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The world is different today than it was a few weeks ago. COVID-19 is sweeping across the world. Uncertainty, without question, is at an all-time high, as we experience an utter disruption in our workplaces and homes. And, above all, there’s no quick fix. The best thing employers can do is take time to listen to their employees. This means, being proactive with your employees by way of showing empathy towards their concerns, communicating frequently, while also being flexible and supportive of their needs.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the outbreak of COVID-19 may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children.

Stress during outbreak can include:

  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Worsening of mental health conditions
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

This current pandemic has many employees working remotely, and as a result, it has made it next to impossible, for companies to maintain an engaged workforce. However, it does not have to be that way.

Here are three ways, companies can maintain employee engagement during this COVID-19 pandemic:

  1. We are social creatures, and whether it’s talking about our favourite hockey team, the latest movie with a work colleague, getting together for birthday celebrations or just casual conversations around the office-these activities include some of the reasons why we enjoy our jobs. All of a sudden, covid-19 has put a stop to all of this. So, as an employer, when checking in with your staff, something as simple as; how was your weekend? can make all the difference to them.
  2. Several provinces and states across Canada and the US are slowly opening up parts of the economy. But does this mean all employees should be asked to start driving to the office? A better approach might be to extend flexible work arrangements, such as telecommuting, and staggered schedules that can help prevent the spread of the illness by allowing employees to work without exposing themselves or others to the virus. Greater use of teleconferences and e-mail versus face-to-face meetings are additional social distancing strategies that can help prevent the spread of illness.
  3. When checking in with their employees, managers should remind them how important their work is. Whether your industry is in telecommunications, manufacturing, insurance, or the front-lines providing healthcare or in the supply chain keeping the economy going, every company’s work is important. Your employee should be told that the work they perform is important and they should be made to feel that way not only now, but beyond COVID-19.

Bottomline: Your employees are anxious. Not only are they worried about getting sick and having enough food and supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic, but they are also weathering financial uncertainty, canceled social plans, and a completely new way of working.

To learn more about ATS, go to our website to download a demonstration of software or you can also register for one of our bi-monthly webinars.

Manufacturing Is Undergoing Fundamental Change

July 27th, 2017 | Posted by ATS in Artificial Intelligence | Business Intelligence - (Comments Off on Manufacturing Is Undergoing Fundamental Change)

The manufacturing industry has gone through challenging times in the last decade: due in part, to the recession of 2008 and the evolution of artificial intelligence, robotics, and cloud computing to name, but just a few. The manufacturing sector is however, not monolithic, some segments are service based, while others are process including; food production-based, heavy printing, discrete and the list goes on.

Manufacturing Is Undergoing Fundamental Change

In her article for one of the sectors leading publication, Industry Week, titled, The Future of Manufacturing, Becky Morgan writes;

“So what does the future hold for manufacturing? That is a particularly poignant question today, with headlines dominated by protectionism, EU and Brexit, cyber criminals, and immigration and environmental debates. Moreover, the economics of the manufacturing industry are changing right now. The economic life of intellectual property is falling while the dynamism of materials science explodes. Digitization is everywhere, which enables the 3-D printer to increasingly meet the “I want it, and I want it now” aspect of demand. New distribution channels are evolving, influenced by the need for cost reduction and the expectation of immediate supply.

Remember RIM/Blackberry, which made the mistake of saying their phones were for serious business while smartphones were toys? Sony has a similar story with its once-ubiquitous Walkman. Kodak was busy hiring chemical engineers as they wasted the patent on digital photography. Now we can print small parts, production volumes of large parts, and homes with 3D printers. That evolution took over 30 years. Internet of Things is descriptive of the growing reliance on capture, movement and analysis of data to better understand customers, product performance, and equipment status. That evolution is well underway. The next evolution will soon begin.”

It’s worth noting that manufacturing has had to endure a lot of change and yet, it remains, a driving force in many advanced and developing countries.  And, in the world of continuous cloud-based applications, the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning and all things digital, the future looks bright for the manufacturing business leaders who willing embrace these changes.

To learn more about ATS and its Time and Attendance for Manufacturing, go to our website, where you can download a demonstration, or register for a bi-monthly webinar. To reach us by phone, call: 866.294.2467.

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Depending on who you talk to, manufacturing has been on the decline for the last 15 years and counting and there is no end in sight. But despite the doom and gloom, The Institute for Supply Management’s report, which is highlighted by Industry Week, begs to differ. And, many of today’s manufacturing companies, especially the ones who came out of the 2009 recession, albeit leaner, in terms of workforce and production process are likely breathing a sigh of relief at this piece of news. Michelle Jamrisko article for Bloomberg on state of manufacturing, states in part;

“Manufacturing expanded in December at the fastest pace in two years, reflecting firmer output and the biggest pickup in orders growth since August 2009. The Institute for Supply Management said Tuesday that its index increased to 54.7, the fourth straight advance, from 53.2 a month earlier. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey called for 53.8. Readings above 50 indicate growth. The ISM’s measure of orders surged 7.2 points, while its gauge of prices paid for materials climbed to the highest level since June 2011.”

Is The Demise Of Manufacturing A Reality Or Overblown Rhetoric

The world of manufacturing is constantly evolving as it has had to keep pace with stiffer competitor and tighter margins. And, so in order to increase profits, many of today’s successful manufacturers have had to embraced cloud computing, robotics and business intelligence thus enabling them, to streamline production flows – and ultimately reduce their costs.

So, as the manufacturing sector continues to evolve here are three trends that will continue to dominate that industry in 2017:

Cloud Computing
Major new technologies especially ones built on the cloud will be take precedence over on premise applications by manufacturers. Deploying a cloud-based solution provides a rapid return on investment, and streamlines payroll costs across an entire supply chain.

Predictive Analytics for Real-Time Decision-Making
Today, unlike several years ago, manufacturers have access to a wide array of analytic and Big Data tools at the push of a button– that can be hugely valuable for business decision-making and process enhancements when used correctly. From budgeting and forecasting to employee production scheduling and benefit accruals – these tools, allow manufacturers to harness data properly and with ease and efficiency.

New Technology and Innovation
Traditional, version-based time and attendance solutions prohibited organizations and their users from sharing freely and collaborating, because the data always resided on a Server and it was incapable of integrating to other applications-thus, creating nightmares for users. Workforce management software built for the cloud is the network of the future. Open-mind manufacturers will continue to move away from Server-based software solutions and instead opt for cloud computing solutions—which is the future of software deployment.

ATS Workforce Management for Manufacturing is industry-built and helps drive business outcomes by engaging your employees, streamlining payroll costs, increasing productivity, and minimizing compliance risk. With ATS Workforce Management for Manufacturing, your business has access to a proven cloud platform that is secure, scalable, and mobile — allowing you to do business when or where you choose to access its power.

To learn about ATS Workforce Management for Manufacturing, go to our website, you can also download a demonstration and see why many of today’s fortune 500 companies choose ATS.

The retail industry has had to adapt to numerous changes in the past several decades. And, with shrinking market-share, retailers now have to grapple with tight margins, technological innovation, constant changes in consumer habits and unprecedented growth in global markets.  These changes, along with cost containment and  increasingly fierce competition, have fueled the need for continuous improvement, flexible operations, and availability of information on demand.

ATS TimeWork OnDemand empowers retail organizations to modernize their approach to employee time and attendance. ATS TimeWork offers a robust, up-to-the-minute responsive cloud infrastructure, a sophisticated development platform and a rich portfolio of workforce analytics, and 21st century mobile services. With ATS TimeWork OnDemand, retail operations from; Food Manufacturing, Fashion and Apparel, Pharmacy, Department Stores and Home Goods, Grocery, Hospitality, Food and Beverage to drive sales and optimize business operations through analytics insights that fuel personalized merchandising for their customers.

Retailers Are Embracing ATS TimeWork OnDemand To Improve Operational Excellence

Here are three examples of how retailers are using ATS TimeWork OnDemand to improve productivity, streamline payroll costs and, at the same time, stay ahead of the competition:

Deployment Platform-With TimeWork OnDemand, organizations can choose from integrated always-on, dedicated and local deployment model that complements, and includes Internet of Things (IoT), and mobile-ready services.

Analytics and Data Science-By using proven cognitive analytic solutions from ATS TimeWork OnDemand to tap into cutting-edge employee data to spur decision making capabilities with an advanced time and attendance retail application that’s readily accessible, and provides powerful and insightful intelligence like never before.

Flexible and easy Access to the Cloud-ATS TimeWork OnDemand is a modern API-based, open-source, and collaborative web application—that quickly scales to meet seasonal or event demands through an easy-to-use customer portal or auto-scaling capabilities. The advantages of retail operations using ATS TimeWork OnDemand includes; upgrades with minimal downtime and interruption, and the ability to access supercomputing—on demand on a massive scale that transforms business intelligence and up-to-the-minute business decision making.

Want to learn how ATS TimeWork OnDemand can help your business realize the value of cloud time and attendance solution? Go to our website or call us at 866.294.2467.

 

 

Techopedia describes disruptive technology this way; “Disruptive technology refers to any enhanced or completely new technology that replaces and disrupts an existing technology, rendering it obsolete. It is designed to succeed similar technology that is already in use. Disruptive technology applies to hardware, software, networks and combined technologies”.

Here are a short list of some things that could be considered that are either obsolete or taking traditional industries by storm:

  1. Fax machines-scanning a document and then emailing a document is a cheaper and quicker alternative to faxing.
  2. Landlines (they are slowly being replaced by VOIP and smart phones)
  3. VHS tapes and DVDs.
  4. Video rental stores-they have been replaced by Software-As-A-Service (SAAS) or as commonly referred to “cloud computing” service.
  5. Music CDs- iTunes and Spotify are two cloud-based music streaming services that have replaced them.
  6. Traditional taxi cabs- They are being forced to change with the times and up their game with services like Uber.
  7. Hotels/Lodging Industry-The arrival of Airbnb has given notice to the hotel operators around the world.

In a post titled “12 Disruptive Technologies That Have the Potential to Change Your Business” by Eric Sherman for Inc.com we selected five out of the list, all of which has already disrupted the way in which business operates. In no particular order, they include:

“Internet of Things–With sensors on devices, clothing, machinery, and virtually anything else you can think of, all using wireless and near-field communications to communicate with networks and the rest of the Internet, there will be major impacts on business process optimization, manufacturing, natural resource use, utilities, energy delivery, and remote healthcare.

Cloud–Cloud technology can provide centralized computing resources to serve many users, whether internally in a company or through a third-party service. More efficient use of resources will put pressure on the computer and IT industries, as more work is done by fewer machines and people. At the same time, cloud can offer software and computing services that let businesses run more efficiently and enable many technology entrepreneurs to get the resources they need far more economically than by building their own systems.

Advanced robotics–Exoskeletons, artificial and enhanced sight and hearing, remote physical manipulation, and artificial intelligence will make changes in manufacturing, healthcare and surgery, such basic service activities as food preparation and cleaning, and consumer use.

3D printing–Whether high-profile use in producing individual guns or research that could allow devices to literally make meals, 3D printing is rapidly gaining prominence. Printers could change the way companies make almost anything through distributed manufacturing, enable consumers to make products themselves, or create tissues and organs for transplanting.

Advanced materials–Materials science has been an important area that many people have ignored. But modern plastics, specialized automotive steel, and semiconductors are just three areas where it has been important. The influence will only expand as such technologies as graphene, carbon nanotubes, nanoparticles, and memory and self-healing materials affect energy storage, computer displays, enhanced chemicals and catalysts, consumer electronics, medicine, and many types of manufacturing.

These changes and others will continue into the future. Companies who choose to stick to all things traditional are likely the ones who will be blindsided as these changes occur.

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Today’s Businesses Must Adapt To Disruptive Technology

The rapid growth of the digital era provides a multitude of choices for manufacturing companies to improve their processes and decrease overall costs. If for example, your company has elected not to jump on the band wagon of these, progressive cloud computing technology, it simply means your competitor has a distinct advantage.

Here are some of things you are missing out on if you decide to remain on the sidelines

Workforce Management Manufacturing Scalability
If your competitors have adopted a workforce management solution they are taking advantage of today’s technology, the cloud—to innovate, streamline payroll costs and improve workforce productivity. Now, your plant manager and other operational managers can focus on servicing your customers instead of writing employee hours on manual time sheets.

Workforce Analytics
With ATS Workforce Analytics manufacturing companies have the ability to access and analyze real-time data and benefit, from sophisticated forecasting and budgeting modules to —help uncover visibility into critical resource gaps.

Robust, Agile And Productive Time and Attendance; Built For The Cloud

Continuous Innovative Cloud Computing Technology
Only an ATS cloud workforce management solution—designed for today’s manufacturing, entities, can—enable you to take advantage of innovations software updates as soon as they are available. In short, your company will no longer be hamstrung by backward technology.

Deploying an ATS cloud workforce management ensures that your manufacturing enterprise will leverage up-to-date innovation. The rich functionality of ATS cloud application can benefit manufacturers, because it comes with a much lower upfront costs than a legacy solution thus, helping your business to thrive. And, with a well designed architecture that provides real-time insights into key performance indicators—the intuitive dashboard provides a 360° degree view of business operations, from any platform, at anytime, anywhere.

To learn about ATS innovative cloud solutions, you can download a brochure or demonstration or register for one of our weekly webinars.

Ask this question to executives in the manufacturing sector and you are bound to get several different answers, albeit there will be similarities in those answers. It’s no secret that the manufacturing industry has had to adapt and evolve to the rapid changes around them in order, to survive-while dealing with some naysayers who had left them for dead after one of this century’s worst financial crisis.

But who would know the inner workers of the manufacturing industry and its resilience and ability to adapt than anyone else?  How about the President and Chief Executive Officer, Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation who penned a poignant article titled “Three Megatrends Transforming Manufacturing”. We tool the liberty of extrapolating some of paragraphs (in no particular order) which reads in part;

“We’re entering a new industrial age driven by digitalization, customization, and miniaturization that is transforming the nature of work in manufacturing. Since the turn of the millennium, the sector has evolved faster and more thoroughly than at any other time in history.”

The rise of the digital era has impacted all industries especially manufacturing. The article states that “The ability to collect and analyze large volumes of data in economic transactions has revolutionized customer care in the retail and finance sectors. In manufacturing, Big Data will accelerate the integration of IT, manufacturing and operational systems on the shop floor and lead to better forecasting and understanding of plant performance. Caterpillar is taking this a step farther, tracking the performance of its products in the field after purchase and offering maintenance and repair services based on real-time assessments.”

What’s Fueling The Growth In Today’s Manufacturing?

If you are still wondering whether the industry can adapt here is a final paragraph from the article; “Of course, manufacturers’ labor needs are changing as well: companies now rely on more automation and require fewer employees, and those they hire must demonstrate higher science, technological and math skills. Fortunately, the millennial generation—as large as the baby boomer generation—is more technologically sophisticated. And, as the manufacturing workforce has diversified over time, manufacturers are working to continually foster more inclusive environments.”

The title of this blog asked?  “What’s Fuelling The Growth In Today’s Manufacturing”? The answer is simple-it’s the ability of the industry to adapt and evolve with the times.  Many of today’s manufacturers face constant pressure to produce a top quality product on time, every time. And, the economic fluctuations, shortage of skilled labor and market governance, and adherence to workforce compliance mandates adds to the complexities that manufacturers face every day. To meet these challenges many of these manufacturing companies have adopted Workforce Management Solutions to help them keep pace with the digital era, streamline costs and improve productivity at all levels of their operations.

To download a free demonstration of ATS Workforce Management for Manufacturing, go to our website. And, to attend one of our monthly webinars, you can register online.

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

The Industrial Age brought with it among other things, mass production of goods and manufacturing and also the introduction of the 9 to 5 work day. And with several decades gone, the Industrial Age has slowly become a thing of the past. And with the changes in the working world, one of the new norms have now become the 12 or 13/14 hour shift, which begs the question, can humans actually work that long and still productivity?

A recent article titled “12-Hour Shifts — Are They the Best Fit for Your Organization”? by Jason Gogel for Industry Week, an online manufacturing publication, wrote in part;

“After the Great Recession, many manufacturers had to find new ways to increase productivity and efficiency. Some changed their shift schedules from eight to 12 hours so they lost less production time on shift changes each day.”

Numerous studies including, one for Harvard Business Review, concludes that an individual’s health eventually suffers by working too many hours, with the end result being less productivity. Of course, we have all at one point or another, worked overtime for extended periods, in order to complete or implement a project and that means putting in extra hours but, that’s the exception and not the rule.

Working Long Hours, Does It Improve Or Hinder Productivity?

The Industry Week article continues by stating that; “The biggest concern with 12-hour shifts is lack of sleep and fatigue, which can negatively impact performance, productivity, and safety- on the job and at home. Health professionals typically agree that quality sleep is essential for maintaining good health. Most adults require seven to eight hours of sleep for optimal functioning; however, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 30% of the nation’s workers are sleeping less than six hours per day.

In addition to fatigue, not getting enough sleep can result in shortened attention spans, memory lapses, and irrational decision-making. According to sleep experts, other sleep-related problems are diminished psychomotor skills, slower reaction times, poor communication, and periods of micro-sleeping.”

You can read the entire article by going to Industry Week web page. Unless you are working for a company like Google and others of its kind, who provides nap rooms for employees who work long hours each week, your productivity will go down, if you continue working extended hours each day.

Another article you might find useful on this topic is called; “Whatever happened to 9 to 5? “ by Rex Huppke for the Chicago Tribune.

To learn more about ATS and how our time and attendance solutions can help your company manage pay policies and overtime hours, go to our website or call; (866) 294.2467.

Working Long Hours, Does It Improve Or Hinder Productivity?