Software to Optimize Productivity and Efficiency

Software to Optimize Productivity and Efficiency

William Philip Wall (University of Thai Chamber of Commerce, Thailand) and Adiwit Sirichoti (Shinawatra International University, Thailand)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch520
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Introduction

Employees are usually a company’s largest overhead. They play a major role in the determination of a company’s overall profitability. In many instances, the bottom line of the organization can be improved with improvement in employee productivity and efficiency. Tracking and improvement of employee productivity and efficiency requires dedicated custom software for enterprise resource planning (ERP), which is specially designed for this purpose and easy to use. Current business dynamics dictates that custom software for enterprise resource planning (ERP) (Krogstie, 2011) is not only expected to identify and schedule the right employee to do the right job, but is also required to ensure such procedures as maximum usage of employees skills and abilities, forecast employee shortfalls or excesses, create and promote a balanced work load across the organization and tracking actual employee usage.

With today’s fast changing business dynamics, such planning and scheduling is traditionally either not done at all or done by using a basic employee spreadsheet or calendaring tools. These methods are neither effective nor efficient and become further complicated and cumbersome especially when there is large number of employees distributed across the organization in different parts of world. To overcome these challenges and improve overall employee productivity and efficiency, it is critical to have the right employee custom software for enterprise resource planning (ERP), which is specifically designed for the organization to manage and achieve its goals (Mehrjerdi, 2010). It is also necessary that this software be managed by competent staff who share the common goals of the organization and use ERP to track the productivity and efficiency of the organization’s employees.

Employees in most large companies are located within an organizational structure comprised of departments, teams, offices, cities, and countries. This makes it very difficult to track the productivity and usage of employee’s capability and availability companywide. This lack of employee visibility may negatively affect smooth work load distribution (Leonardi & Treem, 2012), optimization of employee usage and accurate employee productivity and effectiveness. So it is critical to build up a companywide central system, which records and displays details about the capability and availability of individual employees. Custom software for enterprise resource planning (ERP) is specifically designed for this purpose. This same software can also help in identifying a specific employee from the pool of employees in an organization, making it easier to allocate them to a specific job or task, modify the allocation, reallocate to others with help of a simple drag and drop. Specific software has also been recently developed as a system for designating or tagging an electronic message, such as an email that includes feedback about an employee's performance. The tagged email can be automatically embedded within a performance management document such as a performance review (Yokoi, Lang, Field, Gillibrand, Shah, & Chu, 2013).

To be effective, custom software for enterprise resource planning (ERP) should provide information about employee usage and should be constructed in such a way so as to identify the over and under allocation of the employees to maximize efficiency and productivity (Li & Ku, 2011). In this way, new work can be allocated and existing work can be quickly and easily reallocated to other employees in the organization. This enables optimum usage of employees while creating a balanced work load, which ultimately adds to the profitability of the organization.

To improve an organization’s long term profitability, it is critical to forecast the future requirements of employees as they relate to future workload and long term company objectives (Harris, Craig, & Light, 2011). This helps the company recruit the right number of employees with the right skills at the right time in future, reorganize the workforce as well as retrain existing employees with new set of skills to improve productivity and efficiency. This custom software can then forecast necessary employee requirements based on future workloads and future strategic initiatives, goals and objectives of the company.

The main purpose of this research therefore was to determine if custom software for enterprise resource planning (ERP) can optimize employee efficiency and performance.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Efficiency: The extent to which time, effort or cost is well used for the intended task or purpose.

Productivity: A ratio of production output to what is required to produce it (inputs).

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP): A process or approach that attempts to consolidate all of a company’s departments and functions into a single computer system that services each department’s specific needs.

Performance: The accomplishment of a given task measured against preset known standards of accuracy, completeness, cost, and speed.

Economic Integration: The removal of barriers to trade that prevents or hinders the flow of goods and services into or out of a nation or society.

Software: A model for delivering information technology services in which resources are retrieved from the Internet through web-based tools and applications, rather than a direct connection to a server.

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