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Counting Time

11 January 2008

ISS now manages its workforce more effectively and has improved its human capital management and client service by extending use of time and attendance solutions. Frank Booty reports

ISS, ONE OF THE UK'S LARGEST FM services providers, contracted Intelligent Time Systems (ITS) to develop a Timesheet Data Entry system to integrate with its central payroll. The new Timesheet system will cover head office staff and all other employees not currently using Tru-time, the time and attendance solution
from ITS.

Tru-time has been used by ISS since 2005 to manage employees' hours and access when working on client sites, and is constantly being rolled out to new clients as they come on board. When the new Timesheet Data Entry system is fully live, hours for all 42,000 employees will be managed through Tru-time.

ITS was chosen by ISS to replace the current Electronic Timesheet solution following a review of various market options, undertaken in conjunction with ISS' Payroll/HR partner Ceridian. Bundling all of ISS' workforce management solutions into one package had a distinct advantage and ITS' flexibility in solution design meant that ISS would be able to maximise the functionality available to meet the business needs. The plan is for the timesheet data entry system to be rolled out in Spring 2008.

Minimising ISS' risk is a key factor in adopting this system. The solution's design automates much of the process, limiting reworking and mitigating as much risk as possible. The principal application will run on Microsoft Windows Server 2003 with client access provided through Citrix. These particular choices were made by ISS, but it is understood that other platforms and configurations are possible.

ISS is currently using ITS' HR module, which provides full recording and reporting facilities for recruitment, training, appraisals, visas, work permits and qualifications. This enables the company to proactively manage its workforce, ensuring that the correct person, with the right qualifications is at the right place at the right time. ISS applies various different access technologies according to client site requirements and is using ITS' biometric scanning machines at large sites as it provides a more secure, reliable form of clocking, preventing fraud.

The ITS solution allows ISS to deal effectively with the new health and safety directives, particularly legislation for lone workers. Employers must now have processes in place to ensure they monitor when employees access and leave the workplace. Tru-time alerts managers if lone workers have not clocked out according to pre-set times, either by e-mail flags or SMS messages. Instances can be immediately investigated, thus protecting the welfare of the employee. For ISS, it is also important to demonstrate this capability to clients. Access Control from ITS can also be timed and zoned, enabling ISS to provide additional security as well as details about who is on the client site and where they are.

The new system is still in the specification phase. All the functionality of the existing system will be replicated, but with greater control mechanisms and flexibility in solution design.

Lone workers
Where ISS had lone worker issues, it would look to utilise the workflow management capability within the core Tru-Time system. This includes 'check call' functionality as well as scheduled driven 'missed clocks' warnings. The timesheet data entry solution will give a single point of entry for HR data which needs to flow to many other systems. As all time and attendance data will be held in one overall system, it greatly enhances the centralised reporting of issues connected with the Working Time Directive and absence management.

Since implementing ITS' solution, ISS has seen improved productivity and the company now has more accurate records of employees' working hours, so can proactively manage its labour budget as a result. According to Richard Bishop-Laggett, HR Services and Development Director at ISS, "People are our business and managing such a large workforce that operates on diverse client sites is a challenge. A flexible time and attendance system is an essential requirement for our business, and ITS' solution really stands out from the rest in its flexibility and innovation. The initial implementation of Tru-time has proven very successful and so we are rolling out the system to new customers. ITS' willingness and ability to develop the Timesheet Data Entry system, that will integrate with our payroll, is a good example of their determination to provide customers with solutions that really support business requirements."

Mark Nutter, ITS Managing Director, says, "At ITS we are committed to providing easy to use, robust systems, that enable our clients to manage their staff - which is often their largest asset - as effectively as possible. We enable organisations like ISS to comply with a myriad of legislation including working time directives, health & safety, lone worker, and much more, while helping them to deliver better service to their customers and improve efficiency, thereby saving costs."

ISS can now manage its workforce more effectively by ensuring that the right person with the right qualifications is in the right place at the right time. The company has seen improved productivity and the company now has more accurate records of employees' working hours, so can proactively manage its labour budget as a result.

More info

....Frank Booty is a freelance writer

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