Customer case study: Suffolk Coastal Port Health Authority

Suffolk Coastal Port Health Authority has been in existence since 1899 and is the largest of its kind in the UK. The authority is part of Suffolk Coastal District Council’s health department and responsible for the Port of Orwell Haven which includes the port of Felixstowe, where most employees are based.

The authority‘s remit covers:

  • Import controls for food and products of animal origin
  • Ship sanitation control
  • Food standards, food safety and water quality
  • Infectious disease control

Too many spreadsheets

The authority is very keen to maintain excellent service levels and fast turnarounds for port customers. To achieve this there are around 60 employees, including health professionals, technical assistants, vets and administration, working different shifts between the operating hours of 06:30 to 22:00 Monday to Friday and 06:30 to 14:30 at weekends.

Bradley Borley has been ICT Team Leader at Suffolk Coastal Port Health Authority for just over a year. When he arrived they were managing the shifts on spreadsheets, which as he says,

“Is very long winded and not the greatest of systems. Plus we had paper holiday cards as well which we were keen to remove.”

Added to this, other employee information was being held and recorded on a plethora of spreadsheets across the organisation – 21 spreadsheets in fact!  As Bradley and his colleagues recognised, this was not an ideal situation.

The decision was taken to look for a time and attendance system which would bring all this information together, making it easier to access, manage and report on.

Our solution

The authority has chosen to use remote proximity fob readers on their main site. The fobs don’t need to be touched to the unit to record clockings on the system which makes it more convenient for employees. As well as the core time and attendance system to manage clocking and rotas, they’ve invested in a number of other modules.

HR Management

HR Management has brought together all the employee information that was being kept on 21 spreadsheets.

Employee records can include basics such as contact details and pay, as well as shifts, skills, training and licences, plus CVs and other documents.

You can add custom fields to capture any information your organisation needs. Users with the appropriate access rights can view and/or manage this information on-site or using Browser-Based Admin, our web based service.

The additional Workflow Module allows users to set up alerts to remind them about licence renewals coming up, work anniversaries, etc.

Bradley comments, “It means we don’t have a single point of failure, we can keep proper HR files of the employees on the system and the reporting will hopefully assist us with trend spotting in business peak periods.”

Web based services

 As well as the core on-premise system, the team was also very keen to take advantage of the web-based services.

  • Browser-Based Admin: a number of managers have access to Browser-Based Admin which means they can log in to the system and carry out a range of tasks when out and about.
  • Employee Self-Service: this enables staff to log in online on smartphones or tablets to view their rotas and request holidays and other time off. Employees can be given the option to see an anonymised calendar showing all booked time off.

Employee Self-Service as Bradley says, “Makes the end employees a bit more aware when booking time off, when they go to book it they can see who else is off.”

Bradley and the team also chose the Chronologic system because it can be tailored to their requirements, “I like the fact it’s customisable, we have spent time setting it up to capture all of the information we need to run the service.”

The Chronologic team

We asked Bradley what it’s been like working with the Chronologic team.

“The sales team were very good, they spent time with us giving us a demonstration, answering our questions, but also happy to answer our questions after the demo.

The support team are excellent, they quickly respond to your queries should you have any.”

The Chronologic Workforce Management System ensures that this forward thinking authority has the tools it needs to deliver services more efficiently and effectively.

If you’d like to discuss a workforce management solution which really works for your organisation, please get in touch.