Tight Labor Market Means Businesses Need to Be More Efficient

by Jackie Biallas

The Labor Department reported on Friday that the US economy added 213,000 jobs in June, extending the record streak of adding jobs to 93 straight months.  The unemployment rate is 4% which is up slightly from the 18-year low of 3.8% in May.  Many economists and analysts believe that the labor market is as tight as it can sustainably be.  This presents problems for small businesses, especially, because they are having difficulty finding enough qualified workers.  At the same time, business owners are optimistic about the strong economy and the potential for growth.  This means that small businesses need to find ways to work smarter, be more efficient, and increase productivity.  SAFIO Solutions helps companies do just that.


In its May jobs report, the National Federation of Independent Business said 58% of its respondents are hiring or trying to hire workers, but 83% of these owners reported that they are having difficulty finding qualified candidates for the positions they are trying to fill.  The NFIB, who calls itself “the voice of small business”, also reported that 23% of business owners’ single most pressing concern is the lack of qualified workers.  This concern is greater than their concern for weak sales, taxes, and the cost of regulations.  This is the highest percentage since 2000, and only one point below the record high.

At the same time, the NFIB’s Small Business Optimism Index increased in May to the 2nd highest level in the survey’s 45-year history.  The Index includes items such as sales trends and profits.  A net 31% of small business owners are expecting sales volumes to rise.  Positive sales trends are at the highest level since 1995.  Small business owners that are planning on expanding are at the highest levels of the past 45 years. These businesses are planning on hiring more employees and building their inventories so they do not miss potential sales.


The opportunity for growth combined with a shortage of qualified workers means that the current workforce will have to be more productive.  SAFIO Solutions has helped their clients increase efficiency through use of the Sales Analysis and Forecasting Tool©.  In fact, one client had planned to add an inventory planning staff position, but then discovered it was not necessary because the Tool was so efficient.

The Sales Analysis and Forecasting Tool© enables its users to see their sales and inventory data in an easy-to-use format, analyze it and make strategic decisions quickly and efficiently.  Customizable reports allow their customers to get the information they need in their desired format at a click of a button.  Exception reporting enables the users to focus on the priority items – those items that will have the greatest impact on the business.  Users are able to spend their time gaining insights and planning for growth rather than gathering, organizing and mining through their data.

In addition to the efficiencies gained by the management and inventory planning staff, other departments of the company also benefit from the use of the Sales Analysis and Forecasting Tool©.  The warehouse distribution staff realizes increased efficiency due to improved receipt flow and improved logistical productivity.  Production can be prioritized and workforce scheduled accordingly.  The Sales Team also gains competitive advantages through the insights provided through use of the Tool.


The new tax laws and a strong economy are very supportive of business growth and profitability.  With the help of SAFIO Solutions, businesses can work smarter, not harder, to achieve greater productivity and sales growth.