Solution Review

Organization

Lakeshore Inc.
Jordan Station, ON

Challenges

Human Resources spent 10-20 hours a week manually creating schedules, and countless hours on frequent reports. Lakeshore needed to streamline scheduling, improving time and attendance tracking, and expediting reporting.

Solution

Celayix’s Employee Scheduling Software, eTime Xpress, proved to be an affordable, flexible solution, easily integrating with existing hand-punch hardware and the company’s payroll application.

Benefits

  • Scheduling time reduced by 80 to 85 percent, or 10-15 hours per week
  • A substantial reduction in overtime costs
  • 95% decrease in the time to create reports, for a gain of 10 hours a week

Walk into just about any supermarket or lawn and garden store in Canada, and chances are, you will find potted plants and flowers grown by Lakeshore Inc. For more than 40 years, the company has supplied high-quality plant products to the supermarket and floral industries. Lakeshore’s expansive facilities, located in Jordan Station, Ontario, employ 250 regular employees. However, as many as 500 combined permanent and seasonal workers fill the greenhouses during seasonal peaks.

With so many workers, Lakeshore’s Human Resources Department previously spent 10-20 hours a week manually creating employee schedules in Excel spreadsheets. That left room for errors, made it challenging to identify employee overtime, and resulted in high employee overtime costs.

Likewise, creating weekly, monthly and quarterly reports by hand required countless hours of Human Resources time. On top of that, Lakeshore had no way of knowing where scheduled workers actually spent their time once they arrived, complicating departmental budgeting.

Flexible and Compatible

Lakeshore consistently turns to technology to help enhance quality and customer service, and streamline operations. In 2007, the company chose to automate employee scheduling and enhance employee time and attendance tracking with Celayix eTime Xpress. Flexibility and compatibility with Lakeshore’s current and future IT infrastructure were key to the decision.

“Celayix eTime Xpress is economical, and at the same time is flexible to handle our needs now and as we expand and add sites,” said Greg Bruckner, network administrator. “It’s compatible with the hand-punch hardware we already have and with our staff payroll application.”

With support from Celayix, Bruckner and Rebecca Arnold, software analyst, implemented and connected eTime Xpress with existing systems. “It’s easy to use, so we didn’t need to spend a large amount of time learning and training—nice from an IT perspective,” Bruckner said. Plus, compatibility with the company’s hand-punch hardware also meant that the change was transparent for employees.

“With fewer overtime errors, we will save a lot of money in the long run.”

Rebecca Arnold
Software Analyst
Simplified Employee Scheduling

About 10 Lakeshore staff actively use eTime Xpress. HR relies on it for employee scheduling, employee time and attendance tracking, and reporting, while department supervisors view and adjust staffing schedules on their own.

Human Resources easily builds each week’s employee schedule, tracking time-off, and vacation, holiday and overtime pay. They no longer need to count shifts by hand on Excel spreadsheets to know if an area is covered effectively. And they see immediately if staff scheduling puts any employees into overtime, which shows up in red on the eTime Xpress screen.

The ease of navigating the eTime Xpress Control Center allows department supervisors to adjust employee schedules on their own, rather than emailing Human Resources with those requests.

Since implementing eTime Xpress, Lakeshore has decreased staff scheduling time down to two or three hours a week, effectively reducing the total time by 80 to 85 percent. At the same time, Human Resources improves the quality and efficiency of its staff scheduling. The right people are assigned at the right places and times, and Lakeshore significantly lowers employee overtime costs.

“With fewer employee overtime errors, we will save a lot of money in the long run,” Arnold said.

Insight into Labor Costs

eTime Xpress also gives Lakeshore significantly more insight into where and when employees work after they clock-in. Without it, Lakeshore found it impossible to budget correctly. Employees would be assigned to a “home department,” but often moved around to different tasks in the facility. Now, if one person assists across three different departments in the course of one week, HR knows exactly where and how many hours—assisting with employee cost tracking and planning.

“We use eTime Xpress as a labor and cost management tool as well,” Arnold said. “Now, we can match employee punches to the staff schedule, so we’re getting proper accounting and cost tracking.”Lakeshore also has all the information it needs to process payroll by importing employee time and attendance data from eTime Xpress right into its staff payroll application, Clarity by AK Microsystems.

Immediate Reporting

More detailed employee time and attendance data gives Lakeshore important insight to support decision-making and budgeting regarding labor.

Most importantly, eTime Xpress reduces reporting down to the push of a button. Bruckner and Arnold can create custom reports as needed, helping HR pull richer data about employee scheduling and employee time and attendance. With automated reporting, they cut reporting time by 95 percent.

“Reporting with eTime Xpress will save Human Resources at least 10 hours a week not having to create those manually,” Arnold said.

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