| By Dave Foxall
An Initial Look at RedPrairie's Workforce Management Software
Founded in 1975 as McHugh Freeman & Associates, RedPrairie has a history of more than 35 years of expansion and acquisition leading to their current best-of-breed workforce management software solutions, as well as their comprehensive offerings for supply chain and all-channel retail management systems. Installed in over 60K customer sites across more than 50 countries and in 20 languages, RedPrairie software solutions are highly adaptable and available with multiple delivery options, flexible architecture, and 24/7 technical and customer support. With global headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia, RedPrairie mirrors its clients' international spread with approximately 1600 employees in 25 sales and service offices worldwide. In fact, the reach of RedPrairie's software is such that Gartner's Supply Chain Top 25 report, found that six out of the top ten companies rely on RedPrairie.
The first vendor to offer an integrated Workforce Management System (WMS) – including Labor and Transportation feature sets, RedPrairie's stated mission is to create economic value for customers and stakeholders and to do this better than anyone else. This goal sees one of the company's key corporate values as customer focus—and resulted in the RIS News Software LeaderBoard Survey ranking RedPrairie as a top ten software vendor overall, and one of the highest in the industry for customer satisfaction.
RedPrairie's Workforce Management Application Purpose
RedPrairie's Enterprise Workforce Management software provides a set of performance-based tools to support corporate management, frontline supervisors, store managers and workers across manufacturing, distribution, transportation, and retail operations. The starting point is a clear definition of the work required through engineered standards and best practices for each task—key drivers for leveraging workforce management system ROI. Workforce system feature sets include the following:
- Labor Standards – Built off the concept that the greatest productivity increases are achieved when jobs are first restructured (and done in a manner according to best practices to be as efficient as possible), RedPrairie derives much of its standardization functionality from best practice processes (with the appropriate level of rigor varying from company to company and area to area). Further, where jobs have changed, RedPrairie software can assist with appropriate training to ensure productive performance.
- Time & Attendance – An integrated, flexibly-interfacing system that helps reduce labor costs, manage schedules, track benefits accruals, administer training, and perform job costing; RedPrairie's time and attendance software can be rapidly configured and updated for state/federal wage, hour and leave regulations, plus FLSA and union rules ensure regulatory compliance. In addition, the capability exists for employee self-service (ESS) for schedule-checking/hours worked, plus time off requests and approvals.
- Scheduling – A relatively straightforward feature that includes revenue/cost forecasting using POS data and inventory, RedPrairie's Scheduling allows for optimized scheduling utilizing demand forecasts, employee skills data and labor standards; individual and team performance tracking (with identification of training needs); and incentive calculations determined by client rules and governmental regulations.
- Execution Management – The managers' task management dashboard, functionality represented in this feature includes: 3-channel feedback management (to ensure employee input into productivity improvements); and workload planning (using what-if scenario analysis on project timing, content, priority, and phasing).
- Learning Management – This feature set allows for the building and administration of comprehensive, consistent training programs across multiple sites; centralized and streamlined training management, course development and results analysis of results; and course, grade, and certification tracking.
- Site Manager – Enabled for use via mobile devices, the Site Manager features the functionality of a local daily task management dashboard designed for store managers.
With a consistent look and feel, RedPrairie's other solutions are easily integrated with the workforce management software modules, including: Visibility & Performance Management for business intelligence and process management; Inventory for warehouse management; Transportation for fleet and parcel management; Store Operations for stock control and financials; and All Channel Commerce for managing multiple customer touchpoints in the modern supply chain.
RedPrairie's Customer Target Market
As of January, 45K+ stores and food service outlets worldwide are leveraging RedPrairie's Enterprise Workforce Management software, representing a growth of 30% in 12 months. The drivers behind this success are cited as the ability to maximize return on invested labor and deliver a scalable solution across the entire enterprise. Of course it also helps that RedPrairie specifically caters to the middle market, and the bulk of the company's customers are mid-sized to large organizations, often with a varied workforce across multiple locations. An example of the scale of customer their products can cater to would be Tesco – more than 492K employees across 14 countries and serving millions of customers per week. One measure of service quality is customer loyalty and 100 of RedPrairie's clients have been with them for more than a decade, while half use more than one RedPrairie software solution.
RedPrairie's Perfect Prospect Profile (PPP)
RedPrairie's workforce management software is ideally suited to organizations with disparate workforces spread across different operational disciplines – possibly with separate or conflicting goals and standards – and even national boundaries and cultures. Treating each sector as unique or different, the solution can be pre-configured for specific industries to help reduce the total cost of ownership. The wide range of specific industries targeted include automotive, building products, consumer packaged goods, food and beverage, food service, high tech, industrial wholesale, pharmaceutical and life sciences, retail and third party logistics.
RedPrairie's Technical Specs
Technical specifications vary according to the deployment option chosen: hosted, SaaS or remote access management. With a 10-year history of hosting, RedPrairie can provide a complete a virtual solution, working closely with hardware partners to offer scale, redundancy and recovery benefits. Similarly, RedPrairie offers its solution to be hosted in the client's data center, with RedPrairie managing implementations, upgrades, maintenance, and problem resolution. That said, it should be noted that some, but not all, of RedPrairie's solutions are available on-demand in the software as a service (SaaS) deployment model; keeping costs transparent and avoiding issues around installation, upgrades, or disaster recovery.
RedPrairie's Primary Competitors
RedPrairie's global reach, flexible deployment and broad functionality may appear hard to beat; but examples of strong competitors include HighJump Software, Manhattan Associates and JDA Software.
Strengths of the RedPrairie's Workforce Management System
- RedPrairie's global set up allows the company to offer multiple language-based solutions as well as local language support with some levels of software localisation.
- The workforce management software solution can scale to process more than 1 million concurrent time punches in less than 15 minutes, and schedule 2.5 million shifts in as few as 4 hours.
- RedPrairie offers comprehensive 24/7 customer support, and current figures show that 85% of questions are resolved on the first call to the help desk, and 95% of those calls are resolved within four hours. Nearly 80% of RedPrairie's workforce is dedicated to direct customer service.
Weaknesses of the RedPrairie's Workforce Management System
- The complexity and breadth of functionality that RedPrairie offers may be in excess of that needed by smaller organizations. Implementations can be long, complex and costly.
- Outside of the HR element of RedPrairie's workforce management software, certain features such as inventory planning and management are lacking compared with similarly-situated vendors. While obviously not HR-related, organizations looking for best-of-breed capabilities in a fully-integrated WMS software suite may find this solution to be wanting.
Bottom-line for RedPrairie's Workforce Management Software
Breaking from an historic focus on point solutions – particularly in the retail sector - RedPrairie offers a single, integrated suite of business applications to drive workforce productivity and effectiveness across the entire enterprise. With easy integration with other business-enhancing solutions, innovative mobile functionality exactly where it is needed, and extras such as industry-leading implementation support (RedPrairie's on-time and on-budget project rate is 2.5 times the industry standard) RedPrairie provides best-of-breed enterprise workforce management software on a global scale.
Categories: Workforce Management Systems
Author: Dave Foxall
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RedPrairie's workforce management solution is ideally suited to organizations with disparate workforces spread across different operational disciplines – possibly with separate or conflicting goals and standards – and even national boundaries and cultures.
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