Canadian Manufacturing

Tracking labour costs for more accurate quotes

A trio of cheese manufacturers swaps out manual systems for efficient workforce management

Sponsored article by Kronos

MONROE, Wis.–A trio of cheese makers sharing the same headquarters in rural Wisconsin was looking to consolidate their timekeeping to track unit labour costs and boost efficiencies across their operations.

Turning to Kronos Inc. and its cloud-based Workforce Ready automated workforce management solution, Maple Leaf Cheese, Edelweiss Creamery and Alpine Slicing and Cheese Conversion were able to better track their combined workforce of more than 160 employees to control the cost of labour and increase compliance and productivity.

“We needed a solution that enabled us to manage multiple facilities from a single location,” said Vicki Bergendal, IT administrator with Maple Leaf Cheese.

Prior to rolling out Kronos’ Workforce Ready system, a mix of paper timecards and an older timekeeping system were used across the companies’ three facilities, before the data was manually input into a spreadsheet.

Since switching to the Kronos system, all timekeeping and reporting processes have been streamlined and can be managed from a single location.

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All hourly, salaried and temporary employees punch in and out using a Kronos InTouch time clock, while the system automatically calculates pay according to each company’s pay structure.

The human resources staffer that used to input data manually now simply monitors the system for missed punches and determines if missed time is vacation of other excused absence.

“It takes far less time to do these tasks than before,” Bergendal said.

Time data is then sent to the companies’ accounting firm and temp agency for payroll processing.

Calculating unit labour costs

For the first time, the companies are now able to identify and quantify each unit’s cost centre.

“Our ability to get hours by cost centre so we can see our efficiency–something we couldn’t do before–helps us determine cost quotations,” said Bergendal. “Seeing the hours helps us determine the cost of manufacturing, packaging and other costs, which is important to staying competitive.”

Being able to calculate different pay and work rules without having to set up multiple databases was also “critical,” she said, and something the Kronos system handles with ease.

Employees are also paid for donning and doffing at the beginning and end of their shifts in order to change in and out of safety gear, and that, too, is automatically included in payroll calculations, thanks to the system.

Employee certification made easy

Kronos’ HR module will soon be added at the companies’ facilities, allowing management to easily track employee certification and create checklists that will track assets used on the job, particularly when an employee leaves.

They also plan to add self-service functionality that will allow employees to view their punches, request time off and apply for cost centre transfers.

“Kronos Workforce Ready is extremely user-friendly and will help us make informed business decisions,” Bergendal said.

Kronos Inc. is a leading provider of workforce management solutions. To learn more visit Kronos for Manufacturing; or get in touch by clicking here

This article is part of the Productivity Success Centre, focused on boosting shop floor performance and cost efficiencies.

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