Month: March 2012

Schedule staff and invoice clients – all in one!

As an expanding business providing activity-based services for primary school children, Fit For Sport needed to be totally on the ball when it came to its back office systems. Yet, until recently, the company was struggling to organise shifts manually for its 250 staff with a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

Because of its complexity, this all-important spreadsheet could only be operated by two employees – a situation that was clearly unsustainable for a growing company. So Fit For Sport decided to look for a more technologically appropriate staff scheduling system.

A realistic return on investment

Fit For Sport admitted they found the selection process difficult. “We weren’t and still aren’t what I would call IT savvy,” says company founder and chief executive Dean Horridge. “Our objective was to find a software application that was user friendly, supplied by a company that we felt we could work with as the business changed and at a sensible price to provide a realistic return on investment.”

The company opted for easyLog’s e-Log+S off-the-shelf scheduling application, along with some bespoke software development. This centred on two functions:

  • A definable e-mail facility to inform clients about changes to their usual Fit For Sport representative and to provide client details by text to the Fit For Sport staff member
  • An interface with Fit For Sport’s Sage accountancy software, including a sign-off sheet for clients giving details of all sessions per month and the option to create an invoice in the Sage Sales Ledger

“That is just brilliant!”

As one of the two operators of the old spreadsheet-based staff rota system, Sally Webb, operations coordinator, was particularly appreciative of the new e-Log+S system.

“The software highlights any gaps in the schedule and indicates available qualified staff. I can then automatically send out a text message to advertise the shift,” she says, adding that the best thing is that now anyone can do this task.

“It avoids errors from employees misreading the old spreadsheet. Likewise, with just one click, clients are e-mailed the full details of their sessions without having to look up e-mail addresses, contact names and staff CRB details. That is just brilliant.”

Dean Horridge adds that the new staff scheduling system has had a positive impact on customer service as well as satisfying the original goals of enabling wider staff participation in the rota creation process and giving the business a sounder management platform.

“The easyLog software has heightened our awareness of staff downtime and costs, while matching staff to client requirements is much improved and more accurate. The integration with our accounts system means that bringing our payroll in-house is now realistically achievable and will save further time and overhead,” he concludes.

“We are currently exploring the expansion of our business geographically through establishing a franchise network. I know that the easyLog system will be a part of these plans.”

Fit For Sport runs curriculum PE sessions in schools throughout London and in the Midlands, as well as offering after school clubs and Kids Camps during school holidays. The company is also an accredited provider of sport and active leisure training and apprenticeship schemes and has formed a registered charity, the Fit For Sport Foundation, to provide wider access to Fit For Sport programmes.

 

Posted by administrator in invoicing staff time, payroll analysis, rota software, scheduling software, timesheets

Cleaning company wipes out manual timesheets

Contract cleaning is a competitive business, so a product that can cut costs and help win new clients is a worthwhile investment. At least, that is the view of John Milton, managing director of Matrix Office Services, who was so impressed with his first easyLog staff attendance system that he keeps getting more.

Quality and reliability

Matrix, a growing company currently employing around 90 staff, is a specialist provider of contract cleaning services to shopping centres and blue chip organisations. But it was finding that larger sites, where 20 or more staff could be working at a time, were putting its administration systems under increasing pressure.

“We needed a more practical, automated solution to monitoring staff attendance and calculating payments,” explains John. “I also wanted to distinguish Matrix in the marketplace and show our clients how serious we are about quality and reliability.”

Attendance records at a glance – and no absenteeism!

When John read about easyLog’s GPRS-based staff attendance system he was immediately impressed. Employees record their date and time of attendance at any site by touching an identification tag against a terminal, which automatically sends the information back to the main office in real time using GPRS technology (like a SMS text, but cheaper). The attendance record is instantly read into the easyLog software, so you can see at any time who is at a client location.

The system was first used by around 18 cleaning staff at a shopping centre in theWest Midlands. It was originally implemented with easyLog’s a-Log software, which provides simple timesheet reporting for each employee across any date range.

“There was no staff absenteeism for the first three months,” says a delighted John.

This pattern has continued, with reduced absences one of the major benefits of the system. “The attendance record provides undisputable proof of an employee’s timekeeping so there are no arguments about whether someone was late or not. A supervisor can therefore approach conversations about attendance with clarity and certainty,” he adds.

The shopping centre management team was also impressed. “They saw that we are serious about our long term involvement and that we could produce accurate management reports for them on demand,” John explains.

Automated pay analysis

The company has subsequently upgraded to easyLog’s e-Log+S staff scheduling software, which compares staff attendance against the shift on the rota and automatically creates a payment record at the correct rates.

Matrix has also implemented one of easyLog’s battery-powered aB-Log terminals at aLondon site where access to mains electricity is difficult. Staff again use an identity tag to record their attendance, but the records are downloaded by a supervisor at the site each week using a data transfer stick and then passed into the scheduling software manually.

John praises the easyLog support team for its help in getting the systems operational. “They were willing to listen and provided the advice we needed at any time,” he says.

He concludes that his easyLog products were a very good investment. “I am now providing a better quality service with reduced costs from a workforce that consistently arrives on time. I proposed the easyLog system on our last two tender documents and won both. That’s the result I was looking for.”

 

Posted by administrator in employee attendance, mobile worker tracking, rota software, scheduling software