Tag Archives: Vanquish

Case Study – Greater London Demolition improves site visibility with Vanquish

Greater London Demolition, one of the South East’s leading demolition contractors, has taken significant steps to safeguard its workforce on remote sites by scaling up its biometric workforce management system from Vanquish Integrated People Solutions.

The demolition and waste recycling contractor, based in Enfield, has actively used a biometric system installed by Vanquish-IPS for the past five years to track driver shift patterns at its Waste Recycling Centre.

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Fluctuating workforce

Having enjoyed first-hand experience of its benefits, the company decided to roll out new terminals to accommodate its remote workers on their demolition projects so they can manage the entire workforce in a single system.

Due to the transient nature of the construction industry, Greater London Demolition’s workforce fluctuates according to the peaks and troughs of the business.

It employs a core team of 30 permanent workers but also has a bank of temporary staff and sub-contractors it calls upon according to business demands.

For many years, the company relied on paper-based manual timesheets to account for workers on remote sites and verify their working hours, but this was proving time consuming and cumbersome.

Workers and sub-contractors were required to complete and hand-in their timesheets to the Site Manager, whose responsibility it was to sign them off for payroll and invoicing purposes.

Jonathan Hanley, Operations Director at Greater London Demolition says: “As a safety focused demolition contractor we take our health and safety responsibilities extremely seriously and have a duty of care to safeguard our workforce.”

“Over time it became clear that relying on manual timesheets was an insufficient way of managing our remote frontline workers. While staff were asked to complete and return their timesheets to the site manager during Toolbox Talks, all too often Site Managers would spend days, even weeks, chasing individuals for their timesheets.

“As a result, the data was out of date by the time they received some timesheets so we had no way of identifying who was on site at any one point, only a historical version of events. Should a worker leave the site early, for whatever reason, we had no way of accounting for their movements. In the event of an emergency this could have catastrophic consequences.”

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Self-contained biometric system

Following a consultation with Vanquish Integrated People Solutions, Greater London Demolition decided to extend their automated workforce management system, which utilises biometric recognition readers to positively authenticate worker identity and attendance, to accommodate its site workers.

The terminals use field-proven hand geometry technology to create a template of the shape and size of an individual’s palm and then use the template to verify worker identity.

Deploying the system to project sites has streamlined the clocking process for workers. Instead of having to complete a timesheet, workers simply enter a PIN number and place their hand on the reader’s platen. Each transaction is recorded and sent to a central hub, where the workers are placed on the roll call for that particular site.

Site Managers can access the data from a secure password protected web portal anytime, anywhere so they can check who is on site at any one time, check the duration of each stay and manage concurrent projects.

“Escalating our system to manage remote workers means we can efficiently control all movements on site and ensure that everybody is qualified to be there. The start of a new project is notoriously labour-intensive with as many as 30 workers involved in the strip out process, before our fleet of heavy machinery such as High Reach excavators move in to deconstruct the buildings.

“A typical project can last for as long as 32 weeks. With so many comings and goings during that time it’s important that we can account for everybody on site. Vanquish allows us to do just that whilst providing definitive answers and facts at the click of a button.”

The system is fully self-contained standalone solution with little or no network connectivity required. The terminals are powered by batteries and harness the latest wireless technologies, including GPRS and GPS modems and Wi-Fi, to transfer data. Subsequently, Greater London Demolition has the flexibility to move the terminals to new sites as contracts are won and completed.

Hanley adds: “Vanquish is now an intrinsic part of how we operate. As part of the induction process, workers and sub-contractors are required to register with our system in order to carry out work on our sites.”

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Streamlined processes

In addition to enhancing health and safety, Hanley says the collation of accurate and reliable data has also streamlined the payroll and invoice process.

“Vanquish has helped to speed up in-house admin processes by removing delays and discrepancies in their entirety, and providing facts rather than question marks about our workforce and sub-contractor performance.

“If a scaffolding sub-contractor, for instance, sends in an invoice for supplying a team of ten staff, we can quickly check that the invoice correlates with the attendance data so there is no confusion or discrepancy.

“Likewise, when it comes to processing payroll, the Accounts and Finance team no longer have to chase or wait for site managers to email over timesheets and duplicate the data. Accurate data relating to hours worked on site and overtime is readily available so they can process payments in seconds.

Tangible benefits

Hanley says the company’s decision to expand its workforce management system has delivered enterprise-wide benefits to the business.

“Everyone in the business, from senior management to accounts to frontline staff, has embraced the Vanquish system. It’s made our company more efficient and has brought benefits to all areas of the business, not only improving our health and safety compliance, but also saving us time and money.

“It’s great to come across a software solution which delivers an immediate return on investment and allows the benefits to be realised by construction companies of all sizes and not just main contractors.”

Contractor in the Construction industry? Click here to discover more about our dedicated workforce management solution for the Construction industry.

Start building a Time & Attendance Solution tailored to your requirements using our simple 5 step configuration system, click here.

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Cleaning & Maintenance (Dec 2016) – "Integration Streamlines Core Processes"

We’re featured in the Dec 2016 issue of Cleaning & Maintenance magazine.

In the current issue of Cleaning & Maintenance, Vanquish-IPS Software Developer, Matt Hawkes and Managing Director Nick Whiteley explain how the development of a new API platform is helping cleaning contractors to seamlessly integrate Vanquish with third party software without the need for further data entry.

In particular, they highlight how real-time integration with Vanquish workforce management data helps contractors  to drive efficiencies right across the business and gain a clear picture of how they are performing against client expectations, costs and quality.

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Cleaning & Maintenance Dec 2016

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Vanquish enhances third party integration with launch of API

Real-time API integration to help organisations streamline core processes to deliver total visibility of their performance

Vanquish Integrated People Solutions has added a new robust Application Programming Interface (API) integration platform to its market leading workforce management software.

Vanquish Integrated Console (VIC) is a cloud-based plug-in application, which can be instructed to send, receive and synchronise data, so users can seamlessly integrate Time & Attendance data with their critical software applications to create a single unified system.

VIC has the ability to transfer data via staging databases, Third Party APIs, cloud based storage or raw text files, so it can be used to automate and streamline core business functions, such as the payroll process, without the need for further data entry.

Seamless flow of data

Vanquish is used by many of the UK’s leading companies across multiple industries to support their service delivery and control costs through the efficient management of their workforce.

Organisations typically rely on several software systems, such as accounting, CRM, payroll and HR and workforce management to run their business efficiently and control costs.

But a lack of direct integration means valuable time is often spent duplicating data, leading to the potential for errors and inaccuracies to occur. As a result this creates an incomplete and disparate picture of how well a business is performing against customer expectations, costs and quality.

Organisations now have the flexibility to use the VIC API to leverage the full functionality of Vanquish and then easily share the data with other connected back-office business functions.

For instance, they can use VIC to ‘pull’ in data from their existing HR system to utilise the advanced rostering features of Vanquish where, for example, they apply pay rates, prepare complex staff rosters, manage staff absences and track on-site activity.

Attendance data can then be ‘pushed’ back out to the central hub to populate timesheets required for payroll and invoicing.

Total visibility from customised system

With a seamless flow of accurate, reliable and up-to-date data running between systems, organisations can gain total visibility of their operations, and are better equipped to make accurate decisions to drive a more productive and profitable business.

Meanwhile, on a day-to-day basis, time and cost savings are achieved through reduced data duplication, the removal of errors, and fewer payroll and invoicing enquiries from employees and clients.

Matt Hawkes, Software Developer at Vanquish Integrated People Solutions says: “Adding API integration to Vanquish provides users with open access to their workforce data so they have the flexibility to utilise it however and whenever they need it to drive efficiencies across their business.

“The fact that we’re able to easily integrate Vanquish with virtually any third party software empowers our customers and vendor partners to bring together multiple ‘best of breed’ systems to create a powerful system to fit their needs.”

Nick Whiteley, Managing Director at Vanquish Integrated People Solutions says: “The key to running a successful business is making accurate business decisions in a timely fashion.

“By enabling real-time rich integration with Vanquish, organisations can unlock the value of Time & Attendance data to help enrich every business process connected to it in order to gain the visibility they need to improve overall efficiency.”

For more information call 0121 773 7222 or email sales@vanquish-ips.com.

Time to prepare for Christmas temporary staff

Employment agencies need to plan early to ensure they are ready to cope with the  influx of Christmas temporary staff.

Christmas represents the busiest recruitment drive of the year as companies.Industries such as manufacturing, hospitality, retail and logistics, look to increase their workforce to deal with seasonal variations.

Retailer John Lewis is already advertising for 3,500 temporary staff in the run-up to Christmas. Last year parcel courier Yodel increased its workforce by 70 per cent, hiring an extra 7000 temporary drivers to fulfil Christmas delivery slots.

The admin impact of Christmas temporary staff

A spike in demand for Christmas temporary staff is good business for recruitment agencies. However, scaling up the workforce for a short intense period places extra workloads on the desks of HR and payroll teams.

Nick Whiteley, managing director at Vanquish Integrated People Solutions says: “Managing a temporarily expanded workforce creates a significant challenge for the recruitment sector.

“With employees on multiple shift patterns, contracts and pay rates across their client base, it is imperative for agencies to track employee working time. Doing so helps agencies to monitor absences, maintain accurate payroll and invoice calculations and enforce compliance with the Working Time Directive.

“Relying on manual timesheets and spreadsheets leaves agencies at risk of breaching the law and open to time fraud and errors caused by data duplications, resulting in overpayments.”

How Vanquish workforce management helps

Vanquish workforce management provides the tools agencies need to track and schedule Christmas temporary staff to meet contract demand. Tracking time and activity ensures employees are paid correctly and receive the employment rights they are entitled to.

The fact that most systems, like Vanquish, are cloud-based means they can be rolled out quickly. Its scalability means it can easily accommodate seasonal recruitment drives.

The use of biometric terminals to verify staff attendance helps to prevent fraudulent clocking practices, such as buddy punching, and ensures the data collated is reliable and accurate for payroll and invoice purposes.

Rostering functions optimise staff schedules to meet seasonal fluctuations and maintain staffing levels.

Vanquish seamlessly integrates with third party payroll and recruitment software streamlines the process further. This reduces the time spent reconciling manual timesheets and eliminating errors caused by data duplication.

Improve operational efficiency

Whiteley adds: “Taking steps to improve operational efficiency through automated workforce management helps agencies seamlessly navigate the festive season. It also adds significant value to their managed service delivery.

“Total visibility of the workforce assists agencies to reduce attrition, enhance productivity and deliver total transparency to clients that are receiving the hours they are paying for, all of which will improve client satisfaction.”

Flexible working preferred to pay rise

Research has revealed that employees deem job satisfaction more important than pay and would favour a more flexible approach to how they work over a 3% pay rise.

In a survey called the Investors in People’s Job Exodus Trends poll respondents were asked to choose between two possible scenarios –

  • A 3% pay rise in line with recent UK increases, OR
  • A different non-remuneration benefit.

The results revealed that, if given the opportunity, a third (34%) of employees would opt for more flexible working patterns.

Just under a third (28%) said they would like a clear career progression route whilst a quarter (24%) would prefer their employer invested in their training and development.

According to the survey nearly half (49%) of the UK workforce said they will be looking for a new job in 2016.

Moving On

Poor management was given as the main reason (43%) why people were looking to move on from their current role. Unsatisfactory pay, together with staff feeling undervalued were also cited.

One in five (19%) employees across the country complained of having a high workload, and nearly a quarter (23%) are concerned by a lack of career progression.

Head of Investors in People Paul Devoy said the study highlighted that good management and how staff feel in their day-to-day role are now considered more important to workers than their salary.

“We know that bad leadership alone costs the UK £39 billion a year. If employers addressed these factors they would have a more committed workforce and far fewer resources tied up in constant recruitment drives. As the economy improves many employers run the risk of losing their valuable, skilled staff.”

“Saying thank you, involving employees in decisions, and giving them responsibility over their work are basic ways to make staff happier and more likely to stay. Employers also win, with a more committed workforce, higher retention and a clearer view of the future.”

Vanquish-IPS – helping organisations simplify the administration of flexible working patterns.

To help the workforce adopt a more flexible approach, organisations need to consider what management systems they have in place and how they can make new flexible patterns work for both the business and individuals themselves.

Workforce Management systems, such as Vanquish, support organisations looking to create a more flexible working environment for their workforce.

Vanquish simplifies the administration involved in managing the most complex working patterns and allows specific rules to be customised to each individual.

Real-time data capture delivers total transparency of employee working time, meaning organisations can actively manage and track an unlimited number of working patterns in a single solution, safe in the knowledge that they are complying with employment legislation.

Meanwhile, Vanquish Intranet provides a self-service portal which empowers employees to clock in and out, administer their own working time, check flexitime balances and request holidays from any web-enabled device.

Allowing employees to control how and where they carry out their work can help to create a more engaged workforce.

Typical examples of commonly used flexible working practices include –

 

  • Home working
  • Mobile working
  • Job sharing
  • Part time hours
  • Compressed hours
  • Annualised hours
  • Staggered hours
  • Phased retirement

 

 

 

Gain a competitive edge with robust costing methods

Robust costing is key to improving margin growth says John Karakashian managing director at JK Business Support who argues the case for contractors to adopt workforce management technology in an exclusive interview with Vanquish-IPS.

cleaning matters jan2016

cleaning – robust costing

Client contracts are the backbone of any cleaning business. But, building and sustaining a profitable portfolio is impossible unless contractors know the cost of delivering their service.

Most cleaning companies don’t have the resource or time to step back and look at the way they are doing their business. But they must evaluate their internal procedures if they want to be competitive in today’s ‘price driven’ industry.

Rising costs and increased competition have pushed down profit margins. At the same time buyers have become more professional and astute about how contracts are costed. They expect more from their supplier and want to know that they are receiving the service they are paying for.

As a result contractors are now under pressure to look at their prices and come up with innovative ways to offer the most competitive product possible.

Resource management

With labour costs accounting for between 65 and 75% of overall operational costs, Karakashian says workforce management technology can help contractors to cost out and deliver more profitable contracts.

Cloud-based workforce management systems developed specifically for the cleaning industry, like Vanquish, provide contractors with a real-time view of staff utilisation and onsite activity so they can deliver ‘true wages’ for the work completed and clearly demonstrate what work has been carried out to the customer.

Every cleaner is different and they work at different work rates. But by monitoring staff attendance against assigned tasks and shifts, contractors can identify the productivity ratio of each cleaner.

With detailed intelligence about each worker, including their skill set and availability, managers can allocate the right amount of hours and resource to meet strict budgets.

Costing knowledge is power

The ability to calculate how long each contract takes to clean means managers can drive a more profitable business. If a contractor costs out a contract at 10 hours a week and the actual work is carried out in nine they can deliver a more profitable job by doing things more efficiently. In my view, that’s not being fraudulent towards the customer but applying productivity to do the same job in less time.

In turn, with greater clarity of costs, contractors are better placed to maintain existing contracts and win new tenders in today’s cost conscious environment.

If contractors can deliver an accountable service they can prove to the customer that they know the contract inside out. This will instil client confidence and help to establish a long-term relationship.

Inevitably competitors will attempt to undercut the current supplier. But unless they know the cost of delivering their service they simply have to rely on guesswork. Guess wrong and they end up either losing money, by throwing too much resource at contracts, or delivering an inferior service which leads to the customer paying more for what they are actually getting.

By using workforce management technology contractors can calculate contracts as accurately as possible using a historical audit trail of data, and prepare new quotes with the knowledge that their profit is protected.

Customers don’t necessarily want the cheapest price. They want value for money and proof from contractors that they can deliver what they say they will.

Merry Christmas from Vanquish-IPS

Merry Christmas from everyone at Vanquish-Integrated People Solutions.

Please note – Vanquish offices will be closed at 15:30pm on Thursday 23rd December 2015 and will re-open on Monday 4th January 2016.

Whilst the offices are closed we will continue to provide support on all non-bank holidays.

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We're featured in the Dec 2015 issue of Payroll World

In the December issue of Payroll World our Operations Director, Christian Berenger, explains how data generated by workforce management technology, such as Vanquish, can deliver wide business benefits.

“This is because the payroll process, although a routine task, is a critical point at which organisations can paint a vivid picture of the business, analyse associated costs and assess trends,”

He continues by explaining how the latest solutions can streamline the payroll process and ensure compliance with employment regulations, such as the Working Time Directive and Shared Parental Leave.

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Tomorrow's Cleaning Dec 2015 – The Aston Martin of Management Technology

We’re featured in the December 2015 issue of Tomorrow’s Cleaning magazine, in which Vanquish is labelled the Aston Martin of Management technology.

Our Operations Director, Christian Berenger explains the benefits that can be achieved when facilities managers make the decision to maximise their resource by investing in workforce management technology.

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UK Construction Media – Exclusive Interview Part 1

In the first part of an exclusive interview with UK Construction Media, Auto Time’s Operations Director, Christian Berenger, discusses Vanquish and its impact on the construction

Read more –

http://www.ukconstructionmedia.co.uk/features/auto-time-exclusive-interview-part-1/

 

Could you provide our readers with an introduction to Vanquish and its functions?

Vanquish is a comprehensive workforce management solution that automates day-to-day business processes and integrates key business functions into one centralised solution.

It captures the attendance and departure of employees from a number of guises and translates this into powerful analytics from which managers can make informed business decisions – from a productivity and costing perspective and also from a health and safety compliance perspective.

If we look at the Vanquish application end-to-end, it captures employees or contractors attendance to a site. It manages the individuals on-site from their skillset – what they are qualified to do – but also from a health and safety perspective – where they are and what time they arrive on-site.

It calculates the amount of hours worked and attribute the correct pay rates, enabling contractors to create an actual budget analysis from a labour perspective. What was budgeted for in terms of the contract and tender versus the actual cost to complete that task or project.

In terms of health and safety it automates roll call reports that are linked to fire alarm systems. In the event of an emergency these reports are sent out to the muster points.

Integration with access control allows contractors to control the ingress and egress to a building or locations within a building, security to certain areas, and a full audit trail of where individuals can and can’t go.

Vanquish has grown into a full workforce management tool, providing powerful intelligence for budgeting, payroll, access control and health and safety.

It’s a very business critical tool – a centralised solution that any organisation will benefit from.

What was the thought process regarding the creation of Vanquish as an end-to-end solution?

Client demand has driven the development of Vanquish. Clients approach us daily with individual requirements.

We have a very agile development process and, as part of that, we have a product roadmap for the functionality that we are going to provide over the course of the next 18 months. This agile roadmap is generally created using the feedback that we have received from clients or prospective clients.

Several years ago we were approached by a number of construction organisations for whom contractor attendance had become a pain point. They wanted to monitor attendance and skillset once a contractor arrived on site, so they knew exactly what was happening on site.

As a solution provider we created a specification of how we could model our software, without a complete rework, to deliver what these organisations required. As part of the development process we listened to their problems, went back to the marketplace and delivered the solution – this is an essential step to building a robust platform.

We listen to what the client requires and put their feedback into a roadmap so that they are able to contribute to the development. We bring a lot of our clients into a quarterly or half-yearly forum to get that feedback.

It’s been a natural and organic progression and Vanquish is always developing because the industry just requires more these days. It would be foolish of us to sit with prospective clients and say ‘this is what we do’, when it is clear that a ‘one size fits all’ approach simply won’t cut it anymore. To get the best results clients need solutions that are customised to their business requirements and specific management challenges.

That’s the whole premise of why we have moved into this marketplace – there’s an opportunity here. Most of the time something isn’t delivering everything that the client wants or they are delivering but across lots of different applications.

What clients want is simplicity and the centralisation of data. We write everything within a single product and modularise it so that the client gets what they want. They don’t get lots of different applications that provide segmented data – instead they can build the perfect system for their business.

All of the data collated sits in a central database can be interrogated to provide a whole array of reports. If the data is in there, they can create a report on it. It gives them strong management information and analysis to be able to make strong decisions going forward.

How has Vanquish impacted the industry positively?

One of the major things in the industry we’ve done is develop Vanquish so that it not only records the arrival/departure of contractors on site, but ensures they have the correct skillsets. These will be aligned on their CSCS cards so we actually utilise that credential within our application so that the cards themselves identifies their attendance on-site. We can utilise this so that who they are and what they do is identified.

We’ve also built on-site briefing meetings, into the software so the contractor can create an array of briefing meetings depending on the projects, and those people working on site have to register their attendance at those meetings as well as their arrival on site.

If they don’t attend meetings for site risks, health and safety challenges, risk assessments, it flags up alerts in the software to say who hasn’t attended the briefing meetings and for which task. It improves health and safety and efficiency by ensuring the right people are fully aware of what needs to be done on site that day, week or for a particular element of work.

There’s no other software out there that really does that in a centralised platform so that impacted heavily with the clients we’ve deployed it to because it gives them another element of control of the contract and project. Therefore it is a positive impact on the efficiency, productivity and overall cost of the job.

By working in close collaboration with contractors we have developed a good understanding of the industry. This means when contractors invest in Vanquish they are not investing in a blank slate but a system that is ready to deliver immediate value to their business.