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THE BUSINESS VALUE OF WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS

March 2010 Introduction to Workforce Management written by Martin Butler Industry Perspective written by Mike Hawkesford, Managing Director, Crown Computing Neville Henderson, Principal Consultant, Pasfield Curran

Martin Butler Research 2010

The Business Value of Workforce Management Solutions

Management Summary
Workforce Management Solutions target the practical, day-to-day issues surrounding the productivity and efficiency of labour and can often create savings in the order of ten to fifteen percent of workforce costs. If we remember that labour costs are usually the single largest cost category in many organisations, these savings are substantial and worthy of senior management attention. Developing strategic and operational plans are an essential activity in any organisation, and many have deployed an array of tools and applications to help them develop, manage and monitor those plans. Applications such as Enterprise Resource Planning, Business Intelligence and Enterprise Performance Management have all become commonplace. Although these planning activities and the tools that support them are important, the successful execution of those plans is vital. An organisations activities need to be constantly aligned with their planned objectives, just as their plans need to evolve to meet new challenges or opportunities, changes in demand or resource availability. As these plans evolve, managers need the ability to re-align those activities in a continuous cycle. This might be stating the obvious, however the ability for senior management to create these feedback and control links between their planning and execution activities remain elusive. Applications such as ERP, BI, EPM do help organisations manage and monitor complex company operations in areas such as planning, budgeting, forecasting, inventory control, production planning and supply chain management. But what they fail to do, or fail to do well, is to manage and monitor the labour that performs those work tasks and how effectively those activities match planned objectives. Outside of these planning applications, it is largely the workforce that performs most of the tasks and activities that deliver an organisations objectives. However, human resources are notoriously variable. Unlike inanimate resources that remain static and constant, people can perform work tasks faster, slower or differently than planned, have varying degrees of skill, ability and knowledge and take planned and unplanned absence. This variable nature of the workforce can have a huge impact on how planned activities are actually performed in the real world. A lack of tools that enable managers to manage and measure those workforce activities creates a critical blind spot. As a result many senior managers are becoming increasingly frustrated at their inability to make this seamless link between planning to what actually happens in the real world. This problem is fuelling a growing trend towards what is being termed as business execution. What might sound like a mantra chanted down the halls of business schools, business execution solutions are rapidly gaining credibility as a family of solutions that can help organisations manage and monitor the execution of their planned activities. Workforce Management Solutions are a central part of that family, and while they are not a new technology they are rapidly gaining in popularity.

The Business Value of Workforce Management Solutions

Workforce Management Solutions provide organisations with a suite of tools that allow them to plan, manage and monitor all aspects of their workforce and its activities. Seamless integration to planning and costing applications as well as into finance, payroll and human resource applications are a prerequisite. It is this integrated and comprehensive approach to workforce management that, in our view, will see Workforce Management Solutions become commonplace during the next three to five years. Implementing a Workforce Management Solution is more than just automating the status quo or streamlining administrative processes. For organisations to get the most out of Workforce Management, a restructuring of how the workforce operates at a fundamental level is sometimes necessary. By enabling organisations to do more work with less people, ensure they have the right resources available when and where they are needed and avoid having excess resource available when they are not, the benefits can be significant. In a typical organisation the workforce can account for between 50-90% of their total fixed costs. Many organisations that have successfully deployed Workforce Management Solutions across a wide range of industry sectors have seen their workforce costs reduce by as much as 10-15%. While the benefits can be significant, the risks of such deep and fundamental changes to workforce practices can be significant too. As these changes mostly involve people, the political, social, legal and perhaps union related issues can cause significant problems and have been known to prevent the full benefits being realised. A good Workforce Management supplier will have a significant amount of experience around these issues, and by working closely with them and involving senior management and board level executives organisations will have a much greater chance of success. The cost of implementing a Workforce Management Solution will vary depending on the size and complexity of an organisation. The cost of the software, support and equipment needed will be one element. But more importantly will be the cost of planning, feasibility studies and pilot or proof of concept projects. A good supplier will be able to provide a wealth of knowledge and experience delivered as a service element to their offerings. While this may significantly increase the overall cost, it will in the long run deliver much greater returns. It also worth noting that the benefits of deploying a Workforce Management Solution are not just relevant to highly process driven industries such as manufacturing. They can also be used successfully, and in some cases more so, to a range of different industries. Many organisations in areas such as retail, logistics, services and public sector have also benefited from these solutions. Successful cases we have examined include examples such as the management of university students to reduce fee leakage and by a large police force to maximise their control over the management and allocation of resource. Overall, we feel that the greater visibility and control over an organisations workforce and its activities is essential across a wide range of industry sectors. By enabling greater cost control, improving productivity and efficiency and bridging the gap between planning and execution we will see Workforce Management Solutions becoming commonplace.

The Business Value of Workforce Management Solutions

Workforce Management Solutions


A Workforce Management Solution will provide a comprehensive set of functionality to allow organisations to manage their workforce activities and performance. While the functionality and terminology offered by various suppliers will differ, the following elements are prerequisites.

Workforce Profiling
An organisations workforce typically consists of a diverse set of people with different roles and levels of skill, ability and knowledge. When an organisation plans resource against its activities, it is essential that the resource is suitably skilled to perform those allocated work tasks. While a Workforce Management Solution will import employee information from other systems (see System Integration) such as HR and Human Capital Management, this information will most likely contain only basic employee information. What is needed is a much greater level of detail about each employee and the rules and attributes that can be used in the work allocation process. A Workforce Management Solution will allow this level of detail to be recorded, creating a detailed profile of each individual and the structure of the workforce as a whole. This workforce profile is crucial to efficient forecasting, planning and scheduling. It also provides management with the information necessary to ensure the workforce is optimised against current and future requirements.

Workforce Activity Planning and Scheduling


For most organisations, the activities that need to be performed by its workforce will rarely be flat or constant. In most cases the activities will be dynamic and cyclical changing on a monthly, weekly, daily, hourly or even real-time basis. These variances may be the result of planned changes such as production or service schedules. But also unplanned variances such as a surge in customer demand, work tasks that take a longer or shorter period of time to complete or unplanned employee absenteeism can all have a ripple effect on future work schedules. These factors multiply to create complex resource planning and scheduling issues. Unless an organisation has the ability to manage this complexity, they face the risk of not having resources available when and where they are needed, or excess resource available when they are not. These issues can soon lead to inefficiencies in the cost and productivity of the workforce, as well as commercial and operation risks. Central to a Workforce Management Solution is the ability to accurately plan, schedule and allocate resource dynamically against current and planned activities. Activity requirements such as work orders or production schedules can either be entered directly into the Workforce Management Solution or by importing work plans from external systems such as Enterprise Resource Planning, Manufacturing Resource Planning or Sales Order Processing systems. By using a combination of information from a range of sources such as workforce and employee profiles, time and attendance information and historical work/resource analysis, a Workforce Management Solution can produce work schedules and resource allocation that makes the most efficient and optimised use of the organisations workforce.

The Business Value of Workforce Management Solutions

Activity Recording, Monitoring and Tracking


As the mantra goes, if you cannot measure it then you cannot manage it, and when dealing with workforce productivity, it is particularly true. For decades organisations have used time and motion studies to understand the cost of their work activities and to find ways to improve their efficiency. Unlike time and motion studies which typically only look at a snapshot in time, Workforce Management Solutions allow organisations to record every aspect of their workers activities on a continuous and ongoing basis. By using a range of simple to use and accessible interfaces, detailed information is recorded on the timing and activities performed by the workforce. This information can be imported into job costing or payroll applications as well as human resource systems for monitoring individual performance and appraisal. This recording and monitoring also provides benefits in areas such as health and safety, compliance and security by enabling access control and employee monitoring. Perhaps more importantly it provides a wealth of information that describes what work has been performed, who has performed it and the time they spent performing it. This information can be fed back into the scheduling process to provide more accurate predictions on the time and resource needed to perform future tasks. As the historical information soon builds up, organisations can use the information to look for further ways to improve workforce productivity and efficiency.

Management Reporting
Detailed and reliable workforce cost and productivity information is rarely available to managers. Most have to work with assumptions or high-level aggregate information pieced together from a variety of different systems. A Workforce Management Solution forms a detailed and comprehensive repository of information covering all aspects of an organisations workforce and its activities. This information can be disseminated to management at all levels through several different methods. Most Workforce Management Solutions provide a library of pre-configured management reports that can be delivered in a variety of formats such as HTML, Excel or PDF. Dashboards have become popular in recent years and most solutions provide pre-configured dashboards showing key workforce and business metrics side by side with planned and actual figures. Customised reports and dashboards can be created either by using internal report writers or by using third party software such as Crystal Reports. What is important to business managers is the ability to have workforce data available to them in the same reporting systems and formats as any other business data. As many organisations have deployed Business Intelligence and Enterprise Performance Management solutions, integrating the workforce data into those systems is essential.

The Business Value of Workforce Management Solutions

System Integration
For Workforce Management Solutions to deliver the most benefit to organisations they must provide seamless integration to other systems used across the organisation. In many respects it is fundamental to the functionality that they provide. Integration with Enterprise Resource Planning applications for example will provide the Workforce Management Solution with details of production plans, work orders and job scheduling information. Integration with HR and payroll applications will simplify the payroll processing cycle. Most suppliers recognise this and have developed comprehensive and open import and export processes. These processes can be configured and automated across a wide range of applications, platforms and data sources. Some suppliers will also provide standard interfaces to a variety of systems such as SAP, Microsoft, Oracle, Sage and Northgate for example. Where existing integration options are not available, most suppliers will offer a bespoke integration service.

Ease of Use and Accessibility


When implementing a Workforce Management Solution, organisations need to ensure that the recording of time and work activity becomes part of the daily work routine. People with varying levels of computing knowledge and skills will have to interact with the system in some way. Field and mobile workers who are off site, or workers in harsh environments will all require a mechanism to be allocated work activities and record information. It is essential that the interface they have is suitable for their level of skill and environment. Some suppliers use the term Employee Self Service and that is an important aspect to Workforce Management Solutions. The overhead and inflexibility of re-keying information from existing, perhaps paper based, systems will be a barrier to a successful deployment. Workforce Management Solution suppliers will provide a broad range of devices and solutions to suit the organisations environment. In manufacturing for example, touch screen devices with clear user interfaces and rugged equipment may be required. A mobile workforce may integrate the solution to their existing BlackBerrys, smart phones or other wireless devices. Data capture may be simplified by using a range of options such as swipe card, barcode scanner and RFiD. For service based organisations, those features may be integrated into existing applications such as workflow applications.

Implementation
Implementing a Workforce Management Solution involves far more than just acquiring and implementing a set of software and hardware solutions. As weve already mentioned, this will just automate existing processes and remove some administrative activities. Whilst this would deliver some value, most value can be gained from using the implementation process as an opportunity to fundamentally review an organisations workforce structure and process.

The Business Value of Workforce Management Solutions

Most Workforce Management suppliers will have a wealth of knowledge and experience gained from years of experience of working with a diverse range of organisations. We would strongly recommend organisations use that experience during the assessment and feasibility stage. Organisations should take a step back and conduct a root and branch analysis of the work they do and how they do it. This will highlight potential areas of cost, productivity and inefficiencies that may be improved by utilising a Workforce Management Solution. To minimise unnecessary risk, pilot and proof-of-concept projects are strongly recommended. Many organisations have a number of smaller divisions, teams or departments that perform work tasks that are similar to the rest of the organisation. For example, a manufacturing organisation may have several production lines. Implementing the workforce changes to that smaller segment will provide clear evidence on the benefits and potential risks before being implemented wider. This may also be an important step to gain board-level support for a broader deployment.

Conclusion
Workforce management is becoming a key component in the broader Business Execution initiatives that compliment the planning and control systems inherent in ERP and other systems. Since labour costs form such a high percentage of most organisations costs, it is clear that workforce management will become a significant factor in realising cost savings and closing the loop between planning and implementation of strategy. We expect to see a sharp increase in the use of workforce management methods and systems over the next three to five years, with corresponding improvements in productivity and flexibility.

The Business Value of Workforce Management Solutions

Industry Perspective
Written by; Mike Hawkesford, Managing Director, Crown Computing Neville Henderson, Principal Consultant, Pasfield Curran

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Examine your core business processes


Before you consider any type of automated Workforce Management solution you really need to look at your underlying core business processes. Are you sure that the processes you have in place are helping you to operate at optimum efficiency and capacity? After all, the best Workforce Management system in the world is only as good as the processes and schemes that it administers, if these are fundamentally inefficient, the reality is that you will just end up computerizing inefficiency.

Flexibility - Working smarter not harder


The key to any successful business is to understand and deal with the real demands on all internal processes. Implemented strategically, flexible working can provide a practical way, using concepts such as annualised hours, to help deal with these demands. What is meant by demand is all the forces that may impact on a business. External forces such as changes in the market and competition-legislation, the political and economic environment, parent company requirements, etc are outside the control of management but must be taken on board. These forces translate into internal demands such as customer requirements, performance expectations, unit cost targets, quality and service standards, asset utilisation, operating methods, equipment and process running options, work practices attendance patterns, culture etc. In addition, employee expectations are a major consideration. To determine the real demand profile one must examine this multi-dimensional business model comprising all of these forces. Some of these forces will be unique to each business and consequently, flexible working arrangements need to be tailored to each organisation or operating unit.

It is not just about working time


Only when the real demand profile is understood can new flexible ways of working be introduced. The ability to think laterally throughout the process is important, as everyones views and assumptions are challenged about what is possible. Working at the sharp end, the timing of critical tasks and the skills required for any given level of product or service can be determined. Definition of job groupings and time-critical staffing levels are essential pre-requisites to determining the solution. Using these tools, new team structures can be implemented, matching the available hours of employee work teams to the demand for products and services. Consultants model the necessary requirements by time and skills, enabling the organisation to assign people to skilled positions - or identify where and when the skills gap exists.

Employer & Employee Partnership


Experience shows that best results are achieved by the process of creating a partnership with the organisation and its employees from the outset. In many instances, the flexible working ground rules have been developed through the understanding and consensus of those who will participate in the new ways of working. The results can be impressive.

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Effective workforce management practices employed by high performing organisations include: Implementing focused technology. Opening up communications between management and employees. Establishing a flexible workplace. Creating a total rewards and accountability orientation. Attaining excellence in recruitment and retention.

The business benefits of a more flexible approach to work: Higher productivity. Enhanced quality and customer service. Increased staff motivation and commitment. Reduced absence. Easier to attract and retain good people. Ensure legal compliance.

Win-win
In bringing about the change there has to be tangible benefits for employees, possibly in terms of higher guaranteed pay, training and development opportunities and an incentive to have more say in how work is performed. And of course, reducing the hours needed to do it. Employers sometimes believe that work-life balance equates to inefficiency, loss of productivity and disruption. Yet well-founded flexible working schemes can actually deliver more efficiency and productivity, create less disruption and reduce recruitment and training costs. The five key concepts Demand Profiling "Assessing the real demand for products and services" Work Time Modules "Developing a flexible approach to working time" Job & Team Profiling "Establishing meaningful structures" Work-life Balance "Designing valuable leisure time" Motivation & Reward "Providing ways to underpin new ways of working

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Example Case Study Major blue-chip medical equipment supplier


Discontent with previous working practices
At a specialist satellite factory for a major blue chip medical equipment supplier, fluctuations in demand were prevalent. Coping with variations in requirement amidst poor working practices was a previous cause of unrest at the company, at both employee and management level. Discontent with our ways of working in the factory, in both management and staff, had been building for a long time. Staff were being asked to work overtime at short notice, and the plan was changing frequently as sales orders were pulled forward to cover late production elsewhere. Alongside this, we were losing people to local factories who offered higher fixed pay for higher hours. Furthermore, sub-optimal working practices were having an impact on management, whose focus was distracted from management tasks to the re-scheduling of the workforce. Order completion often required extended working hours, which spiralled overtime costs. Management were spending a huge proportion of their time re-organising shift rotas as the plan changed and persuading people to work different hours. Senior management were constantly frustrated at the unreliability of the factory and the huge costs associated with overtime. As they were unable to utilise periods of labour over-capacity, training the workforce was limited, Training and development had long been forgotten. As people were not getting trained above the basics, flexibility was actually decreasing. Waste was high, the factory was fed up with the push, senior management were fed up with the cost, and the rest of the business was fed up with missed promises.

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Addressing the issues


Having obtained a comprehensive understanding of the business requirements, the introduction of flexible annualised hours contracts was proposed. The new measures would enable the workforce to cope with over and under capacity, and make time for training and development. The recommendations also addressed low pay issues, and eliminated overtime.

Implementing flexible annualised hours


With effort and collaboration from both parties, the new working practices were successfully implemented. Under the new scheme, working practices have flourished. The company now benefits from maintaining a happier workforce, at shop floor and management level, in a less stressful environment, and with more competitive pay. Numerous cost savings have resulted from reduced waste, increased operating efficiencies, and eliminated overtime, providing the company with a significant return on investment.

The benefits
Waste has been reduced dramatically, and operating efficiencies are up by around 10% across the board. We have killed the period end push and we have lower staff turnover. Management are totally committed to this less stressful way of working, and since introducing flexible annualised hours our factory employees have had most Fridays off. Additionally, introducing flexible annualised hours has generated opportunities for increased training, set aside from production time, and more opportunities for trial and sample periods. The rest of the business has also noted a major difference in reliability, and increased flexibility to include trial and sample periods to generate additional business. The flexibility of the new scheme has seen quality standards increase, as work as been redesigned around skill presence at the factory, giving tasks to the right people present at the right time. There is a higher level of communication throughout the site, and greater understanding of the business overall.

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Automating the Workforce Management process


In the current economic climate, it is critical for companies to position themselves more competitively achieving higher levels of efficiency and productivity even as those organisations are struggling to lower operational costs. Employees often represent the largest controllable expense, and as a result is a primary target of cost-containment efforts. But the workforce is also the resource most essential to business value. Organisations are increasingly wary of losing skilled personnel that are critical to meeting their business or organisational goals, just because they need to cut costs. Business executives are realising the importance of effective workforce management as a way of controlling employee costs, increasing productivity, and driving business value throughout the organisation. As a result, they are looking to workforce management solutions that enable managers to understand how to most productively deploy the workforce whilst freeing them to become more effective contributors to overall business performance. A good workforce management solution will: Automate and streamline manual Workforce Planning, Scheduling/Rostering & Time and Attendance processes in order to increase business information and eliminate waste. Empower employees to interact with the system to provide them with the information that is important to them as an employee. Empower managers to access real-time employee data that provides meaningful insight into employee performance, productivity measurement, and accountability. Ensure that management decisions are aligned with strategic business goals and supported by timely information for managing the workforce against business requirements.

Many companies recognise that effective workforce management solutions give a competitive advantage a means to reduce costs and eliminate waste whilst optimising the workforce. By refining and streamlining their best practices for workforce management, organisations can achieve significant savings with minimal impact on their headcount. The use of technology combined with more proactive management of the workforce will result in greater efficiencies and cost savings within existing processes and functions.

ERP

HR

WM

Payroll

Financials

A workforce management solution is a business critical application.

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Planning for the longer term


Many companies are looking for strategic initiatives to help them cut costs, and better workforce management is chief among them. Such an initiative requires a holistic view of the workforces performance in order for managers to deploy strategies and resources quickly and effectively. After all, they are facing more scrutiny than ever when it comes to business performance. Corporate budgets are tightening, and as a result the managers accountability has evolved to optimising the workforces performance against business goals. Managers need more powerful tools to maximise distribution of the workforce and assess employee performance, while business leaders need more accurate views on operational performance and business productivity. Yet managing employee costs is more than just watching headcount, controlling overheads, and eliminating paper-based processes. These actions can reduce costs in the near-term, but a robust solution is critical to improving long-term productivity and mapping future growth for the organisation. It will also enable both managers and employees to take more proactive roles in their own success as well as that of the company. Companies leverage their workforces to realise a higher return on investment, increased productivity, decreased operational costs, improved customer and employee retention, and a host of other benefits. By employing key workforce management practices, companies are able to reach a higher level of employee performance that leads to increased profitability. For companies that deploy technology for workforce management, the result is enhanced productivity in many areas of the workplace: Reduced errors and minimised rework associated with entering information into multiple systems saves time and money. Increased accuracy and availability of data allows for better decision making throughout the organisation. Removal of chokepoints, providing faster cycle times, and delivering better service to employees, managers, and other users. Less reliance on human involvement results in headcount savings, especially in larger companies.

Benefits to HR and Payroll


Employees can manage their own personal data, request time off, examine different benefits scenarios, and track their own training and development. Managers can communicate team or business unit goals easily with employees and involve them in their own training and development. Managers can consider employees work/life choices and involve workers in setting their own schedules.

Engaging employees through self-service technology is just one step in the engagement process. By utilising a variety of proven workforce management tools and best practices, a company is able to successfully engage employees at multiple levels.

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A strong relationship between employees increased level of engagement with their organisation, increased retention of talent and improved financial performance will become apparent. As engagement levels rise, employees are less likely to leave a company, and their commitment to meeting customer needs also rises. The cost of production should decrease as employee engagement increases. Self-service devices include PCs, touch-screen terminals, biometric devices, badge readers, PDAs, and kiosks for information sharing.

Empowering Key Managers


Managers must be empowered to optimise the workforce by having the power to hire the best people, train them properly, track them carefully, and compensate them appropriately. Managers have ownership of the companys relationship with workers, so managers need the tools to staff, develop, deploy, track, and reward employees. Self-service technology allows managers to conduct performance reviews, plan and review staff salaries, initiate job requisitions for open positions, create development plans, and much more. Reliable data is the foundation of solid workforce analytics that allow managers to respond quickly to developing situations and make well-informed decisions. By having information readily available to make decisions, managers are able to leverage the best performance from employees at the lowest cost. Ideally, a companys workforce management system should include self-service capabilities on managers desktops so they can interact 24/7 with the system for real-time access to employee information. With these tools, managers are able to optimise and more effectively manage a companys most expensive resource the workforce. Providing managers with the tools they need to effectively manage employees is important to improving employee satisfaction and retention, lowering overall labour costs, increasing productivity and, ultimately, boosting an organisations profitability.

Benefits
The benefits of implementing an automated workforce management system are many, as it can deliver increased efficiencies and more cost-effective procedures. Communication with employees is improved throughout the organisation, resulting in a more fully engaged workforce that is more likely to understand and implement company goals. Empowered managers can optimise the workforce by effectively tracking, developing, and rewarding employees, as well as make more informed and timely decisions. The end result from this approach can be an organisation that realises a higher return on investment on the companys most costly but valuable asset the workforce.

Future Potential
The most valuable asset that any company has and certainly the most expensive is its workforce. Estimates show that anything up to 80 per cent of an organisations operating costs can be taken up by the direct and associated cost of employing staff. Normally, to support employees, Human Resources and payroll systems are deployed, and of course, they have an important role to play. However, because of their heritage, and focus, which is usually towards providing a departmental based point solution, they do not address the management needs of the modern enterprise.

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Workforce Management suppliers need to develop their workforce support strategies to deal with the ever changing demands of industry today. Organisations that are spending large amounts of operating capital on their workforce need to know that their resources are being efficiently utilised, money is being well spent, and that where cost savings can be made, these can be easily identified and actioned. The potential benefits and cost savings that can be achieved through the deployment of this type of system are enormous. This area of the technology market place has the potential to develop rapidly over the next few years.

Example Case Study Major healthcare services provider


Introducing a Workforce Management solution
For this organisation, the delivery of high quality, continually improving services is seen as key to their future. Therefore, introducing an effective Workforce Management solution was vital to ensure they continued to meet and exceed client expectations. The system would help to ensure that all practices within the organisation are geared for sustainable success, and accountability, with readily accessible data. The original business case detailed the requirements of the new solution. These included: coping with future changes to the organisation, procedures, and rules. providing management with proven results, ensuring accountability at all levels. linking to the existing Payroll and HR systems. providing the company with substantial return on investment.

As an innovative and proactive service-led organisation, we needed to work with a partner who could deliver a system that is in harmony with our aspirations, we believe that, with our solutions provider, we have fulfilled this requirement. Implementing the new system has provided the company with a rapid and significant return on investment. The solution allows managers to manage, and promotes a more efficient working environment for the mutual benefit of our organisation and its clients.

Identifying the solution


Identifying a preferred supplier required a thorough examination of the market. There was a full selection process, we looked at 14 suppliers at arms length, and selected 5 for greater scrutiny. We then narrowed this down to 2, for an extensive fact-based comparison. This included presentations to a cross-section of staff, from Directors through to Administrators, who put their questions to the potential suppliers in a structured, metrics-driven manner. The response from the attendees was 100% in favour of our eventual supplier. The new swipe-card solution went live in 2007 and has been deployed at 13 healthcare locations in total. Our provider demonstrated the adaptability of its solution within this rollout in many ways, including the use of 3G technology and the internet where a standard networked solution was not practical.

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Reducing the administrative burden to allow managers to manage


Implementing our new solution has significantly reduced the administrative burden, allowing managers to focus on the management of their workforce, for the mutual benefit of our organisation and clients. The old paper-based solution was time-consuming. The key to an efficient and effective operation is the management of staff and our new system now allows us to do that. Senior management were the main drivers behind this project. We wanted managers to manage, and have their initiatives supported by easily accessible information, and a flexible application. Our new solution facilitated that. It provides for resource planning, real time monitoring, and management information.

Rapid return on investment


Addressing the administrative issues, as well as the overtime, absence and attrition concerns, has resulted in a significant return on investment for the organisation. We are getting a more rapid return on investment than estimated in the original business case. The cost of deployment fell under budget, and fact-based reviews have shown that we have significantly reduced overtime - for example at one of our major locations. There are also qualitative benefits such as the ability to readily distribute overtime fairly, and be seen to be doing so.

Collaborative approach
Our provider listened to our requirements and were very helpful and responsive. I can see that their solution is adapting to future needs. In collaboration with them, we are constantly looking at the more innovative methods of transaction collection widening the potential use of the application. Following the success of this implementation, we are currently investigating the potential of rolling out the system into other parts of our organisation.

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Crown Computing Overview


Established in 1987, Crown Computing is the UKs leading supplier of Workforce Management solutions to medium-to-large organisations in both the private and public sectors. Our experience in Time & Attendance, Scheduling/Rostering and the broader aspects of Workforce Management is exceptional and this is reflected in our client base, which includes major organisations such as BAE Systems, ITN, Ford of Britain, Unilever, Carillion, Scottish Power, Royal Mail, Lancashire Police and several large UK Local Authorities. In 2007 Pasfield Curran joined forces with Crown to provide a complete consultancy and technology solution to ensure effective flexible working practices are identified and managed within a structured time & activity recording framework. Our mission is to provide our customers with the very best systems to optimise the investment they make in their workforce. Investment in Customer Support and Research & Development has grown to keep pace with technology and market demands. With our help, customers will identify areas where improvements are required and where costs can be saved resulting in improved productivity, better customer service and success in the market place. For more information visit: www.crowncomputing.co.uk. The consulting division of Crown is Pasfield Curran www.pasfieldcurran.com Tel: 01827 309800 E-mail sales@crowncomputing.co.uk

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