Changing with the City, Dublin Bus, like many other companies in cities across Ireland, UK and North America, has taken steps to improve processes, promote employee self-service, reduce paperwork and data errors by introducing an automated Time and Attendance (T&A) system from leading software supplier, Softworks Workforce Management.
With a staff of 3,500, consisting of drivers, inspectors, mechanics, cleaners and clerical staff, Dublin Bus was looking for ways to maximise the working hours and efficiencies of employees. To help, Joe Kenny, Employee Relations Manager at Dublin Bus undertook the task of introducing a Time & Attendance System to replace the antiquated time clocks staff had been using for years. “I am a firm believer in using IT and technological developments to process and reduce administrative tasks and paperwork,” says Joe Kenny. In addition to controlling and centralising clocking, Kenny also wanted to upgrade their access control system which was outdated and unreliable. “We chose Softworks for a number of reasons,” says Kenny “but the fact that they could offer a complete solution was a big plus for us. We wanted a T&A system that incorporated access control, and with Softworks, that’s what we got.”
The access control system from Softworks is a stand alone or fully integrated, flexible solution designed to control individuals entering or leaving the premises or gaining access to restricted areas. Softworks gives organisations control and enhances security. It allows companies to authorise, monitor, report on and manage access to buildings. Updating the antiquated punch card system was also a priority for Kenny. Before the implementation of Softworks Time & Attendance / Flexitime, supervisors in each department signed off weekly cards which were then passed onto HR. “We couldn’t rely on this system to provide accurate employee hours,” says Kenny. “Softworks has been of benefit in this area as it has reduced the number of incorrect working hours recorded, has given the HR department more visibility and employees now have access to more information than ever before.”
With Softworks employees can access their own information via the PC. Recently, employees in the sales office, who work on varying shift patterns, have been given access to Softworks. This is a big bonus for them, says Kenny, as they now have the ability to view their own records, to see the hours they have worked, to manage their time better and holiday planning is now much easier. Employee self service is the way forward and is being implemented by many organisations and in this sense, Dublin Bus is truly ‘Changing with the City’. The management team at Dublin Bus has driven this initiative and by giving employees access to their own data has seen a reduction in paperwork and administrative tasks and an improvement in accuracy of data collection and, in turn, productivity.
Since Softworks has been installed, things are a lot easier for the HR department, supervisors and employees. Kenny finds the system useful for monitoring probationary staff. At Dublin Bus, good time-keeping is an important thing to monitor in new recruits and Softworks allows the HR department to view time and attendance levels on a daily / weekly basis rather than checking summary reports at the end of the probationary term, he says.
Softworks has also given supervisors and employees more flexibility and the system is in constant use. “When we first saw a demonstration of the system, we felt this was a system that we needed and could easily use. The menus are very clear and the links flow logically. While it wasn’t the cheapest system we looked at, I believe you get what you pay for and we have got a good, user friendly solution that has delivered what it said it would,” Kenny concluded.
Dublin Bus recently completed an upgrade to the latest version of Softworks Workforce Management Solutions to take advantage of newly available features and functionality. Speaking about the project Gemma O’Brien, Business Systems Executive said ” I wanted to give some feedback in relation to the recent upgrade of our Softworks system. From start to finish the team were beyond accommodating and professional. Thank you for all your help and assistance and I appreciate all the effort involved.”