week’s so he has a template to work with, then makes any changes necessary based on availability or feedback from his team during the week. Next, he checks the roster’s cost – based on the award rules he’s configured – to ensure that he’s within budget. When it’s all looking good, he sends the roster out to staff by email. He generally does this well before the working week; if he needs to make any urgent changes afterwards, an updated roster by SMS alerts the relevant people. Attendance The Print Bar staff clock in and out of work using a Tanda time clock. It’s positioned on the wall near the entrance to the staff room, so it’s easy to spot and hard to forget! For Jared, the time clock acts as a virtual assistant – every day he gets a roll call of who clocked in, and who didn’t (based on their roster). And if someone’s not at work on time on a weekend, he also gets an SMS alert so he can quickly run in if need be. Timesheets and Payroll Every few days, Jared checks over staff timesheets, makes any necessary changes, and approves shifts when he’s happy with them. At the end of the fortnightly pay cycle, he clicks a button to export the timesheets directly to MYOB. Because Jared’s configured Tanda to work with his EBA, all of the data he downloads is mapped to the correct MYOB wage category – saving him hours he’d have spent doing it by hand.

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Tanda announces Global Partnership with AEVI

Tanda has announced a partnership with international technology company AEVI. The partnership will bring Tanda’s market leading workforce management solution to AEVI’s Global Marketplace for smart Point of Sale (SmartPOS) devices. This will revolutionise how merchants and business owners run and manage their business. Australia has some of the most complicated labour laws in the world, subsequently making it one of the most complex countries to run payroll in. Using Australia’s intricate labour conditions as a foundation, Tanda provides a robust and agile solution to business owners looking to streamline their workforce administration. Through Tanda users can improve productivity, profitability, and gain compliance comfort in how they manage and pay their staff. Press Release: AEVI and Tanda Partner to Simplify Workforce Management for Business Owners London 24/05/17 – AEVI has today announced a partnership with Australian-based technology company Tanda, to bring their industry leading cloud-based payroll and rostering solution to AEVI’s Global Marketplace; the B2B app store for smart Point of Sale (SmartPOS). This collaboration will enable merchants in the retail and hospitality space to streamline their workforce management via the apps seamless integration with AEVI’s range of compatible SmartPOS devices. SMEs are always on the lookout for innovative ways to save time and reduce costs. With Tanda’s market leading automated workforce technology, they can do just that. Rather than wasting time on payroll and HR, owners will be free to focus on the things that truly matter to their business. With over 145 million rostered hours across 2,500+ business locations around the world, Tanda combines all the workforce management tools a merchant could need into one simple, secure, solution. From reliable time clock applications to user-friendly digitised rostering, Tanda’s innovative software takes the guess work out of time management, ensuring employees are paid accurately and on time. The strategic partnership with AEVI will expand Tanda’s global reach, and make their solution available to a global network of key merchant banks and acquirers. With over 70,000 SmartPOS terminals already in operation across Australia and central Europe, AEVI is the ideal partner for Tanda to increase their speed to market, and expand into new regions. Liam Scanlan, Director of Strategic Development for Tanda said, “Partnering with AEVI will bring best of breed solutions to businesses all over the world, uniting Tanda’s leading workforce management software with AEVI’s Global Marketplace. Tanda and AEVI know there is an opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of business owners in how they pay and manage their staff, giving them more time to invest in running their business. Our combined offering helps achieve this.” “We are thrilled to bring Tanda’s market leading workforce technology to our Global Marketplace” said Mike Camerling, Director Marketplace, AEVI. “We could all use a little more time at work. Thanks to Tanda that is now a real possibility for the merchants of all our bank and acquiring customers.” AEVI continues its mission to pioneer and lead the payments community towards an open ecosystem. Providing banks and acquirers with the capabilities to differentiate themselves on more than just price and technical specifications. To find out more about how AEVI continues to grow its choice of value-added apps and services please visit marketplace.aevi.com. ~ENDS~ Note to Editors: About AEVI: AEVI brings acquirers closer to their merchants, and merchants closer to their consumers, with an open Ecosystem that combines apps, payment services and a multi-vendor selection of payment devices.  Selecting from a marketplace of high-quality apps and services, Acquirers can quickly create differentiated, innovative SmartPOS solutions under their own brands. Our centralized payments as a service platform eliminates obstacles, and helps Acquirers simplify the complex payment landscape with a single integration and access to a comprehensive suite of cloud-based, back office reporting tools for enhanced control and flexibility. We welcome Acquirers, App Solution Partners and Hardware Vendors to build on our vision of an open, collaborative payments Ecosystem unrestricted by device vendors, currencies, borders or regulations. www.aevi.com AEVI International GmbH is a subsidiary company of Diebold Nixdorf and is headquartered in Germany with operations in the United Kingdom and the Czech Republic.

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How to Eliminate Time Theft

Time theft is an unfortunate reality for many business owners. It can have huge impacts on labour costs as well as staff productivity and morale. Without the correct tools and systems, time theft can be difficult to catch, and even harder to stamp out. What is time theft? Time theft occurs when an employee bills for time they have not worked, or accepts remuneration for time that has not been attributed to work. The most common causes of time theft include: Staff running late to work, and fudging start times. Staff staying late after work to accrue unauthorised overtime or allowances. Staff taking extended breaks.   Where a team member clocks out for another team member. Staff not submitting correct hours for leave requests or sick pay. How much is time theft costing your business? Labour is often regarded as one of the biggest expenses in running a business, alongside cost of goods and utilities. For industries that rely heavily on high staffing numbers, such as hospitality, it is particularly important that managers are not only rostering staff to meet labour budgets and KPIs, but also take control to enforce the roster. Unfortunately, when time theft is left unchecked it can cause unexpected additional costs, including reduced staff productivity, profitability, and can negatively impact staff who do the right thing. Even time theft that isn’t malicious can add up. For example, according to a study conducted by Tanda, the average Australian business has approximately five minutes misappropriated every shift, just from staff clocking in or out late.*  While five minutes may sound negligible, it can quickly add up over a month and even a year. For example: A team of 30 employees working five days a week could rack up an additional 50 hours/ month in misappropriated time. This could end up costing the business approximately $914/ month, and over $10,972/ year (based on minimum wage 2017). How to eliminate time theft? While most employers would like to believe that their staff are honest and trustworthy when filling out their timesheets, there are unfortunately a few who ruin it for everyone. Systems such as paper timesheets, excel spreadsheets, or outdated Bundy clocks, are highly susceptible to allowing time theft in a business. They fail to accurately track staff attendance due to their lack of verification and functionality. This is because there is no way to confirm that staff finished and started when they say they did, or that they were in fact the ones who signed off their timesheet in the first place. Using a cloud based time and attendance system is the only way to ensure accurate staff attendance records, verify that the correct staff member finished at the correct time, and ensure staff are not overpaid for work that wasn’t completed. The importance of a good time and attendance system is recognised by the Fair Work Ombudsman, who regularly includes ‘implementing an electronic time and attendance system’, as part of their underpayment resolution processes. So what should you look for when implementing a Time and Attendance system to combat time theft in your business? 5 Must-have Time and Attendance System features to Eliminate Time Theft 1. Time Clock with Photo Verification A  time and attendance system must have a time clock device, and use both photo verification and a PIN code to confirm that the correct staff member has clocked in. This provides an indisputable solution to prevent staff getting their friends to clock in for them, or clocking in late. Fingerprint scanners will not stop time theft, and have many issues that will prevent it from working effectively. 2. Smart Rounding Now you might be thinking, surely staff could still tinker with a time clock system, if they clock in early claiming to have worked? Enter the beauty of smart rounding. Smart rounding prevents staff from taking advantage of clocking in early or late when they haven’t been working. It is customisable and can round to the minute for staff clock ins and outs. This stops “accidental” time theft from staff clocking in before their shift starts, and clocking out after they have stopped working. 3. Complex Award Interpretation As time and attendance is closely linked to payroll, it’s extremely important that your system is able to comprehend any number of complex pay scenarios. For example, staff that stay back late, skip their break, or work over night may incur overtime or penalty rates. Thus, an Award Interpretation system must be able to transparently identify different types of overtime, penalty rates, and allowances if it is to prevent time theft. 4. Predict Correct Staff Ratios A great time and attendance system should be able to not only record when staff start and finish work, but how many staff you need for the shift. Paying staff for the hours they actually work is the first step in optimising your labour costs. The second step works to improve your labour efficiencies by predicting the optimum number of staff required for the shift, ensuring that you’re not over or understaffed. This type of predictive analytics software is the latest method for businesses to ensure their labour costs are under control. 5. Fast & Simple Timesheets Using an electronic time and attendance system is pointless unless you are able to immediately generate timesheets from it. It is also vital that the system is cloud based, allowing you to easily approve timesheets from anywhere. These timesheets should be easy to use and quick to approve by utilising technology such as autosave, fast editing, and cognitive payroll. This will allow you to complete your payroll in minutes, not hours or days. Time theft, if not managed accordingly, has the potential cost business owners thousands of dollars every year. It is therefore important that business owners implement simple, yet effective measures, such as electronic time-keeping devices, and integrated time and attendance systems to combat time theft. Improving staff attendance tracking results in greater productivity and profitability, and can provide valuable insights into how your team works. *Based on statistical analysis of Tanda users time & attendance data.

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About the author

Jasper Cooper

Working exclusively within the Enterprise sector, Jasper employs his passion for improving workforce efficiency and optimisation, to help organisations of all sizes to invest in their workforce success.

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The Print Bar uses MYOB and Tanda to control costs

The Print Bar’s warehouse in the inner-suburbs of Brisbane is a symphony of people and machinery, churning out some of the highest quality custom t-shirt printing available in Australia. In just 5 years, Managing Director Jared Fulinfaw has grown from 2 employees in his parents’ garage to become one of largest suppliers of custom t-shirt […]

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How to Eliminate Time Theft

Time theft is an unfortunate reality for many business owners. It can have huge impacts on labour costs as well as staff productivity and morale. Without the correct tools and systems, time theft can be difficult to catch, and even harder to stamp out. What is time theft? Time theft occurs when an employee bills […]

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