Labor models: contact centers and retail


I ended up in workforce management (WFM) accidentally after about a year as a contact center agent answering product information questions about boat parts. One of my first projects was getting our unmaintained, end-of-life WFM platform (TotalView IEX) generating forecasts and schedules again as the team had reverted to copying the same schedules forward each week after the departure of the previous WFM manager more than a year prior.

This was my first meaningful exposure to labor models but I'd eventually end up building my own in Excel, SQL, and Python for both contact centers and retail stores.

So what is a labor model? Labor models are a tool to estimate labor requirements give a body of work to be performed. They're used for budgeting, staffing planning, and scheduling. Specific implementations vary based on the work being done and the quality of data available about that work. This post will cover labor model basics, types, and examples from contact centers and retail stores.

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