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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.

 

Having Difficulty Scheduling Employees? Then You Are Likely Using The Wrong Software

January 3rd, 2017 | Posted by ATS in Employee Scheduling | Employee Self Service | Forecasting | Overtime | Payroll | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software | Time and Attendance On-Demand - (Comments Off on Having Difficulty Scheduling Employees? Then You Are Likely Using The Wrong Software)

If you are in the service industry that includes: retail, healthcare, emergency service response, call centres and hospitality- you know that scheduling employees can be a tall order. When you consider things like shift swapping, replacing absences, and the most egregious of them all; back-to-back and on—call shifts having the right scheduling system is paramount to health and well being of your employees and your company’s balance sheet.

Employees who are constantly working different shifts every day or week will most likely be tired and unproductive. In a recent article by USA Today by Kevin McCoy regarding the issue of on-call shifts by some employers, the New York Attorney General was quoted saying the following: “On-call shifts are not a business necessity and should be a thing of the past,” said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who characterized the procedure as unfair. “People should not have to keep the day open, arrange for child care, and give up other opportunities without being compensated for their time.”

Using an effective scheduling system that ATS TimeWork OnDemand Scheduling module will help your company reduce labour costs and provides additional insights to help you budget and forecast and improve the operational aspects of your business.

Having Difficulty Scheduling Employees? Then You Are Likely Using The Wrong Software

ATS TimeWork OnDemand Scheduling will:

  • Adjust staffing levels by linking position-specific labor standards to changes in business demand
  • Enhance employee participation by providing them with the ability to swap shifts with their colleagues through the self-service portal
  • Quickly fill vacant shifts thus, enforcing complex canvassing requirements and collective bargaining rules when applicable

The key to business success today starts with recruiting and retaining great people. And, if your company is using an outdated scheduling system, it will not help. ATS TimeWork OnDemand Scheduling solution takes the guesswork out of aligning the right talent, in the right place, at the right time. ATS TimeWork OnDemand Scheduling eliminates manual scheduling processes to help ensure optimal staffing coverage for every shift, every day.

To download a demonstration, go to our website. And to speak to a representative, call 866.294.2467.

The Christmas Holiday season is here, which often means, your employees are fully engaged in preparing and maybe dreading for their family and other social events with friends. This is also the time of year when many companies take time to assess their sales figures of the past year and also prepare their budgets and financial goals for the New Year.

While employers expect their employees to be fully engaged at work, this can be difficult during the Holiday season since many are likely lost in the business of their lives outside of work, and will perhaps, lack proper motivation and energy to perform their best work. This is a natural and happens in many other organizations and thus, should not, however, be cause for alarm but rather seen as a way to keep your employees motivated.

3 Tips To Keep Your Employees Engaged During The Holiday Season

Here are 3 tips to help you keep your employees motivated during the holiday season:

Create a wow factor in the office– Bring some Holiday cheer to the office! Once a week during the holiday season, setup a table in the company’s cafeteria with free hot beverages and some light snacks. Everyone loves cookies and other holiday treats this time of the year. Hang up some garlands around the office and tune your radio/stereo system to a station that plays holiday music. In short, create a festive environment that your employees will look forward to each day.

Don’t be a scrooge- This is a time to embody compassion. Be cognizant that your employees will understandably be stressed during the holiday season and, for various reasons. To that end, make your employees schedules a bit friendlier, by offering flextime or and giving them an opportunity to work from home for a couple of days during the week. You will be viewed a wonderful boss and your company will reap the benefits of a happier workforce place and productive employees.

 Highlight your company’s year-end results and New Years goals- Did your company meet or exceed its financial goals of the past twelve months? If so, share the news with the employees whether your met those goals or not. Do not use this time to point out under-performers at your company. If you have an underachieving sales person, have a private conversation with them. You should however, focus on what the company’s goals were for the past year and where you fell short if, in fact, you did. Conversely share the good news if you beat expectations and discuss the targets for the New Year.

Bottom-line- This holiday, aim to create an atmosphere of acceptance, camaraderie and unity, and you can bet your employees will feel more motivated to complete their work. Remember, your employees are your greatest asset and no company can be viable without a happy and productive workforce.

 

Working Long Hours Every Day, But Is It Worth It?

November 24th, 2016 | Posted by Apex Time Solutions in Absence Management | Benefit Accruals | Forecasting | Overtime | Retail | Scheduling | Telecommuting Employees - (Comments Off on Working Long Hours Every Day, But Is It Worth It?)

Every boss appreciates a hard working employee, especially one who will volunteer to stay at work longer to complete that project and meet a deadline. And, in the world of retail and hospitality it’s almost become the norm that employees are expected to work long hours and some split shifts-especially during busy periods Christmas holidays included. But, if all your company’s projects have tight deadlines, does that mean you have to work overtime every week? As an employee in retail, does your schedule include a lot of spilt-shifts? Sooner or later, working these long hours will eventually take its toll.

We all understand that from time to time extra hours are required to get the job done. But, when does all this extra hours you are putting in start to affect your health and, more importantly starts alienating you from your loved ones?

Working Long Hours Every Day, But Is It Worth It?

In an article Minda Zetlin for Inc.com titled ‘10 Reasons to Stop Working So Hard’ she eloquently describes some of the drawbacks of working crazy hours. In no particular order, we selected five reasons out her list that clearly makes a case for why should not be working long hours every time:

“Most of the work is less important than you think-A few years ago, hospice worker Bronnie Ware famously published the top five regrets she heard from her dying patients. Those who’d had careers all regretted the number of hours they spent at work. But many of her patients also spoke of dreams they wished they’d fulfilled.

Your mood is a buzzkill-The kind of irritability and impatience that goes with being overworked and behind schedule will cast a black cloud over the people around you both at work and at home. If you’re an employee, it will damage your career. If you’re a small business owner, it will harm your business.

Sleep matters-“The way to a more productive, more inspired, more joyful life is getting enough sleep,” Arianna Huffington said in a 2011 TED talk. She would know. She fainted from exhaustion and broke her cheekbone and is now something of a sleep evangelist. “I was recently having dinner with a guy who bragged that he’d gotten only four hours’ sleep the night before,” she continued. She considered retorting: “If you had gotten five, this dinner would have been a lot more interesting.”

Your judgment is impaired-The research is conclusive: sleep deprivation impairs decision-making. As a leader, poor judgment is something you can’t afford. Crossing some tasks off your to-do list, handing them to someone else, or finishing some things late is well worth it if it means you bring your full concentration and intelligence to the tough decisions your job requires

You suck when it counts-I can tell you from experience that going into a meeting tired and distracted means you will suck in that meeting. You’ll be bad at generating new ideas, finding creative solutions to problems, and worst of all you’ll suck at listening attentively to the people around you. That disrespects them and wastes their time as well as yours.”

Bottom line: Spending long hours at work might help you meet deadlines, but those long hours, especially when they are done over a long period of time, can affect both your physical and, yes mental state. When you spend a significant part of your day working, there is not enough time to rest and recharge.

 

 

The United States Department of Labor had been contemplating updating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for quite some time and in December (of this year) 2016, this proposed update will take effect. And this will have wide-ranging effects in just about every industry and while is being instituted in the United States it will be felt in Canada as several Canadian companies have subsidiaries and/or remote employees in operate in the very regions where this propose overtime rule will take effect.

This change also means that, for several organizations, these upcoming changes will require adhering to; how employees are classified, observing hours worked, how time is tracked and, the manner in which overall compensation is paid. Once this law is enacted, it’s anticipated that companies will have 60 days to comply with these new regulations-and if companies choose not to comply, they will subjected to fines and penalties.

An excerpt from The Department of Labor, states, in part;

“The Department is proposing to update the regulations governing which executive, administrative, and professional employees (white collar workers) are entitled to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage and overtime pay protections. The Department last updated these regulations in 2004, and the current salary threshold for exemption is $455 per week ($23,660 per year). With this proposed rule, the Department seeks to update the salary level required for exemption to ensure that the FLSA’s intended overtime protections are fully implemented, and to simplify the identification of nonexempt employees, thus making the executive, administrative and professional employee exemption easier for employers and workers to understand and apply.”

The Impact Of The New Overtime Rule Will Be Felt Across All Industries

Here are some suggested steps you can implement to align your organization with the upcoming changes:

Deploy a time and attendance solution
Accurately tracking employee time and being able to get real-time reporting be an essential part of complying with the proposed FLSA overtime rule changes. An effective time and attendance solution will make it easy for businesses to know when an employee is approaching overtime, track hours of employees who work on weekends and remote workers who use mobile devices.

Classify Salaried Employees
If some of your employees are making over the threshold amount they may be exempt from overtime if their job duties fall under the category of; administrative, managerial or executive as it’s defined under the regulations. That said, you should be careful, as employees who have, in the past, fallen under these categories have made case they should be paid overtime.  Prepare a list of employees whose salaries do not exceed the threshold because they may be entitled to receive overtime once the changes are enacted. Best case, scenario implement a leave management tool that will help automatically monitor and send alerts if when an employee is approaching overtime.

 Control Overtime Costs
On the surface, controlling overtime may seem difficult but in actuality it’s not. If you are using paper time sheets to track and monitor overtime, then yes, it does become a herculean task. By why bother using such antiquated methods, when you can deploy a time and attendance solution that which will automatically tell you; which employees that are scheduled for overtime, show you all overtime costs for each day, and distribute hours evenly between employees (using an overtime equalization tool) so, don’t have to employees for overtime hours, when you do not have to. Now isn’t this better than the spreadsheets, you are currently using?

Ultimately, the most important thing is going to be accuracy. Companies need to have an effective system in place, to accurately track time worked by employees and determine any changes they may need to make to ensure, they are in compliance.

To learn about the benefits of a time and attendance solution and how it can help your organization minimize the impact of changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act, go to our website or call us at ; 866.294.2467.

The Impact Of The New Overtime Rule Will Be Felt Across All Industries

Using An Effective Scheduling Solution Will Improve Employee Engagement

April 26th, 2016 | Posted by Apex Time Solutions in Employee Scheduling | Forecasting | Hospitality Industry | Labour cost | Overtime | Retail | Scheduling | Workforce Analytics | Workforce Scheduling Software - (Comments Off on Using An Effective Scheduling Solution Will Improve Employee Engagement)

The latest brouhaha over employees being scheduled for on-call shifts hit a crescendo, a few days ago, revealing a practice that is frowned upon my many workers, many of whom, have cited the effects these on-call shifts are having on workers ability to plan activities outside of work. It’s possible that some of these companies are using a variety of spreadsheets and other manual methods to schedule employees.

If your organization is using an outdated scheduling system, chances are, you could be wasting valuable time and money. ATS Workforce Scheduling system is powerful and robust software that provides broad-based capabilities to help companies better manage their business and their labour force. The ATS Workforce Employee Scheduling targets small, mid-size and large-scale operations in retail, healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing and services.

Using An Effective Scheduling Solution Will Improve Employee Engagement

ATS Workforce Scheduler Includes:

Budgeting and Forecasting
ATS budgeting and forecasting module features an independent, definable structure that supports the creation, editing and reporting of business volume and workforce forecasts. With a wide variety of options for defining productivity tasks, standards, drivers and parameters, ATS Budgeting and Forecasting tool provides unprecedented detail and accuracy of workforce requirements.

Eradication of Scheduling Conflicts
ATS Workforce Scheduler allows managers to see details of how a team of workers is scheduled through the day, coupled by the use of an advanced heuristic algorithm that enables companies to meet forecast needs by developing an optimized schedule of employee work assignments. ATS Workforce Scheduler has the distinction of being able to build individual employee shift and job preferences into weekly work schedules. ATS Workforce Scheduler provides real-time employee availability, thus, allowing managers to immediately correct any necessary conflicts, due to overlapping shifts, and overtime. With this unique feature, the software will reduce workforce turnover and increase employee satisfaction.

Ability to Schedule Employees in Real-Time
ATS Workforce Scheduler provides updates in real-time. For example, once a manager has completed their staff schedulers they can send it to their employees through mass updates. Employees, in turn, can view their schedules online from any device that’s connected to the Internet.

Easy to Use Tools
Get the peace of mind you deserve by making sure you have the right people scheduled at the right time and place. With ATS Workforce Scheduler, you can schedule employees by department, shift, or multiple sites. ATS Workforce Scheduler automatically calculates the number of hours each employee is scheduled to work and compares it to the number of hours they wish to work each week.

Reporting Capabilities
ATS Workforce Scheduler creates intuitive analytics that are based on your business and workforce requirements, relevant work and shift rules, and individual employee information.

In conclusion, with a growing number of regional, state and provincial governments clamping down on on-calls shifts, manual spreadsheets will not help your organization. What you need is a robust solution that will reduce time spent on scheduling, save costs, increase productivity and employee engagement.

To see a demonstration of ATS Workforce Scheduling Solution, go to our website. You can also join the conversation on: LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.

 

Today’s Manufacturing Companies Want Cloud-Based Solutions

March 21st, 2016 | Posted by Apex Time Solutions in Employee Time and Attendance | ERP | Forecasting | Payroll | Software-as-a-Service (saas) Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Today’s Manufacturing Companies Want Cloud-Based Solutions)

Today’s North American manufacturing companies are faced with; intense competition, pressure to increase profit margins, a competitive talent pool and impatient shareholders. Now just image in that scenario, those same companies are using inadequate systems to track payroll costs, thus inhibiting the ability to forecast overruns, which in turn, can impact overall the profitability of the business. Installing a traditional time and attendance solution, with support by in-house IT or an outside consultant has been the norm for the last 20 plus years. But with many manufacturing companies hoping to stay ahead of their competitors, having an IT department for the sole purpose of managing a Server among other IT related responsibilities, no longer makes sense when a growing body of evidence shows that moving your solution to the cloud saves money.

A recent survey on many of the world’s manufacturing organizations by IDC revealed, in part, that:

“The advantages of cloud computing for manufacturers are significant, as line of business leaders and their IT organizations increasingly rely on cloud to flexibly deliver IT resources at the cost and speed the business requires. Traditional IT spend is clearly on the decline, and manufacturers must update their cloud roadmaps to ensure their investments benefit the business. According to the IDC European Vertical Markets Survey, 2014, almost 50% of European manufacturing respondents noted they have adopted or will adopt ERP in the public cloud. And in Asia/Pacific, 49% of manufacturing respondents are using cloud – public or private – or intend to use cloud, based on the 2014 IDC Manufacturing Insights Asia/Pacific Business and IT Priorities Survey.”

Today’s Manufacturing Companies Want Cloud-Based Solutions

For a few manufacturers, the question remains, if they deployed a cloud-based time and attendance, would their company save money? If you are still unsure, then consider the following:
 Is your company is global in nature with locations across different regions or countries? If so, by moving to a cloud-based time and attendance, it will allow for easier information gathering from those distant facilities and the consolidation of global data and analysis.
 Manufacturing companies with a heavy emphasis of remote users that rely on mobile access – are better off using the power of the cloud to access employee hours and other data.
 Smaller organizations who cannot afford a traditional time and attendance solution-one that requires yearly updates and maintaining an expensive Server on which to house the application-would be wise to adopt a cloud-based time and attendance.

ATS Cloud-Based Time and Attendance for Manufacturing has helped thousands of companies manage their business and increase profits. ATS Cloud-Based Time and Attendance for Manufacturing will enable your organization to improve operational efficiency. And, with increased visibility to what is happening at your local site, whether it’s in Windsor-Ontario, Dorval-Quebec or Colorado-USA, or across the globe, you will be able to meet your customers’ increasing demands, streamline payroll costs, increase workforce productivity and maintain the smile on the faces of your shareholders.

Contact ATS to learn why thousands of manufacturers trust ATS to provide Time and Attendance software designed for their industry. In addition, ATS Time and Attendance for Manufacturing is uniquely positioned for companies in cross-functional industries. The ATS team has deep expertise to meet and adhere to the guidelines of many industries including; Retail, Government/Public Sector, Automotive, Engineering & Construction, Industrial Machinery, Transportation & Logistics, Hospitality, and Aerospace and Defense.

To download a demonstration, go to our website. And, to speak to account representative call; 866.294.2467.

Today’s Manufacturing Companies Want Cloud-Based Solutions

Cloud-Based time and attendance, enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), and host of other workforce management and human capital management software applications have made significant strides in manufacturing operations over the last several years. And, that’s due in part to many executives in the manufacturing industry embracing the many benefits that a cloud-based application brings with it. It is also worthy to note that the manufacturing sector have also had to adapt to global competition in the economic slowdown of recent years. In short, when your competitor is consistently outpacing you by using new and technology, thus, increasing their profits, wouldn’t you want to find out why and how?

Manufacturing Operations Will Improve Their Bottom-Line By Embracing The Cloud

Global market research and intelligence firm IDC released its 2016 prediction aptly titled “Top 10 Manufacturing Predictions For 2016: The Cloud Enables Greater Customer Centricity”. In no particular order, we have listed the following 3 predictions:

“In 2016, 20% of Manufacturers Will Begin to Break Down Organizational Silos, Reshape IT Portfolios, and Import New IT Talent in the Plant for Digitally Executed Manufacturing. IDC predicts that rigid, centralized factory control systems will start to give way to decentralized intelligence as machine-to-machine communications start to hit the factory floor. To support this transformation, IDC says that a new generation of technology-savvy and technology-empowered workers, with information available at their fingertips, will be needed.

By the End of 2016, 65% of Manufacturers Will Have Metrics in Place to Evaluate and Drive Pervasive Changes in the Workplace with Their New Technology Investments. IDC predicts metrics associated with 3D printing productivity and security will become more pervasive in 2016. In addition to these, advanced analytics that can recommend which customized product configurations, service bundles, and pricing options are optimal for a given sales cycle will emerge, supporting by cloud-based platforms capable of providing analytics reporting on any device, anytime. Tableau will continue to see adoption accelerate in manufacturing as a result of the myriad of new metrics being created today and in 2016.

By the End of 2017, 50% of Manufacturers Will Exploit the Synergy of Cloud, Mobility, and Advanced Analytics to Facilitate Innovative, Integrated Ways of Working on the Shop Floor. IDC believes that companies will realize the short-term opportunity of using the cloud as the fabric to establish a companywide platform to analyzing data coming from the shop floor and converting it into actionable information for enterprise decision makers. Acumatica, Microsoft AX on Azure, NetSuite, and Plex Systems are cloud-based ERP providers who have experience scaling manufacturing operations starting at the shop floor. A few including Plex have analytics that support shop floor to top floor reporting.”

These predictions are clear indications that all things cloud have changed rapidly and are being embraced by small and large organizations alike. ATS TimeWork OnDemand Manufacturing Time and Attendance solution was designed for industry-leading plant floor to top floor functionality. ATS TimeWork OnDemand delivers unprecedented customer success through a relentless pursuit of time tracking, analytics and data extrapolation through continuous innovation.

To learn about ATS cloud-based time and attendance solution, or to view a demonstration go to our website. And, to speak to a sales consultant call us at: (866) 294-2467.

Manufacturing Operations Will Improve Their Bottom-Line By Embracing The Cloud

Workforce Management Software Webinar for Retail Industry

October 14th, 2015 | Posted by Apex Time Solutions in Absence Management | Business Intelligence | Forecasting | Workforce Management Solutions - (Comments Off on Workforce Management Software Webinar for Retail Industry)

Apex Time Solutions helps retailers better manage their human capital to drive sales and revenue. Get the most from your workforce and address retail challenges such as high turnover and employee scheduling by replacing time-consuming manual processes with the powerful workforce management capabilities of ATS TimeWork.
In this webinar you will learn how you can have a real-time view of your business and events as they occur. You will also learn how other retailers are utilizing ATS forecasting and budgeting module to give them a competitive edge to extrapolate financial data, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and up-to-the minute data metrics.

Webinar details:

Date: Friday, October 16, 2015
Time: 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. Eastern (10:00a.m.-11:00 a.m. Pacific)

To register go to our website. And to speak to an ATS account executive, call 866.294.2467.

Workforce Management Software Webinar for Retail Industry

 

ATS Modern-Day Cloud helps the Public Sector to Increase Productivity and Streamline Costs

October 13th, 2015 | Posted by Apex Time Solutions in Business Intelligence | Employee Scheduling | Forecasting | Leave Management | Overtime | Payroll | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on ATS Modern-Day Cloud helps the Public Sector to Increase Productivity and Streamline Costs)

Today’s public sector is faced with shrinking budgets, aging populations, and are under pressure, to streamline payroll costs and improve operational effectiveness. So, how do these public agencies and governments guard the public purse, share information, integrate business processes and, at the same time, reduce costs? The answer for many of them has been to embrace the cloud and the many benefits that come with it.

ATS cloud-based time and attendance is truly unique and helps public sector agencies address pressing issues that include: proper application of overtime, adherence of collective bargaining agreement work-rules, pay compliance and daily time and attendance business operations. ATS cloud-based time and attendance is compliant with Canadian and US; provincial, federal and state regulations.

ATS Modern-Day Cloud helps the Public Sector to Increase Productivity and Streamline Costs

Benefits to government agencies using ATS Cloud-Based Time and Attendance include:

Work and pay rules enforcement
ATS time and attendance data flows to multiple databases including; HR, ERP and payroll thus, reducing manual effort and ensuring that work hour policies and pay rules are correctly applied. ATS time and attendance provides instant exception alerts to users, based on government agency-specific rules, empowering managers to catch and correct errors at the source.

Employee Scheduling
You can give employees access to view their shifts and schedules. They can also define their availability and collaborate time-off requests through the intuitive cloud-based interface. With ATS employee scheduling, you can eliminate costs, time, and errors from budgeting and planning, integrate forecasting activities, and automate the planning cycle.

Choose your deployment
With a complete range of flexible deployment options, including cloud, and hybrid configurations, ATS offers rapid implementation to get your agency up and running fast. ATS cloud-based time and attendance helps the public sector eliminate license-based maintenance costs, manage payroll costs, while enhancing workforce productivity— in a cost-effective manner that delivers flexibility, security, reliability, compliance and efficiency.

The powerful and robust ATS Cloud-Based Time and Attendance database allows public sector agencies to replace outdated time tracking methodologies, with —a modern-day platform, that enforces standard public sector-specific policies and regulations.

Want to know if ATS operates in your region or province and can meet the business requirements of your public sector? Contact us by phone at 866.294.2467. You can also go to our website and download brochures, join in a weekly webinar or download a demonstration and view the product at your leisure.

ATS Modern-Day Cloud helps the Public Sector to Increase Productivity and Streamline Costs