Back in March 2018, Diane Proulx was promoted to director for the Coop Unifrontieres’s BMR store located in Napierville. Despite years of management experience at Home Depot, RONA, and then BMR, her new role would not be without its challenges.
How would she eventually manage to bring scheduling, lateness, time theft, and payroll under control? The solution came to her in a casual conversation with another hardware store manager, who then worked for Canac.
Before / After (time per week)
An Antiquated Management Tool
Before Agendrix, piecing up the thirty-some employees’ schedule would take Diane and her assistant nearly 6 hours a week. The scheduling software they then used was rather impractical. Whenever they would create a schedule with it, that same schedule then had to be recreated in Excel manually. Why? The accountant could only work with the Excel format.
Our old software had us go through so many hoops. That's on top of having no communication tools, no online requests, no online schedule.
This duplication of work, exacerbated by the software's general inadequacy, made even the smallest of schedule changes burdensome. Moreover, Diane had to spend about an hour a day managing employee requests, else work would pile up on the following Sunday. The schedule was therefore never available more than a week in advance, which was impractical for the employees.
The Telephone Game
Diane's former software had another major shortcoming: it provided no employee communication features. This meant that the schedule had to be shared the old-fashioned way. Each week, Diane would put up a printed copy on the cafeteria billboard. The employees then had to get there in person to see the schedule. Naturally, when Diane would modify the schedule by hand during the week, the employees seldom bothered to check.
Absentees had no choice but to ring Diane up. On top of being bothersome, this process caused errors and oversights.
Payroll Doesn't Just Wait
Intent on doing away with paper punch cards, Diane had a relatively modern digital punch clock installed in her store. Although convenient for clocking in and out, the system was otherwise pretty light on features. For instance, the employees’ time entries could not be rounded up or down, making the validation process tedious. In addition, the system was unable to check the clocked hours against the scheduled work hours, which meant Diane had to do it manually.
Whenever mistakes crept into the timesheets—a common occurrence—the accountant would call from the head office to identify the problem. These unplanned calls came on top that recurring Monday morning call spent double-checking the timesheets for payroll.
Virtual Tools Make Real Changes
By centralizing the schedules, communications, and her timesheets.Agendrix relieved many a headache for Diane. No more duplicate work; nowadays, creating the store's schedule takes Diane less than an hour a week, including any changes made along the way. Her employees, too, benefit: faster scheduling means the schedule is now available three weeks in advance, giving them that much more flexibility.
When my assistant wanted to handle scheduling, I just said no way! I love doing it with Agendrix!
Following her most recent promotion to director for six more BMR stores, Diane is hoping to implement Agendrix throughout. She emphasizes the importance of the online schedule and how it might have allowed her to assist another manager who once fell ill at the last minute. That is to say the employees aren’t the only ones to benefit from the schedule being online.
Connect for Real
Now that she manages leave requests and availabilities right from the app, Diane wastes virtually no time with routine calls. This isn't to say she no longer speaks with her employees. On the contrary, Agendrix allowed her to reconnect with those she very seldom rubbed shoulders with.
Students, who typically work evenings and weekends, can now get in touch with Diane easily and anywhere using Messenger, Agendrix’s built-in chat. Even those who, not unlike Diane, first thought they weren’t so “techy” are fond of the online schedule and convenient alerts.
What happens when an employee clocks in late? Diane is warned, and the virtual timesheet, which is connected to the time punch, records the info. Since everything is automated, nothing is forgotten. Diane then only has to take a few minutes to go over the timesheets each week. The employees’ clocked hours are checked against the scheduled work hours automatically. The app therefore lets Diane focus on early and late time entries rather than those that are accurate.
And, no need to recopy the time entries into Excel anymore. Agendrix can export timesheets to a format compatible with Employeur D, the payroll software used by the head office. Diane can even generate reports on various statistics collected by the app automatically, such as absenteeism rates, to provide to HR. She reluctantly admits to always wanting to have access to this kind of data, but that she just didn’t have the time… which isn't the case anymore!
It's important for me to be out there on the floor, shoulders to the wheel. As a manager, this lets me both earn the respect of my employees and improve our operations, how we serve our customers.