The highest mountains of paper in any business can be found in the accounting department, closely followed by human resources. Until recently, this was also the case of the staffing provider, TimePartner. After a revision in the spring of 2013, the Hamburg-based company met the requirements for converting to electronic accounts payable processing and electronic personnel records. The JobRouter® digital process automation platform joined the ranks of the “permanent staff”. Its personality traits are tolerance towards all interfaces, an incorruptible, data-hungry brain and a high-speed working pace.
Paper is said to be patient. You (still) come across a particularly large amount of this in the filing cabinets of the expanding personnel service provider, TimePartner. The nationwide company has around 8,000 employees and operates around 100 branches. In absolute terms, each location stores an average of 80 bulging files. Plus the countless old files of former employees, whose contents can only be shredded after one decade due to legal retention periods. But the days of paper mountains have been numbered since the digital process automation platform JobRouter® found its way into the company.
“As soon as we have digitized the remaining six branches, we will conduct a completeness check and then every piece of paper which can be disposed of by law will be destroyed”, says Florian Reichel, who, as Payroll Manager, is responsible for guaranteeing that all of the accounts at TimePartner are within the law and comply with the collective labor agreement.
- Meets legal requirements, is audit-proof
- Saves time, staff, materials and storage capacity
- Protects data through secure authorization management
- Increases efficiency through the possibility of simultaneous access regardless of the location
- Enables automatic accuracy and completeness check
- Provides access for external inspections
- Transports contents without incurring transportation costs/expenses
- Personnel services
- approx. 8,000 at around 100 locations
- 3,000 instances/day across all processes
- SQL Server
- Ongoing processes
- electronic invoice processing, electronic personnel files, electronic billing • modules: JobTimer, JobTable, JobSub, JobSelect, JobRobot, JobStart, JobShift,
- Planned processes
- Features: connection to industry software L1, DocuWare, SmartFix • Project duration: 15 months across all 100 locations and head office • Instances: 3,000 a day • Planned process: auditing process
Tidying up the Forest of Paper
The conventional procedure demanded years of angelic patience from Reichel and his team. Every day, hundreds of emails with scanned progress reports from the branches would land at the head office in Hamburg. They had to be checked to make sure they were complete, plausible and signed by the employee and the customer.
After being processed, they were sorted manually and then dispatched with corresponding invoices. A single monthly bill for 20 temporary employees contained 80 to 90 sheets of paper – quite a resource consuming procedure when there are several thousands of such bills each year.
Apart from the postal and transport charges, manual checking and processing the unannotated and unsorted scanned files required a lot of manpower and was very time-consuming. An electronic solution became a necessity. “We needed a certified process and certified systems, and finally a new scanner, too”, Reichel summarizes. It was also essential to find an experienced project partner who could conduct reorganization processes of this magnitude.
How Scanners Learn to Read
According to Reichel, there were two essential points, 1) electronic file management and processing of work records for wage calculation and 2) invoicing as part of the personnel files. In order to digitize the files, the scanners have to be able to do more than just copy. A document numbering system helps them learn to read. The number codes are placed on the paper so that the SmartFix OCR reader can detect and recognize the relevant fields. Once the data and documents exist in a digital form, the JobRouter® digital process automation platform is called into action and shows how efficiently work processes can take place within the human resources department.
JobRouter® as a Pivotal Element
Its talent lies in consolidating and assigning information and jobs. JobRouter® doesn’t constitute the electronic personnel files, but acts as a messenger service which helps users to be productive. JobRouter® works seamlessly with every system and can cope with any workload. This digital process automation platform makes the timely processing of tasks and the combining, analyzing and organizing of data a piece of cake – provided that you have access. As data protection is of the highest priority in the area of human resources. “We have developed an authorization system which checks who has which rights at the login to Windows”, says Reichel.
"Maximum transparency in billing"
JobRouter® identifies employee numbers, synchronizes personal data and uploads verified values into entry screens. Automatic accuracy and completeness checks immediately detect and flag discrepancies. Finally, JobRouter® attaches invoices to the work reports, which have already been entered, and prepares them for electronic or postal dispatch.
But before they are sent off, JobRouter® generates a preliminary invoice that is checked in coordination with the branch and in accordance with the two-man rule. Finally, JobRouter transports all of the data and documents to the archive system, where they are filed in an audit-proof way.
Florian Reichel appreciates the enormous increase in quality of the electronic personnel files. Whenever he wants to check whether all of the safety instructions are followed, he makes a selection according to the document type number.
If a customer calls up about a discrepancy in their invoice, he pulls up – without having to leave his desk or contact a third party – the matching database, filters the employees out and takes a look at the work reports and invoices that JobRouter® has collated. "Basically, many of the steps are easier and more effective", Reichel summarizes. Branch managers can check whether the amount of employees matches the amount of existing employment contracts whenever they like. "And they don’t even have to get up once."
Goal: First Address on the Job Market
Digital process automation also alters the cooperation between colleagues. This becomes apparent in a spot check during an audit. Previously employees in countless branches had to interrupt their work, trawl through mountains of files and compile them into little stacks of paper. Today in an ideal situation, they don’t even realize that an inspection is taking place, as JobRouter® takes the required data from the virtual drawers in the blink of an eye.
Communication is now solely devoted to the main business – the personnel service, which benefits from the perfect interaction between payroll, accounting and billing.
Short profile - TimePartner Personnel Management
TimePartner Personnel Management is a personnel service provider based in Hamburg, Germany. The company has approximately 8000 employees and operates around 100 branches. They fill the demand for professionals and managers, primarily from the manufacturing and aerospace industries, in the skilled trades, in the commercial sector, in the health sector and in the technology areas of IT, engineering and technology. Upon request, TimePartner can install in-house solutions for major customers. These are project managers who supervise their colleagues directly on site at the client company. The executive board consists of owners Sven Kilian (CEO) and Thorsten Droste (CFO), who acquired the company in a management buyout together with the investment company Auctus Capital Partners in 2014.