Around two years ago, Anita knew she’d had enough. However, the ensuing two years passed so quickly, repeating the same task over and over again.
So here she was again.
Anita is the workforce manager at a company that manages a large temporary, contracted, part-time and/or casual workforce. They carry out a set of known tasks, some of which require qualifications, many of which don’t. In any given week, she will be juggling her Excel sheet and a phone to desperately contact replacements for people who call in sick that day while ensuring that any replacement doesn’t violate any of their strict fatigue requirements.
Although fast-paced, it’s not the type of fast-paced that she had hoped for as most of it was trying to carry out tasks that can be easily automated. So why not automate?
The reality with Anita’s work is that it can be automated, and there are tools that can do most of her job and make her and her rostered employees’ lives better. Anita could spend less time manually carrying out error-prone tasks, and, simultaneously, her rostered employees could get the shifts they want – meaning less work for Anita having to offboard unhappy employees.
By automating the error-prone and repetitive tasks, would leave Anita more time to more accurately cost up rostering jobs, and better manage her staff, so the good people keep coming back and focus on more strategic aspects of rostering.
The dream state.
Cru Software's Workforce Fatigue Management Rostering Tool
Cru Software’s Rostering Software was built to solve problems exactly like Anita’s. It was designed for companies that have built their success off the back of flexible Excel sheets, however, they have now outgrown them. The tool excels when the workforce has become too large or too variable and the rules too complex to efficiently allocate people to the required work in a way that keeps everyone happy.
This was a situation faced by one of Cru Software’s partners, Field Mining Services. Their process was Excel-driven like most companies in the region, and required a lot of manual work and time-intensive copy of data between spreadsheets.
In addition, customer rules/regulations and reporting obligations were a major pain point, with countless hours spent working with Excel and Word to create reports manually.
However, the real pain point arose when you had many users working in a single Excel spreadsheet causing significant errors and delays for the team who were trying to understand who made the change that broke everything.
These challenges triggered a roster to invoice overhaul, which Cru Software assisted in completing by configuring its workforce tool to make it optimally suited to FMS’ situation.
“The team at Cru Software were fantastic to work with. They really listened to the pain points of our business and delivered a fit solution.” – Field Mining Services
Workforce Fatigue Management Tool Capabilities
At its core Cru Software’s Workforce tool is built to take the complexity out of rostering by allowing a powerful optimisation engine to do the high-quality rostering for you. The engine automatically and dynamically creates compliant and desirable rosters.
When creating the rosters, the engine takes into account fatigue and EBA requirements. The EBA and fatigue management capabilities are able to take into account things like enforced breaks after working certain periods depending on:
- Type of work
- Time of work
- Length of work
- And more
As well as many other similar rule types.
Cru Rostering System allows the bespoke configuration of a rich set of constraints suitable to any industry. When it comes to managing a highly flexible workforce (comprising many part-timers, casuals and contractors), the engine can optimally look at options and do things like sharing employees across locations to improve flexibility. The benefits are:
- Smooth out demand, and the resulting work, to better distribute tasks to people who don’t have enough work to do in one location or too much in another
- Resolve skill mix requirements at a location where key skills are missing
- Reduce the amount of onboarding, hiring and redundancies of staff due to more flexible use of staff
- Create a better employee experience by creating the flexibility to cater to staff needs
- And more
The functional user interface allows the easy management of flexible and continually changing rosters for staff, for example, when employees call in sick.
As well as being capable of catering to complex work requirements, the tool employs modern web-based technologies to integrate seamlessly via REST APIs into payroll and T&A tools. This means you can avoid complex integrations and replacements of existing tools.
The Cru Software Workforce Rostering Application integrates into any stack with predefined interfaces.
So what are the benefits of using optimisation and automation to do your rostering? For customers like Field Mining Services, it is:
- Better workforce fatigue management
- A complete understanding of the value chain from mine to port
- Substantially increased compliance with site-specific access rules, including fatigue, D&As, and site-specific qualifications.
- Increased visibility of workforce fatigue across multiple job sites.
- Significantly reduced overall administration effort
- The ability to tackle the next phase of growth with certainty around one of the most challenging areas – staff and fatigue management
- Transparency across all departments and a single source of truth.
In other industries, we have also seen benefits with improved employee engagement and experience by being able to take into account employee preferences and desires and then automatically cater to these needs. This leads to employers becoming employers of choice and staff bringing their experience and good habits back to your organisation instead of another casual staff provider.