Account Manager Tommy Hynes runs us through why Equator has a lot more to offer than you might think focussing on the Time & Attendance and Shop Floor Data Capture applications.
Do companies really need to update their payroll package when updating their ERP software?
I used to be an accountant and before I started at K3, I didn’t really consider one payroll package as radically different to another, so I can understand the inclination to remain with your current package. The main reason to update your payroll package is to ensure smooth integration between the new ERP system and the payroll package. With Equator this can go well beyond the typical offering of just posting Payroll journals. Some of the Equator applications also offer potentially huge savings as they allow you to monitor productivity in a way that a standard Payroll package just can’t.
What can Equator offer that is so different?
Equator can do all the standard stuff and if that’s all you need then there’s no requirement to turn on other modules (incidentally it can also be integrated with other ERP packages). But where Equator really comes into its own is when the Time & Attendance (T&A) and Shop Floor Data Collection (SFDC) applications are switched on.
What are Time & Attendance and Shop Floor Data Collection?
Time & Attendance
In short T&A allows you to get a total view of employee attendance. Data is captured electronically to minimise manual input which is both time consuming and risks being inaccurate. There are all sorts of features available detailed in our Equator fact sheet that you can download at the bottom of our main human resource management page.
Shop Floor Data Collection also known as Real time data collection
SFDC allows data to be collected in real time from the shop floor about specific jobs. SFDC can record what jobs have been completed, by who, how long they have taken, how much product has been produced and how much has been wasted etc. Like T&A data is collected electronically and you can also get a “work in progress” real time view. Again, for full details check out our main product HR page.
Why are they so useful?
Time and Attendance is the key to maintaining employee timekeeping automatically, with inbuilt rules and safeguards to allow information to be gathered on employees. This is not solely about timekeeping, it’s about health and safety and it’s about ensuring that managers know who is on site and when. In addition, any known exceptions to the rules can be managed proactively so that holidays and absences are authorised when or prior to them taking place. The knock on effect of these capabilities is that potentially disparate data flows into the Payroll, to allow wages to be calculated without the need for time consuming manual input.
So, the main benefits of T&A are:
A total view of where your employees are (Access Control can even let you see where they on site at any time)
An automated record of absences
Automated adjustments to Payroll without the need for manual input
SFDC automates the collection of all time booked against jobs, without the need for time consuming manual input of timesheets. It also allows users to see where the job is in the production process and automates any WIP information. When Time and Attendance is allied to Shop Floor Data Collection, it allows for clocked hours to be reconciled with the hours booked on productive and non-productive time.
This in turn means that companies can get a clear sight of manual productivity, understanding exactly how productive employees are without risking errors or fudging from manual input. When you can get a true insight into productivity you have the opportunity to improve it. In reality, SFDC often becomes the most business critical function as the time and material information translates into costing and progress information in the ERP system.
Automating manual input also saves time in itself, freeing up resources to be spent better elsewhere.
Why are they so good for manufacturing and engineering companies specifically?
Equator lets you monitor, and therefore, improve labour efficiency. Since these are crucial to maintaining profit margins in these industries, Equator is very popular amongst manufacturing and engineering companies.
Can you tell us about any examples of T&A and SFDC in action?
KLM UK Engineering use both T&A and SFDC to manage and monitor aeroplane Inspection. This allows them to not only control time spent on inspection jobs (they are allocated time by the customer for each job at the time the order is placed), but also display graphically to the customer which jobs are on schedule or overdue. They also monitor employees that haven’t booked to a job within a specific timescale.
We also have another company based in London who manufactures electronic sensors and they have been able to concentrate their efforts onto items/personnel that are not as productive as they would expect as a result of the deployment of SFDC. This is despite the fact that they don’t have any other Equator modules deployed.