Every week is different and your schedule should reflect this. Don’t just recycle last week’s schedule. Ensure you have checked the availability of your staff for the coming week. Check last week’s schedule to see where you may have been overstaffed and look ahead to any large events that may be planned. Don’t leave yourself struggling to cover shifts at the last minute.
Costing as you build allows you to really see where you can save. If you wait until the end then it becomes a mad dash to cut hours and stay on budget, which always leads to inefficient schedules.
Without clear targets there is no way to ensure a steady labor cost. Work out what your current target labor cost is based on this weeks schedule and see if you can reduce it by 5% for next week.
Target sales per labor hour (SPLH) is a great key performance indicator (KPI) to track for your business. If you have target sales of $2000 and target hours of 40 then your SPLH is $50. Try and maintain a steady SPLH throughout the week and don’t let it fluctuate with sales patterns. This will also ensure you have adequate staff cover for each day.
Do all your staff arrive at the same time for each scheduled shift? Do you need all your staff to be in at the same time? Most shifts require a bit of prep work which usually only takes one or two people. If you adjust your shifts to start in 15 or 30 minute increments then your staff will arrive as you need them.
When your sales increase your labor cost may increase but when sales decrease do your labor costs decrease? In order to achieve a reduction in costs you have to schedule accordingly and anticipate periods of low sales as well as high sales.
Remember sometimes service levels can be affected by having too many staff. Too many staff can often be worse than too few staff. Remember the old saying “the devil makes work for idle hands”.
Before launching head first into another busy week, it is important to reflect on what happened last week. Try comparing scheduled labor costs against actual labor costs at the end of every week. You will quickly see if changes are needed.
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