Best-in-Class Workforce Management Software from Industry Experts
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Whether you are in retail, hospitality, healthcare or an industry, generating a weekly or bi-schedule with Excel spreadsheets, it can be time consuming. This becomes even more difficult when it comes to tracking employee hours, including overtime. And, while Excel spreadsheets can be useful in some areas of business, using it for the purpose of scheduling employees especially in companies with complex and rotation shifts can be headache for supervisors.

Scheduling With Spreadsheets, Really? Who Does That Anymore?

One of the better investments an organization can make is to deploy an ATS Workforce Scheduling Solution that will help with better workforce planning, and improve overall employee productivity, and satisfaction.

ATS Workforce Scheduling Solution is purpose-built for the managers and supervisors alike, and utilizes employee working patterns and shift preferences —as a best fit, with statutory holidays and absences automatically applied. The manager is immediately notified through an alert, of schedule gaps caused by absences, holidays or workload demand, so that the appropriate action can be taken.

ATS Workforce Scheduling Solution benefits include:

  • Minimize compliance risk with consistent rules and policies
  • Accurately anticipate demand to help reduce under-staffing
  • Employees are allocated to a shift based on preference and seniority
  • Statutory holidays and absences are automatically applied
  • Actual vs. budget schedule report can be generated thus, reducing the possibility of over-staffing
  • Minimize compliance risks, while adhering to local, regional and cross continental rules and policies
  • Accurately anticipate demand based on forecast, to help reduce under-staffing

Now, can your Excel spreadsheet do all that?  Trying to guess the right number of employees you need to cover a shift or the best worker to fill an open one, commonly causes errors and complications. With Workforce Scheduling the guesswork and manual scheduling is taken out of the equation.

To download a copy of ATS Workforce Scheduling Solution or to register for one of our bi-weekly webinars, go to our website. And, to speak to an account executive, call: 866.294.2467.

 

Time And Attendance Requirements: The Ultimate Elephant In The Room

May 26th, 2015 | Posted by Apex Time Solutions in Business Software Automation | Cloud Time and Attendance | Employee Time Tracking Software - (Comments Off on Time And Attendance Requirements: The Ultimate Elephant In The Room)

A successful time and attendance implementation is at the heart of a good customer and vendor relationship yet, the opposite happen sometimes. Why? Because it is possible that one or both parties, ignored the “elephant in the room” which is; go over the business requirements and make sure both understand it and set expectations accordingly. And, when this happens, pointing fingers at each other simply exacerbates the situation.

Time And Attendance Requirements: The Ultimate Elephant In The Room

So, what causes these misunderstandings? There are many and some may include:

The Customer- Perhaps the customer felt that the vendor should understand their time and attendance requirements because said vendor have experience working with other companies in the same industry. It is also possible that the customer might omit some business requirements fearing the solution would cost more that their budget will allow.

The Vendor- Eager to make the sale and acquire a customer, the vendor might have their blinders on and, instead of asking the right questions to understand the business fundamentals-chooses to engage the customer knowing there could be roadblocks ahead.

The End-Result-Sooner or later, whether it’s prior to or during the implementation phase the actual requirements that we left out during prior discussions by one or both parties will rear its ugly head. How it’s handled, once revealed, will determine the success or lack thereof of your time and attendance implementation. It is also possible that some of the requirements were missed during lengthy phone conversations and/or e-mails. As long as both parties agree to work to resolve it, a possible sticky situation can turn into a positive for both the vendor and customer and could potentially lead to long and rewarding relationship.

AT ATS we use a time-tested and unique methodology to uncover true business requirements. And if we find out that there are areas that are pertinent to an organization, that were not discussed, during the software demonstration -which could jeopardize a successful deployment, we will discuss those with you. The ATS implementation team will also work with you, on your journey, from the planning and design stages to implementation to managing your time and attendance system going forward.

To learn more download a demonstration, brochures or contact us 1.866.294.2467.

Time And Attendance Requirements: The Ultimate Elephant In The Room

Are You Upgrading Your Time and Attendance Through Conventional Methods?

January 13th, 2015 | Posted by Apex Time Solutions in Employee Time Tracking Software | Time and Attendance On-Demand | Web-Based Time and Attendance Software | Workforce Analytics - (Comments Off on Are You Upgrading Your Time and Attendance Through Conventional Methods?)

There was a time, not too long ago, when the only way to upgrade was your time and attendance software was, to wait for the arrival of a CD. That CD would then be placed into your computer hard drive and then and with fingers crossed, everyone hoped the correct files would be applied correctly. Then there was the link to an upgrade which the user also had to download and the same principle would apply in terms of praying all would go well with the upgrade.

In the last several years, cloud computing has disrupted the very notion that upgrading your time and attendance has be a slow and daunting process.  In fact, some business executives who previously thought it was all hype are slowing opting for cloud-based solutions. And, while there are some, in the minority, who remain cautious about cloud-based solutions, there is no denying that cloud computing is here to stay.

Benefits of an ATS Cloud-Based Time and Attendance include:

Business value laced with affordability –ATS Cloud gives customers a complete, end-to-end cloud solution—to ensures mid and large businesses get the best value for their investment with ultimate speed and better economics than any one competitor or what the bevy of cloud competitors can match.

GeoFencing-Track attendance in real-time by finding the exact location from where the employee punched in/out.  And, with Geofencing attendance tracking you have access to a plethora of data analytics and key metric to make on-the-spot decisions.

Easy-to-use- ATS Cloud is a best-breed application that helps growing industries. Users can access the software from any web browser, using any desktop, tablet, or smart-phone to view attendance, approve and track time-off requests 24×7 from around the globe.

Pay as you grow- Customers can tap into ATS Cloud-Based Time and Attendance and add the modules they want, with our pay-as-you-go subscription model.

Rapid deployment- With ATS Attendance On-Demand can be up and running in a matter of weeks not months or years. There is no server and software trouble shooting and the ongoing support rather than the conventional six to 12 months of an on premises solution.

ATS provides a comprehensive range of workforce management applications and to propel every aspect of your business into a productivity enterprise. With ATS Cloud Time and Attendance, your company will gain superior visibility to pinpoint inefficiencies.

And the best part, ATS Cloud provides the latest in efficient, reliable, data management for mission-critical on-line transaction processing applications, query-intensive data warehouses, and cloud applications. In short, ATS method of handling upgrades simpler, faster, and more predictable from start to finish.

To learn more, go to our website to gain access to a demonstration.

Are You Upgrading Your Time and Attendance Through Conventional Methods?

Is Sales A Bit Of Art And Science Or Is There More To It?

May 21st, 2014 | Posted by Apex Time Solutions in Cloud Based Time Management Solution | Employee Time Tracking Software | Time and Attendance Blog - (Comments Off on Is Sales A Bit Of Art And Science Or Is There More To It?)

Quite frankly, no one really knows and that includes the experts themselves. Our marketing team did our own straw poll and asked a few of the account executives at ATS.  Some of them said it was a bit of both, while others lamented that it was neither science nor art. We then asked a few of our customer’s sales reps in non-related industries, and pretty much got the same answers. A consistent response from all respondents was that the sales industry itself had changed dramatically in the several years.

An article in the Harvard Business Review states, in part:

“Under the conventional solution-selling method that has prevailed since the 1980s, salespeople are trained to align a solution with an acknowledged customer need and demonstrate why it is better than the competition’s. This translates into a very practical approach: A rep begins by identifying customers who recognize a problem that the supplier can solve, and gives priority to those who are ready to act. Then, by asking questions, she surfaces a “hook” that enables her to attach her company’s solution to that problem. Part and parcel of this approach is her ability to find and nurture somebody within the customer organization—an advocate, or coach—who can help her navigate the company and drive the deal to completion.”

While the profession itself has seen some changes, sales professionals still have to deal with quotas and the everyday pressures of their profession. The biggest adjustment that these reps will have to deal with is the changes in buyer behaviours. However, if the companies, who these sales professionals represent, have not adjusted to the new ways and subtle nuances of selling, chances of success for both parties will be slim to none.

So, the question still lingers; is sales art or science?

Is Sales A Bit Of Art And Science Or Is There More To It?

At ATS, we have worked with numerous companies in industries that include: retail, hospitality, manufacturing & distribution, healthcare, construction and government. Based on our experience, when deploying a new time and attendance system, its best to forget the constant references of “how the old system worked” and focus on how the new solution can meet your current business requirements. Naturally, it is expected there will be a couple of reports or features that worked well in the old system. However, one of the reasons for evaluating a new solution is because the old one could not meet all your needs.

In no particular order, here is a list of some common mistakes to avoid when searching for a new time and attendance software:

“I want a new system that works like our current one”
Sometimes this just means it’s hard to accept the change. Some people get comfortable with their current system works (warts and all) and can be unwilling to learn a new system.

“I do not know what I want but will when I see it”
Not knowing what you want and just going about inviting vendors to give software demonstrations can create challenges. We suggest companies prepare a list of their business requirements including some “must haves” and/or “showstoppers” if applicable. This list should also include realistic goals, i.e implementation timeline, training etc. This will make the selection a bit easier.

The beauty contest
It’s very easy to get bamboozled by bells and whistles. Try to look beyond the glitz and choose a solution that is robust its calculation of your company’s pay and work rules. Ten different software demonstrations can get confusing and at a certain point, they all start to look the same. Try to keep it to a minimum of three vendors and a maximum of five.

“Here is how we do it in our current system”
This represents the importance of creating a list of requirements. While you may not find all the features of the old system in your new time and attendance, certain things like specific reports can be created if known in advance.

“We want the best price”
While we are not suggesting you “mortgage the farm” to obtain a functional system, purchasing a time and attendance solely based on price is a sign that your company’s requirements could be taking a back seat. In fact, if the solution can meet you organizational requirements, then the next steps should be ensuring the price is within your budgetary expectations.

To download a complete guide on “how to choose a time and attendance solution” go to our website. To join our group discussion, go to our LinkedIn and Twitter page.

 Evaluating a new time and attendance solution? Try to avoid these common mistakes

There are number of clues that can steer you in the direction to changing your existing workforce management software. These clues, if adhered to, can help you evaluate and implement a new workforce management software for the betterment of your organization. Examples include:

Current software do match the evolution of your business – Technology is moving at a rapid pace and while the current time and attendance software may have worked with your old business rules, your company is growing and expanding into your new markets.

Cannot get the right information out of the system – Real-time business analytics is critical to understanding your bottom line. It’s easy to get saddled with a software solution that is dated and lacks the day to day information that business executives need.

You are keying in data using lots of spreadsheets -The whole point of automating is to move away from manual processing. If you are using an employee time management system and also spending a significant amount of time keying in data, it’s time to evaluate your options. Keying in data manually is an ineffective use of your time and will invariably lead to inaccuracies.

Existing application is no longer supported by your vendor – Over the past several years, there have been numerous acquisitions in the time and attendance market. At times, this can leave a customer vulnerable to the inevitability that support for their current product is on a short leash.

Current software can no longer work on your platform – When this happens and if your vendor is offering you an upgrade that is twice the amount of your old system-it’s time to move on.  Now might be the perfect time to move your time and attendance solution to the cloud. Why? You no longer need to worry about purchasing or maintaining a new server and having the right IT resources to support it. And as your business evolves, you have the power of technology on your side in a cloud-based time tracking solution  that will grow with you.

If your company is using a time and attendance solution that is no longer meeting your needs, call us at 1.866.294.2467 to speak to an ATS account executive. You can also view a demonstration of ATS TimeWork On-Demand on our website.

Some technology pundits have rightly lamented that tap and pay with credit cards never gained widespread adoption, so why does the industry want to institute the same with the smart phones? There have been many articles written about the success of this venture in some jurisdictions. However, the missing element in all of this is a simple set of instructions that shows how this works. For example, would the general public be open to the technology if they knew answers to the following?

  • Exactly how does tap and pay work on a smartphone?
  • What are the advantages of using my phone to pay for items?
  • Does one have to download an app for this to work?
  • After the app is downloaded, what are the next steps in this process?
  • Is the app the same for all smart phones?
  • Do I need to contact my bank before or after I download the app?
  • Is this method faster than swiping with my credit card?

Now these might sound like mundane questions but they are the type of questions consumers will need answers to. This technology will be quickly adopted by the tech savvy minded consumers albeit, with some questions. The other side of that equation will be the types of consumers that have questions like: security, ease-of use and will be very slow to use the product unless, their concerns are addressed.

In an article titled  Tap-and-Pay Phone Tech Isn’t Worth the Hassle by Mark Hachman on CIO.com the author cites some of the challenges that the industry is facing with user adoption. Does this mean that smart phone tap and pay will never gain widespread adoption? No, it just means the industry has to do a much better job at using a simplistic approach to sell a service that has the appearance of being too complex.

As purveyors of technology in the time and attendance solution space, ATS understands that having state of the art software means nothing, if it’s not easy to use.

To learn more about ATS call us at 1.866.294.2467. You can also view our workforce management software on our website or join the conversation on LinkedIn or Twitter.

 

Why is Workforce Management Software Implementation so Critical?

September 17th, 2013 | Posted by Apex Time Solutions in Cloud Time and Attendance | Employee Time Tracking Software | Time and Attendance On-Demand | TimeWork | Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Why is Workforce Management Software Implementation so Critical?)

Sometimes the answer lies in the structure of organizations.  The software project starts out being well scoped for contingency with well laid plans for its completion. However, the process of getting these projects signed off by decision makers, gets derailed due to competing resources. By the time an agreement has been reached, a set of unrealistic expectations have been set all around by third parties and other stakeholders. At this point the combination of unrealistic expectations and insufficient resources to complete the project means that failure is all but inevitable.

When properly implemented, a workforce management solution can help to alleviate many problems that plague businesses. A properly implemented workforce management solution pulls data from different sources, facilitates better decision making and communication between departmental managers.

Some of the most common reasons given for failure of a workforce management software implementation includes: An insufficient scope of the project, unrealistic budget expectations and poor planning.  The poor project planning at the outset leads directly to a lack of realism when budgets and timescales are being discussed.

ATS Implementation Methodology provides a framework that helps you keep your business software current in a coherent way. Under the direction of our implementation experts and project managers, our proven methodology enables you to implement your new ATS TimeWork time and attendance solution quickly- and achieve measurable success. We make every project phase fully transparent and provide complete cost and schedule control. ATS unique methodology ensures you a worry free experience.

The ATS Implementation Methodology is based on years of experience in refining and improving the phases and procedures which constitute implementation best practices, and Project Management standards. In addition to pre-implementation and post-implementation procedures, it consists of five phases that are repeatable from customer to customer: initiate, design, build, deploy, and closure. ATS professional implementation personnel guide the entire process-from project kick-off, to creating a solution concept, to building the actual components, to production cut-over and go-live, and finally to formal handover of the solution. As a result, every implementation is completed on time and on budget.

To learn more, go to our website. You can also follow us through GooglePlus, LinkedIn or Twitter.

 Workforce Management Software Implementation Methodology

In our highly digitized world, complete with smartphones and tablets, it is not uncommon for employees to want access to view their benefits. Today HR managers are busy and having to sift through various reports or manual time sheets which is both time consuming and takes them away from doing other important tasks.

ATS Workforce Benefit Accruals automatically calculates complex time-off policies and tracks accrual rates based on seniority, employment status and other job and position conditions. ATS Workforce Benefit Accruals automates the leave time available to employees and improves compliance with corporate policies and collective bargaining agreements.

Benefits of ATS Workforce Benefit Accruals:
Seniority- Accumulate time based on length of service within an organization. For example, employees with up to three years’ seniority get two weeks of vacation each year. After three years, employees receive 4 weeks of vacation, and after 10 years, employees receive 5 weeks of vacation, etc.

Compliance- ATS Workforce Benefit Accruals calculates available time-off of employees. The application improves compliance with corporate policies and minimizes a company’s exposure to leave liability and employee grievances.

Time-Off- ATS Workforce Benefit Accruals module automatically adds vacation, sick time, personal and paid time-off and other types of leave time to an employee’s accrual bank. Time off is accrued based on an employee’s job, schedule, or other complex factors. With the use of employee self-service, employees can review the remaining days in their benefit bank.

When used with our workforce management software,  or web-based time and attendance solution,  ATS Workforce Benefit Accrual dashboard displays the number of hours accrued, earned, used and available for review by supervisors and management. ATS Workforce Accruals applies balance enforcement restrictions in real time. It provides employees and managers with access to real-time balances which helps ensure accuracy across your entire organization with minimal supervision. In addition, it has the flexibility to facilitate your organization’s most complex benefit policies and transform them into enduring practices.

To view a demonstration, of ATS Workforce Benefit Accrual go to our website.

You might also like:
Is Your Current Software Solution Adaptable?
Visualize Your Business Adapting to the Changes of This New Economy
Leveraging Your Time and Attendance Software to Manage Your Business

 

Armchair pundits and analysts alike have had a great deal to say about BlackBerry’s recent smart-phone, the XZ10. Some have predicted its demise due in part, to the amount of time it took to bring out a device comparable to the iPhone, Android, Samsung Galaxy and many others on the market. In the end, the success of Blackberry lies with consumers liking and purchasing its products, not the views of analysts.

Some years ago when BlackBerry launched its smart-phone, the device gave users the ability to send and receive e-mails through the device at a time when this was viewed as revolutionary. At that time, it catered mostly to corporate executives and government users. As time went on, Apple, Google and other companies launched their own smart-phones. Apple was the first to launch its iPhone with great fanfare using ads featuring hip youngsters showing off their phones. In addition to e-mails and texting, you could also browse the web at lightning speed, view various features and download many software applications that BlackBerry phones could not do. All of a sudden the public started taking notice and the line ups to get an iPhone stretched for several blocks. These new smart-phones were now accessible to everyone, not just corporate executives. Some have argued, BlackBerry came across as stuffy and refused to include the younger generation in its ads and that is one of the many reasons it has struggled to gain new users.

BlackBerry has its diehard fans and some have argued that the Z10 is the start of great things to come. Many BlackBerry users also say that they love the product because of its built-in encryption which makes it a better-managed platform than its competitors. Whether you are a BlackBerry fan or not, the consumer always wins when there is competition.

The history of Apple chronicles that it, too, went through a rough patch many years ago, but most its loyal fans stuck with it. Most companies go through a period when they have to find out what made them successful and be able to change with the times. 

Companies using a BlackBerry Z10, Ipad, Windows Mobile or other smart-phone device can access the ATS web-based time and attendance software from anywhere.  ATS TimeWork time and attendance software features include; tracking of benefit accruals, pay policies, employee shifts; overtime and premium pay codes, statutory holiday tracking, employee self service, job costing and labour analytics. ATS time and attendance is an integrated and scalable application that is designed to meet the most challenging the timekeeping and workforce management needs of any organization.

Kudos to BlackBerry on the launch of its Z10! Their success or lack thereof will be determined by the consumers. That said we wish them continued success.

To learn more, go to our website and download a white paper on the benefits of an automated time and attendance solution.