5 Ways to Improve Your Workforce Planning with NetSuite

Rami Ali, Sr. Product Marketing Manager

April 8, 2022

The largest expense on an organization’s income statement is frequently its workforce, and therefore demands ongoing attention from a business’s leadership. But now, amidst a tight labor market, rising inflation and uncertainty about the global economy, workforce planning has taken on even greater importance.

Workforce planning is the process of ensuring a business has the right people with the right skills in the right positions now and in the future. By employing robust workforce planning initiatives, businesses can better prepare for events like a talent drain due to attrition or retirements, or a labor shortage, all of which can impact finances, product development plans and customer relationships.

Workforce planning can be difficult, however. It requires an understanding of current staffing, experience and salary levels, as well as the skills available in the marketplace and creating accurate forecasts of what the organization might need in the future. To achieve this effectively, businesses need to access HR and payroll systems for data on existing employees and salaries. They need access to forecasting tools for data on projected demand for new product lines or labor costs in a new territory; and they need access to financial and operational systems for the historical data required to run those forecasts.

And yet, for most organizations, efficient and successful workforce planning is still a work in progress. They tend to be stuck with clunky legacy systems, or they’ve settled for spreadsheet-based processes that can’t keep up with the rapidly changing business and market conditions and is susceptible to errors. Relying on spreadsheets and outdated planning solutions can leave you unable to adapt to the dynamic planning needs of your business. Plus, you’ll have a workforce plan that’s out of sync with finance and corporate plans.

NetSuite customers have realized the value of eliminating spreadsheets and integrating HR and financial planning processes with a unified workforce planning solution. NetSuite Planning and Budgeting(opens in new tab) for Workforce Planning enables organizations to effectively manage and forecast workforce costs and provides important visibility into how strategic workforce plans impact financial plans. NetSuite Planning and Budgeting tightly aligns HR and finance to help companies hire for the right skills and talent at the right costs.


Accurately Plan and Forecast your Workforce with NetSuite

Finance and HR leaders need to replace siloed and disconnected processes with an integrated workforce planning solution that allows them to plan their workforce(opens in new tab) in sync with their corporate strategy, financials, departmental budgets and forecasts. This helps HR teams transition from tactical headcount planning to more strategic workforce planning that puts the right people in the right place efficiently and accurately.

NetSuite Planning and Budgeting offers a workforce module that provides up-to-date information on workforce expenses for your business. It allows you to model future headcount and employee-related expenses with minimal effort using pre-built drivers, forms and dashboards.


Improvements businesses gain from holistic workforce planning(opens in new tab) include:

  1. Better Workforce Planning: By tightly linking your financial and HR data from NetSuite SuitePeople(opens in new tab) or other Human Capital Management (HCM) source system into NetSuite Planning and Budgeting, you can automatically and quickly tap into data sources, such as salary and benefits benchmarking data, to drive more accurate workforce planning decisions, like hiring, promotions and headcount planning(opens in new tab).
  2. Planning Salaries and Compensations: You can plan salaries and total compensation, including bonuses, benefits and other expenses for current and new employees. NetSuite customers can leverage the workforce assumptions that have been preconfigured by administrators such as pay schedule, annual rates required for employee benefits and tax expenses, detailed benefits and other workforce-related expenses that vary by work location.
  3. Accurate Company Roster: No longer do you need to copy employee information from your HR system into a spreadsheet or disconnected planning solution, which saves time and eliminates mistakes that can ensue from doing so. Automatically bring your employee roster from SuitePeople or other HCRM software into NetSuite Planning and Budgeting to model workforce changes such as transfers and compensation changes. You can review employee information by department, verify salaries, update employee fields such as full-time or part-time and update other compensation assumptions such as overtime, bonuses and merit increases.
  4. Filling Workforce Gaps in Your Organization:  You can set up new hires directly in the planning tool by entering hire date, job title, salary, department allocation and other workforce-related details. You can also view and manage employee status to see who is active or no longer with the company. The workforce planning module allows you to easily plan for future organization activities such as an employee's departure or leave of absence, or an employee transfer between departments or subsidiaries. Planners can easily configure demographics by headcount, gender, skill set, age and education level to plan for future activities and fill gaps in your organization.
  5. Gain a Better Understanding of Your Workforce Data: Using pre-built dashboards in the NetSuite Planning and Budgeting workforce planning module, you can view a summary of company expenses, department employee expenses and department headcount. You will be able to review your workforce data at a high level as well as drill down to the details to gain a better understanding of key information such as a comparison of actual versus plan for total headcount or compensation. You can also build customized dashboards to visualize workforce data that is relevant to your company's business processes.

By using the workforce planning module in NetSuite Planning and Budgeting, planners benefit from having a complete view of all employee data synchronized with the company’s financial information and automated calculations of existing compensation components so they can spend their time ensuring they have the right people now and, in the future, and preparing for growth.

Watch this product demo to see NetSuite Planning and Budgeting workforce planning capabilities in action.

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