Labor Forecast for a Manufacturing Plant using Dynamics 365 Business Central

What is a Labor Forecast for a Manufacturing Plant?

A labor forecast in the context of a manufacturing plant serves as a crucial tool for estimating and managing employee expenses. Plant managers and budget analysts rely on these forecasts to project labor costs for the remaining months of the year. This planning template not only tracks year-to-date salary expenses for each employee but also allows for the inclusion of anticipated new hires. The visual representation at the top of the template provides a clear, concise overview of the forecasted labor expenses. An example of such a planning template is presented below.

Purpose of Labor Forecasts

Labor forecasts hold a pivotal role within manufacturing companies, as they offer a meticulous prediction of annual employee expenses per plant. When integrated into the Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) department’s practices, labor forecasts contribute to enhanced workforce planning and more accurate profit estimations. Moreover, they help mitigate the risk of managers lacking crucial insights into labor costs and their associated impacts on plant operations.

Benefits to Users

Labor forecasts, through their comprehensive insight into expected employee expenses, play a pivotal role in empowering business users to make informed decisions and increase efficiency in their roles. By providing a detailed breakdown of labor costs, these forecasts enable managers to allocate resources more effectively, ensuring that budgets align with operational needs. Furthermore, the ability to visualize labor expense projections through charts and data analytics equips users with a better understanding of where their financial resources are directed. This newfound clarity enables them to optimize staffing levels, plan for future hiring needs, and adjust strategies in real-time, ultimately leading to more efficient and cost-effective operations. In essence, labor forecasts empower business users with the knowledge and tools they need to drive smarter decision-making and enhance overall productivity within the manufacturing plant.

Labor Forecast Example

Here is an example of a Labor Forecast for a manufacturing plant.

Labor Forecast for a Manufacturing Plant using Dynamics 365 Business Central

Labor Forecast for a Manufacturing Plant Example from Solver

You can find hundreds of additional examples here.

Who Uses This Type of Planning Template?

The typical users of this type of planning template are: CFOs, plant managers, budget managers.

Other Planning Templates Often Used in Conjunction with Labor Forecasts

Progressive Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) Departments sometimes use several different Labor Forecasts, along with revenue forms, capex, other operating expense forms and other management and control tools.

Where Does the Data for Analysis Originate From?

The Actual (historical transactions) data typically comes from enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems like: Microsoft Dynamics 365 (D365) Finance, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (D365 BC), Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics SL, Sage Intacct, Sage 100, Sage 300, Sage 500, Sage X3, SAP Business One, SAP ByDesign, Acumatica, Netsuite and others.

In analyses where budgets or forecasts are used, the planning data most often originates from in-house Excel spreadsheet models or from professional corporate performance management (CPM/EPM) solutions.

What Tools are Typically used for Reporting, Planning and Dashboards?

Examples of business software used with the data and ERPs mentioned above are:

  • Native ERP report writers and query tools
  • Spreadsheets (for example Microsoft Excel)
  • Corporate Performance Management (CPM) tools (for example Solver)
  • Dashboards (for example Microsoft Power BI and Tableau)

Corporate Performance Management (CPM) Cloud Solutions and More Examples

Learn More About Solver CPM For Manufacturing

Only Solver delivers a one-day rapid deployment, including free and instant access to $100K of value available on Day 1 in the Solver Marketplace. Solver is committed to helping you with all your advanced planning and reporting needs, so you can Accelerate Better Decisions – starting now. Take a free tour of Solver for any of these ERPs: