Photo via Disco-Dan under Creative Commons
They already had customers. (So many, in fact, that they’d opened a second and third location of their specialist barbershop.)
They had employees.
They had equipment.
They had growth.
But success was catching up to them. Their cobbled-together systems of scheduling employees and approving timesheets were time-consuming and error-ridden. Employees weren’t checking in and out on time. Overtime pay was a hassle. Entering data by hand took way too long.
After struggling more and more with payroll and remote employee timekeeping issues, the owners of one burgeoning small business decided to increase employee and business productivity the easy way.
Previously, all the business’ records had been processed and stored manually, including timesheets and order forms. You can imagine how this constrained the owners, who as the business grew were increasingly pulled between filing cabinets and phones.
Even scheduling was a hassle. The business owners had to spend time every day calling and sending individual text messages to employees about covering available shifts.
All the chaos resulted in some impressively inefficient information management. At least five hours per week were wasted chasing down paperwork and processing timesheets – and that’s not even counting the time needed to track down and schedule employees across all three locations. Overtime wages were also inconsistent due to lax check-in procedures.
The costs were larger than just wasted time: The owners also estimate that they were spending $70-90,000 per year on an accountant whose job was to untangle the messes all this inefficiency created.
Integration for Efficiency
When the barbershop owners found Soprano and our award-winning workflow messaging solution GAMMA, they were delighted. No more collecting paper timesheets and entering them by hand. No more chasing five different employees to get a commitment to cover a shift.
By taking advantage of GAMMA’s integration with online bookkeeping service Xero, the barbershop owners were able to streamline all their timekeeping into one efficient process. Employees now check in and out for lunch and when they arrive and leave for the day using GAMMA, which captures a time stamp and GPS location.
The employees check in and out via forms sent directly to their phones, which are kept on file automatically. Then, Xero creates a draft timesheet and sends it to the owners to approve.
Using GAMMA also improves productivity for the barbershop in other ways. When the owners need to fill an open shift, they simply send a pre-written message to a pre-set group of employees. GAMMA automatically selects the first person to respond and sends the other group members a polite note that the shift has been filled.
Messages are sent through IP messaging, allowing a faster means of data transfer (as opposed to normal text) on a secured platform, and are automatically rerouted and sent by SMS message when users aren’t online.
And both the business’ owners and its employees now have free texting, MMS, voice recordings, and group meeting abilities, helping cut more costs than just for timekeeping.
How They Did It
Let’s take a look at how this business used GAMMA to increase efficiency for both employees and owners.
You can see how the inefficiency of this process dragged down productivity for everyone involved: the employees making phone calls just to check in and out and the owners pausing other tasks to take these calls every few minutes, then hunt down the appropriate piece of paper and record hours by hand.
The second workflow diagram demonstrates just how many unnecessary manual steps there were in the barbershop’s original process. Now, the only steps that demand the owners’ time and attention are sending out shift offers – which are automatically followed up on – and approving timesheets, which they can now do on their schedule.
- Employees now check in and out for lunch and when they arrive and leave for the day via GAMMA, which captures time stamp and GPS location
- Business owners and employees now have free texting, MMS, voice recordings, and group meetings
- All conversations are captured and auditable
- Timesheets are now consistent and automated
- Xero integration is more efficient, freeing up business owners for other duties
Ready to increase your own employees’ efficiency and straighten out your workflows? Take a look at Soprano GAMMA.