Not so long ago, the ‘clock in and clock out’ punch cards were the only feasible way of keeping a record of employee’s hours; and while they worked to a degree, they weren’t the most efficient, or accurate. This all changed with advancements in mobile phone technology, with Time and Attendance software replacing the classic time clock, to help employers gain greater insight and monitor employee’s true start and end times in real time.
Aquarius IT’s Director Mark Johnston, explain why this is important.
Many organisations in the road transport industry operate around different time zones with employees working all different kinds of shift patterns or remotely across depots. All these factors have traditionally made it difficult for employers to keep an accurate track of employee’s time and attendance, and efficiently manage expenses related to pay and holiday requests.
Our Time & Attendance system was originally developed to help customers manage all these administrative-burden tasks, but it was only really during the pandemic when digital became more prolific that customers started to truly see all the wider business benefits of digitising the way they manage employee’s time and attendance, specifically of ‘non-activity’ based hours.
This was further fused by every second needing to be monitored because of driver shortages and remote working becoming more prevalent; this augmented Time and Attendance and made it into an important ‘added value’ solution within Aquarius’s integrated model.
Its connectivity with our tacho-analysis data, means that it can help operators dynamically manage tasks related to employee hours, shifts / rotas, holidays, expenses and pay in one integrated system – with all our customers citing a significant reduction in paperwork and increased efficiencies with the software able to be configured by department, by over-time specifications, and by pay classes and work schedules.
Remote employees are happier too, they are not only able to clock in and out (and if they forget to clock out a notification will be sent to the manager), but they are also able to request holidays and capture / submit their expenses via a smart phone for office staff to approve. This alleviates employees constantly having to query their pay, or question why holidays are taking longer than they should to be approved. For all its benefits, Time and Attendance is also such a simple system to set-up, with minimal startup costs via the Aquarius App (which drivers using the App for Defect Reporting, Document Manager or Infringements will already be familiar with) and no additional investment in hardware required as it is compatible with a variety of smart devices including industry favourites such as the digipost Pro, Smart Phones and the Lisle Download Terminal.
CASE STUDY – FRESHLINC
Ashley Holland, Freshlinc’s Commercial Director, has been using Time & Attendance for several years to manage the end-to-end process of managing driver’s timesheets, and he said:
“For context before Time & Attendance, the administration involved in handling paper timesheets was a long labour-intensive process; from gathering the timesheets on a Monday, to then manually marrying the information with the tachograph’s start and end times, through to authorisation and accounts having to create spreadsheets ready for payroll would take three whole days to complete – and during this arduous weekly process, simple things like the accounts team not being able to read a driver’s handwriting was a regular occurrence.
Time & Attendance instantly removed every one of these barriers; we can see timesheets live in real-time, automatically map them against the daily tachograph downloads in the analysis software and authorise them digitally, and remotely, as we go along. Then we simply process them in 2-3 hours on a Tuesday morning and digitally export them direct to payroll at the touch of a button. It is as simple as that, and you don’t need to invest in expensive hardware equipment, as it all runs on the Aquarius App through a web browser.
In addition to simplifying and making the timesheet process efficient, it has also given us a traceable, reportable, and auditable system, and through its integration with Aquarius’s tachograph analysis software it further supports our compliance responsibilities – we can analyse and report on the data more effectively, and the system will flag driver infringements in relation to hours worked.
Being web-based, it also works effectively for our shift drivers and staff who work remotely. This became even more evident through COVID when Time & Attendance was invaluable and proved what a great system it was. Our drivers like it too, everything is visible in the Aquarius App on their mobile devices and they don’t have to carry around reams of paper. We would highly recommend Time & Attendance, it’s a simple system that has created so many big time-saving efficiencies across the business.”
Yes, as a commercial workshop with external customers, we also have to exercise due diligence when it comes to vehicle safety. For example, if we have inspected a vehicle and made recommendations that the owner chooses not to do, and then that vehicle is involved in an investigation or accident, we need to be able to show the DVSA our record of inspection. With Asset Maintenance we have a full audit trail for all our PMIs.
CASE STUDY – COLLETT & SONS LTD
Nigel Thornton, Compliance Director at Collett & Sons Ltd, cites the connection between Time & Attendance and the digital tachograph data as one of the biggest benefits of the system, operationally and administratively – and said there is no other transport system on the market like Aquarius in terms of its connectivity and the way all the driver and vehicle reporting tools ‘talk’ to each other.
Specifically, on Time & Attendance, Nigel said: “We transferred our previous digital timesheet system over to Time & Attendance because it didn’t interact as well as Aquarius’s software system does with the digital tachograph data. This was an important time-saving and cost factor for us in terms of being able to easily map and overlay both sets of data to assess drivers’ hours being claimed and actual hours worked. The holiday request functionality is also a massive boost, as we can quickly reply to drivers, and also add to the tachograph data, saving both time and paperwork.
Our drivers, of all tech levels, also like the simplicity and the interactivity of the Aquarius App and the fact they have one login on their mobile device for all their daily reporting responsibilities; from defect checking to document management, accident reporting, and timesheets.
For us it’s also about the technical support Aquarius provides and with their in-house team, we have been able to tweak and play with Time & Attendance, as well as the other modules within the Aquarius App, to ensure it fits our exact business needs.”
For further information on all of Aquarius’s driver and fleet management solutions, including Time & Attendance, please visit https://www.aquariusit.com/