The MedTech industry has been hit hard by the recent trend of workforce reduction due to economic pressures. As companies grapple with the challenges of how to “do more with less,” the daunting task of maximizing the efficiency of a reduced workforce has become a top priority. But the good news is that effective demand and capacity planning can help overcome this challenge.
The impact of these layoffs has been severe, with over 18,000 MedTech workers losing their jobs since mid-2022, due to macroeconomic headwinds, regulatory issues, restructuring efforts, and supply chain problems. Changes in how China buys products for its national health system have also had a negative impact. Rapid staffing changes in either direction can put a strain on the planning processes of an organization. Staff reductions can be particularly difficult, especially when they are based on seniority or location, or any other factor that has nothing to do with organizational need. But through some fundamental resource planning and portfolio optimization practices, there are solutions to this challenge. Here are 5 things you need to consider:
- Have a clear understanding of your current capacity. The baseline for all staff planning is an accurate headcount by skill area, functional department, or team. It is not just good enough to know how many, but also what they do.
- Organize your large initiatives by strategic importance. Reducing staff usually means reducing the funding pool, so not all work is going to get done. There must be a rational approach to making choices.
- Reassess the remaining functional labor requirements on all future planned and repeatable projects. Since the quantities of available skilled resources are reduced, you will want to trim the fat on all estimates. This can be done by shortening the planning cycles for delivering forecast updates.
- Organize allocations from most important to least important. This might seem like an obvious choice, but after a reduction, it may mean that resources have to be reassigned from in-flight initiatives, especially those that don’t meet the new strategic direction.
- Set the initial waterline, the target for investment and headcount, lower than the total staff count. There is a good chance that the available skills mix has changed. It would be prudent to make sure skilled resources are available for the most important initiatives; then depending on what is left, the organization may have to decide the next tier of projects by considering a combination of what the organization wants and what it can deliver.
The concepts are simple, but the analysis requires a lot of moving parts. Resource management software can help an organization regain visibility into supply and demand information required to work through these planning exercises.
Read: The Complete Resource Management Software Guide: https://pdware.com/complete-resource-management-software-guide
PDWare™ is a provider of planning solutions for resource management and portfolio optimization. ResourceFirst™, our cloud-based application, emphasizes resource planning as the foundation for successful portfolio selection and delivery across all work types, including predictive (waterfall) and iterative (agile) projects. ResourceFirst™ provides an open architecture designed for integration with popular business applications for the purpose of minimizing duplicate effort and improving organizational efficiency.
In today’s tough economic environment, it is crucial for companies with changing staffing profiles to have reliable resource planning and management software to help them navigate. ResourceFirst™ offers the necessary tools to help organizations maximize their use of available skilled resources, improve their workforce efficiency, and ultimately achieve their strategic goals.