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How to Relieve Back Office Headaches

Tue, 01/11/2011 - 10:40am

SheakleyA decadently glazed ham for the holidays or a succulent, juicy pork tenderloin served at a dinner party … sounds good, doesn’t it?

But what do these delectable treats have to do with time and labor management? A lot, if you’re Dan Norman, Director of Information Systems for Triumph Foods LLC, a pork food processing company in Missouri. Just as other companies outsource certain back office activities, Triumph also turns to a third party organization to accommodate its complex payroll and time and attendance requirements. That organization is Sheakley PaySystems, a licensee of SaaShr.com’s web-based time and labor management application.

Along Comes Triumph

Triumph Foods, which sells in the area of $60 million worth of pork products monthly and employs 2,300 workers for an annual payroll of over $50 million, has complicated workforce management and tracking requirements. With shifts that can run a different amount of hours depending on the day, complex pay rules, dealing with union contracts and other stresses that are inevitable when operating a high-volume, low-margin business, Triumph needed a highly flexible solution to meet its demands.

“What we were dealing with before was a very ‘vanilla’ solution,” said Dan Norman. “We were looking for a solution that could meet more of our industry-specific needs and could integrate seamlessly with payroll. We were going to either upgrade or change our solution regardless, so we decided to shop around.”

Triumph chose Sheakley PaySystems, who offered a payroll solution as well as SaaShr.com’s private-label time and labor management application, which the organization branded as Proitime. The two systems work together to exchange information for use in the collection, analysis and reporting of employee time.

Triumph’s Big Problem

Due to the unappealing nature of the job and the requirements for securing employment that are easily attainable, Triumph experiences a very high rate of turnover. “Aggressive production ramp up on two shifts coupled with a challenging industrial work environment further added to turnover,” stated Norman. 

Employing so many people, Triumph and its managers were experiencing issues with being able to keep track of its employees’ work behaviors in order to discipline them appropriately and fairly, primarily in terms of attendance.

The Solution 

The Point System is a tool within the application that managers can use to effectively track attendance behavior using points that can be automatically assigned based on user-defined rules. Points can be assigned either negatively or positively, awarding points for positive attendance behavior or assigning points to indicate attendance infractions.

Triumph uses points to record negative attendance behaviors. For example, if a worker does not show up for work and does not call to inform his or her supervisor or request that time off using the system, they are assigned a point. One half of a point is assigned if an employee leaves work early or is tardy and they have worked more than a half-day. Once an employee ‘earns’ nine points, a disciplinary letter is generated.

Using the Point System has allowed for greater visibility in terms of employee behavior for both supervisors as well as managers within Triumph. “This tool has allowed us to use rules to ensure fairness and prevent mistakes and oversight,” said Norman. A critical outcome of using the Point System was the automation of the disciplinary process regarding attendance.

According to company records, the heightened visibility also has translated into a reduction of errors. Using information taken from a company log of payroll corrections, Norman found that the number of payroll errors decreased by 75 percent when the SaaShr.com system was implemented. This reduction of errors translated into a 55 percent reduction in the resources spent fixing those errors “Because our supervisors now have the tools necessary and improved access to employee information, the number of payroll errors has decreased dramatically and we can be much more efficient,” said Norman.

Additional Benefit — Configuration

It was via high levels of configurability through the introduction of additional business logic that Triumph was able to implement a system that was entirely adaptable to their industry. “We have been able to find a solution that has been fine-tuned to the nuances of our industry,” said Norman.

“SaaShr.com has demonstrated a willingness to completely understand our specific needs and desires in a union environment with complex pay and business rules,” said Norman. In order to accommodate Triumph’s needs in a system, Norman says, “Creative addition of rules, reports, and timesheet formats gave the installation a very custom look and operation.”

“If the solution was possible, SaaShr.com got it done,” said Norman. “The necessary modifications were made in order to find the middle ground between our needs and the system’s capabilities. No matter what we need, Sheakley PaySystems and SaaShr.com together found a way to get it done.”

For more information, please visit www.sheakley.com/payroll.asp.

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