The Challenges of Long-Term Forecasting

Forecasting is a complex task and a specialized skill that requires time to hone. The process is made even more difficult when you don’t have the right tools and expertise. Without a dedicated staff and a clear plan, the inconsistency in approaches will cost you precious time and money. However, if you understand these obstacles, you will be better prepared to handle them. Here are some of the greatest challenges of long-term forecasting that your Workforce Management team will face.


The Top Challenges for WFM Long-Term Forecasting


  1. It’s a process that continues to challenge organizations.


Despite technological advances, it still takes time to forecast your staffing needs. It can take weeks to create accurate projections. Much of the information must be gathered from historical trends. However, many WFM teams are working with broken and outdated systems. In addition to the time it takes to do the forecasting itself, there is even more time wasted when tools don’t function as they should.


  1. The approaches and methodology are constantly changing.


Although the basic WFM strategies are universal, each manager creates their approach to forecasting. This makes sense since it is constantly changing alongside business demands. However, the lack of standard processes and tools makes it difficult to compare and repeat.


Furthermore, many companies that do not see the immediate effects implement further changes. Instead of fixing things, it further exacerbates the problem. Each time you create a new strategy, it sets your timeline back even further. It takes more time to learn how to use the new tools and software after you implement each change, which means it will take even longer to see results. 


  1. Workforce trends have completely changed with Covid-19.


Finally, you can’t overlook the fact that many forecasting models from the past are no longer applicable. Covid-19 has challenged everything we thought we knew about forecasting. 


Unfortunately, there is now a sense of uncertainty as businesses try to predict their staffing requirements. The pandemic has directly impacted call volume and business needs. And with more agents working remotely, it adds another layer of complexity to the unknown.


Overcoming the Challenges


While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer, finding solutions starts with understanding the process. Every company must develop its forecasting skills to predict future needs and performance. However, each business is unique and each strategy must be tailored to its specific needs. If your WFM team is struggling to develop a clear forecasting strategy, the consultants at P3 are experts in helping you quantify the future.

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