Medstrom

Fast growing medical equipment provider Medstrom Healthcare is streamlining its people processes and freeing up valuable time with the help of Cezanne HR’s Cloud HR software.

Having experienced the benefits of Cezanne’s People and Absence management modules, the company is now using the integrated time tracking solution to help manage on-call and overtime working.

The challenge

Medstrom is focused on delivering high quality, efficient, and affordable services tailored to fit the needs of the individual hospitals that they work with. This relies not only on the company being able to provide a wide range of products and solutions – but on having a workforce in place that’s available to deliver these specialist services when and where they are required.

This means that Medstrom’s growing workforce is geographically spread, with employees often on the move and working a complex range of shift patterns across multiple teams and on different sites.

The company were already managing employee data, work patterns, and absences using Cezanne HR’s core HR and absence module, but were finding it hugely time-consuming to keep on top of permitted overtime and on-call allowances, and generate the information required for payroll.

Hours worked were recorded on an internally designed software, which was becoming increasingly unfit for purpose as the business evolved. Service technicians were growing increasingly frustrated with the amount of effort needed to log hours and claim overtime payments; HR were having to manually process the data and link it to payroll – an unnecessarily complex and time-consuming task.

Meeting expectations

Cezanne’s HR system has been up and running successfully at Medstrom since mid-2013, and has had a huge impact on the efficiency and consistency of HR processes.

HR Manager Claire Walker explains: “The business had previously been recording employee information, as well as holiday and sickness absence, across a series of spreadsheets, but with headcount increasing, was finding it increasingly time consuming keeping information up to date. Managing absence for example, had become a very labour-intensive task, and it reached the point where we needed something that would cut down the admin and give us a full overview.”

“We selected Cezanne’s HR system because it offered a wide range of features at an extremely attractive price, was flexible enough to fit our changing processes, and would be easy for us to manage. Because it is in the Cloud, we don’t have any of the overheads of a traditional system; it’s automatically updated for us, so we don’t get left behind; and we can add new employees or users whenever we need to. It puts us in control – and gives us more time to focus on value added activities,” she adds.

Streamline absence management

The system automatically calculates holiday entitlements based on scheduled hours, Medstrom’s own rules, and UK legislation. It also streamlines the request and authorisation process. Employees can check how many days’ holiday they have left, and submit a holiday request via their PC, tablet, or mobile. Requests are automatically routed to their managers, who can check team diaries to make sure they have the appropriate resources in place before accepting the request.

The automation of the annual leave process is saving a significant amount of time, and managers benefit from the ability to get an overview of who is off in their teams at any given time. Reporting and management of sick leave has also been improved, with managers receiving automatic email nudges to remind them to check if appropriate paperwork has been provided.

Saving time and improving payroll accuracy

The launch of Cezanne’s new Time module provided Medstrom with an opportunity to further improve their business processes. Claire explains, “To deliver the services our customers need, staff may have to be on call or work overtime, which entitles them to different levels of additional payments. Since these hours fall outside the standard shift patterns managed in Cezanne HR, the information was being recorded separately and it was proving extremely time- consuming for everyone.”

The company is now making use of Cezanne’s integrated time sheets to streamline the entire process – from recording the overtime or on-call time worked, through to authorisation and extracting the information for payroll.

The ability to manage time sheets through the system has been extremely well received by staff and managers alike. Technicians can easily add their on-call hours and overtime to their set hours, while managers are able to monitor and authorise any additional time being worked by their team. “The feedback on the Time module has been really positive. Information is updated on the system immediately, managers can sign off timesheets easily, and everyone knows exactly where they are,” said Claire. The programme is now being rolled out to call centre staff and clinical advisors, who also work variable hours.

For HR, the benefits have also been huge: “We worked with Cezanne to set up the time sheets to assign activities to the appropriate people and pay codes. That means we can automatically generate the itemised information needed for payroll, and drive our own reporting. We’ll save hours of admin time each month – and have more time to focus on supporting the company’s goals”, Claire explains.

For Claire, having all HR information in one central, secure, and easily accessible system is also helping the HR team to make better use of their time. “It’s given me one central point to house all the information I need, and I know that all the data on there is accurate and I can get it out when I need to,” she said. “We have also posted all our HR policies and procedures on the portal so that everyone can easily check things if they need to, rather than having to come to us every time.”

Better management information

Medstrom is also making good use of the HR analytics and reporting available through Cezanne HR. Managers are able to pull off reports on the amount of overtime worked by their teams and the cost to the business, helping to inform resourcing and recruitment decisions.

They are also able to review the data alongside information from another system that tracks products going in and out of service centres, to help them make judgements about efficient deployment of staff.

The management team is also monitoring information on headcount, and in particular, average age of employees. “We are starting to look at how we can use this to support succession planning. It has been highlighted, for example, that our most dominant age group is the 45-54 age bracket, so we need to plan for these people as well as looking at younger people coming through,” says Claire.

Although staff turnover is generally low, Claire is also planning to use the system to record exit information so that the business can see why people are leaving and feed the information into its talent management and retention activities. Sickness absence reports are also now being generated on a monthly basis, so the business can see how much absence is costing, get an insight into the main causes, and identify if there are any spikes in particular areas that may need to be investigated further. “The system is giving us tangible information that we can use to inform key business decisions,” says Claire.

Looking ahead

Medstrom already has plans to expand its use of Cezanne HR further, with the training functionality next on the agenda and the possibility of using the performance management module further down the line.

The system has proved to be reliable and is regularly updated with new features; and Claire has been particularly impressed with the assistance from the support team. “They are really receptive to any requests we may have, and are always quick to answer queries or help us trouble-shoot problems,” she says, adding that she has already recommended the system to colleagues.

But for Medstrom, perhaps the biggest benefit has been the fact that the system is growing alongside the business. “We can just add new people and use additional functionality as we expand and our needs evolve. It is great to know that we’re using a system that’s being added to all the time, and there is potential for us to achieve even more for the business in the future,” says Claire.

Medstrom - fast track award

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