Case Study: NSS
» TOTAL ANNUAL SAVINGS: €46,800 per year
» 72% reduction in direct administration costs
» COMPANY GROWTH: 50% since the software implementation
National Support Services Ltd is an award winning cleaning & hygiene services specialist, servicing clients throughout Ireland. The company prides themselves on their high focus on quality and providing a personal, value-added service to their clients. They service clients in a range of sectors – offices, retail, schools, medical facilities, and apartment complexes amongst others.
To support the internal operations and processes, National Support Services were using tools and systems that were not adequate for their business needs and were significantly limiting and hindering the company’s business capacity and the growth. The business was using spreadsheets as the main tool to capture data and support their business processes and operations.
There were separate spreadsheets for planning and scheduling the staff work. One general contract cleaning schedule, one more for pest control work and another one for industrial cleaning. Each spreadsheet represented the staff schedule for one week only and every week the administration staff had to create new copy of each of these three spreadsheets for the next week. The new copies had to be updated and modified to reflect next week’s schedule.
Four supervisors were sharing schedule spreadsheets and each of them had to wait their turn to access and update their set of data because a file could be open for writing by one person only. When there was an urgent need to update the schedule ad-hoc, it created havoc and interruptions to other people’s work.
Once the weekly schedules were completed – they had to be sent to all employees. A manager had to filter entries in the spreadsheets to show only one employees the work was assigned to, take a snapshot of this employee's schedule for the upcoming week, paste this image into an email message and send it to an employee. This had to be done separately for each and every employee. This single task was taking half a day (Friday afternoon) to complete.
As a result the process of creating and managing work schedules was very time consuming. It was taking 52 man-hours (among 4 supervisors) to finalise & keep up-to-date the work schedules. This process was prone to many data entry errors and had a significant negative impact on the company’s growth. Managing the growing number of staff and jobs was becoming more difficult & complex, more time-consuming and it was way to easy to make mistakes.
On top of that, every two weeks the company’s employees had to submit their timesheets. These timesheets were submitted on paper. They were checked manually, one-by-one by staff supervisors against the schedules to ensure they matched the schedules. If there was a mismatch, supervisor had to clarify this with employee first before timesheet could be handed over to Payroll Team. Approximately 20% of timesheets needed further clarification, but it took quite a lot of time to find these 20% incorrectly completed timesheets. This added significant effort to supervisors’ workload – 8 additional man-hours – who were already busy with planning schedules and dealing with day-to-day operations and challenges.
Only when all timesheets were checked & verified, they could be forwarded to the Payroll Team for payroll processing and preparation. The Payroll Team had to manually enter the data from timesheets submitted by the employees to yet another set of spreadsheets. There was separate spreadsheet for calculating holiday entitlement and another one for calculating public holiday entitlement. Separate spreadsheet for recording all leave taken by staff and one more was prepared consolidating payroll data into a format that could be imported into a separate payroll package.
Processing timesheets and preparing payroll was a nightmare for the Payroll Team that was happening regularly every two weeks. It took 24 man-hours to prepare the payroll as data had to be checked and re-checked multiple times to ensure everything is correct as it directly affected employees pay.
When the current situation was analysed, we calculated with the client that the company was wasting about 4,638 Man-Hours every year – the value of €65,520 per year assuming the value of an hour it €15.
Working closely with the client, we designed and built a bespoke software solution, that:
- Automated 75% of effort related to the work scheduling process – all supervisors can work on the schedules at the same time, no waiting time is required and nobody is interrupting other people’s work;
- All scheduling data is now centralized, supervising staff has a full visibility to every aspect of business operations and quick and easy access to schedules;
- Available reports and dashboards allow supervising staff proactively react to any possible scheduling problems like for example work items were staff is on unexpected sick leave;
- Completely eliminated the workload related with sending staff schedules – it takes just one click to instantly sent schedules to all, or selected, staff members;
- Eliminated paper-based timesheets – staff submits their timesheets online;
- Eliminated the need to manually check timesheets submitted against schedules (work planned) – the system does this work automatically and supervisors have to verify only incorrect timesheets – with 80% of schedules being correct, it eliminated 80% of the workload for supervisors;
- Eliminated the need to enter data from timesheets into separate spreeadsheets;
- Calculation of staff holiday entitlement and public holiday entitlement is fully automated;
- The system records staff leave and provides an automated, online process for leave requests submitted by staff;
- Eliminated manual import file preparation for import into Payroll System – this is done now automatically;
- Overall eliminated significant amount of paperwork and unnecessary repetitive data entry;
As a result of implementing dedicated, tailor-made software solution we helped National Support Services to reduce the total workload related to preparing and managing work schedules, submitting and processing timesheets and payroll by 60 man-hours, down to 24 man-hours per week. This is reduction of weekly workload by nearly 72% resulting in total annual savings of around €46,800.
Most importantly the software we designed and built allowed our client to grow their business by 50% over two years since the solution was implemented.
National Support Services Ltd
National Support Services Ltd engaged the services of GRIP Communications to design and build a work scheduling/rostering system that would automate much of the work, which we were doing manually.
Jarek and his team were extremely detailed in gathering our requirements and digging into those to understand them in detail, before documenting our requirements in an easy to read technical design documents, which was user friendly and contained 'virtual' post-it notes to explain the screen mockups.
Since we implemented the system, our business has grown significantly and we have been able to accommodate that growth without adding administration/supervisory headcount, something we would not have been able to do without the efficiencies that the new bespoke system gave us.