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Tryton Foods

Saving time, improving processes and managing costs with Kronos

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Major benefits achieved by Tryton Foods

  • Elimination of scope for fraudulent clocking and payments.
  • Time saving for authorising team managers – collectively saves approximately 17 hours per week.
  • Minimum saving of 10 hours per week within the Timekeeping department.
  • Direct interface into the company’s payroll system resulting in a minimum saving of eight hours per week in the payroll department.
  • Information accuracy for cross charging between sites and time savings for all relevant departments – approximately 10 hours per week.
  • Cost savings due to the elimination of clock cards.
  • Real-time data improves professionalism – information can be quickly accessed with no time delays.
  • Accurate payroll resulting in improved employee confidence and reduction in re-work errors for Payroll and Timekeepers.
  • Greatly improved reporting for senior management giving value-added data to the business.

The challenge

Hull-based Tryton Foods has recorded a phenomenal growth in its 10-year history. Home to the Aunt Bessie’s convenience food range, sales have grown by 70% in the last five years. With 550 employees, up to 150 agency staff, three factories covering 185,000 square feet and 16 million Aunt Bessie’s Yorkshire puddings to produce every week, the company continuously reviews its business practices in order to sustain its rapid growth rate.

"From our initial contact with Kronos we had a high degree of confidence in the company which has continued throughout our relationship with them. The system has the scope to facilitate the growth of the business and provide a cost-effective approach to labour management, enabling labour savings year on year when fully utilised"

Carol Fletcher, Human Resources Manager – Operations Until 2004, Tryton Foods used a manual system for weekly paid employees, with employees punching a clock card at the start and end of each shift. Each card was manually calculated by a Timekeeper who worked all day on a Sunday to meet the Monday morning deadline for payroll processing. A member of the payroll team would then manually transfer all the payroll calculations into the company’s Unipay system.

The manual nature of the system resulted in a number of issues for Tryton Foods that were constant and, with a rapidly expanding workforce, were unlikely to improve. The problems included:

  • Human error in pay calculations as a result of manually transferring data from several sources.
  • High admin levels across several departments to produce weekly payroll.
  • Clock cards disappeared or became defaced or illegible, affecting employees’ pay.
  • Issues with fraudulent clocking, where individuals could clock their colleagues on and off when they were not available for work – resulting in inaccurate payments.
  • Access to information took time to verify and receive, resulting in unacceptable delays for managing absence.
  • Missed clockings were not always identified by Team Managers – resulting in non-payment and disgruntled staff.
  • Holiday and sickness information was often inaccurate.
  • Trace ability and auditing was difficult.

The solution

Tryton Foods selected the web-based Kronos Workforce Central system, with biometric finger scanners to verify employees’ identities. Carol Fletcher explains, “There was no doubt in the minds of the project team that Kronos offered us a solution that would address the needs of the whole team – from HR and payroll to IT and Finance. The company’s professionalism and customer care was evident from day one and the biometric option was ideal for the food industry. We now have a professional, user-friendly system that will effectively and efficiently manage labour and payroll.”

“There was no doubt in the minds of the project team that Kronos offered us a solution that would address the needs of the whole team – from HR and payroll to IT and Finance”
Carol Fletcher, Human Resources Manager – Operations

Time savings throughout the organisation

Moving from a manual to a fully automated system has resulted in significant time gains across the organisation. The Timekeeping staff no longer analyse the clock cards to manually calculate the weekly pay for each employee, saving them 10 hours per week. The direct interface into the Unipay system has removed the need to manually key the payment data into the payroll system, reducing input by eight hours per week. Team Managers now only manage by exception, reducing their workload by 17 hours per week. Cross-charging across sites, when employees move from their home department to another work area, is now managed by the Kronos system, saving a further 10 hours per week.

Real-time information improves efficiency

Information from the Kronos system is available in real-time and can be accessed by a number of different departments. Managers are able to see immediately that a staff member has failed to arrive at work, allowing the manager to take remedial action to replace the absent employee. Previously, with such a large manufacturing site to manage, staff could be absent for some time before their manager was aware of it.

“The transition from the manual system to Kronos was 100% more successful than we’d anticipated – we never imagined a scenario where we’d have no pay queries to handle”
Carol Fletcher, Human Resources Manager – Operations

Elimination of fraudulent clocking

Biometric data collection terminals have eliminated cases of fraudulent clocking, where employees were able to clock in and out for each other and receive payment for hours they didn’t work.

Improved management of agency staff

Up to 150 agency staff are employed at Tryton Foods at any one time and are managed directly by an agency manager, based on site. As a second phase of the project, all agency staff now use the Kronos system to record their working hours, with the agency staff manager responsible for managing the payroll and analysing the management information reports generated. The Kronos reports will also enable the Finance department to check the agency invoices against the exact number of hours worked.

Faster analysis of labour costs

Labour accounts for a significant proportion of sales at Tryton Foods, with any rise in labour costs having a direct impact on product costs. It’s essential, therefore, that labour costs are proactively managed. Using Kronos, labour costs are known on a Monday morning within half an hour of the payroll input for the week – this enables the Tryton Foods finance team to accurately account for labour expenditure the previous week.

Streamlined HR processes

A number of HR processes have now been streamlined as a result of Kronos. Back to work interviews can be done on the first day after a return from absence once the Kronos system alerts the manager that an employee has returned to work.

There’s also a renewed confidence in the timekeeping function, as a direct result of accurate and timely information now made available to staff and other departments.

The future

In October 2005, Tryton Foods installed the latest version of Kronos – Workforce Central 5.1, to complement and expand its existing Kronos system. Version 5.1 will offer the ability to monitor and track employee attendance with Attendance Monitor, a system that will automate complex attendance policies and ensure that reward or disciplinary policies are applied fairly. Tryton Foods will also use the Workforce Leave module to automate the administration and tracking of Maternity, Paternity and Parental Leave policies to help achieve compliance with government legislation.

Process Manager is also to be adopted within the business, allowing for individuals to request holiday leave via the terminals, with a managers acceptance automatically inputting the information into the system for accurate payment.

“We’re looking forward to achieving even more benefits from the versatility and enhanced processes that v5.1 offers, including the ability to monitor and track employee attendance with Workforce Attendance”
Carol Fletcher, Human Resources Manager – Operations