e-HR in action: Steel manufacturer Hadley Industries has found its new attendance software system so popular and adaptable, it is now keen to explore other HR avenues
Time and attendance systems are rarely viewed as strategic tools. They are vital to many companies but aren't exactly a hot topic in the boardroom. West Midlands-based steel manufacturer Hadley Industries, however, is proving otherwise.
A year ago the company, the largest UK-owned producer of steel cold-roll frame sections, installed HR and payroll solutions company KCS's HR and time and attendance (T&A) software as part of a £100,000 IT project. The intention was to streamline the work of Hadley's HR function and replace a manual card-based clocking-in process used across 11 operations with 450 staff. Within three months, the system had proved so effective that Hadley upgraded from 16 licences to 46.
"Previously we had an inefficient, convoluted system requiring personnel time and duplicate record-keeping," says Mike Collier, business systems manager for Hadley Industries.
The new system
"We changed this, virtually eliminating paperwork and saving a significant number of man-hours with KCS's k-TIME T&A system integrated with k-EM and, soon, the KCS payroll."
The system records the employees' working hours via a magnetic swipe card. Site managers, supervisors, HR and management staff, have access to this data to help them manage staffing and workflow. It also can be used to record who is in the building.
There are also real strategic benefits to the system.
Supervisors can look at who has clocked in to determine whether there is likely to be a manpower shortfall. They can also change overtime profiles to suit demand and allocate holiday and authorised absence time.
All this information can be integrated with the central KCS HR database, and ultimately, the payroll system.
"Supervisors feel in control with the new system and overtime is only approved when it is needed," says Collier.
"Having terminals on the shopfloor gives authority and freedom to staff making