Softworks Blog

Manufacturing the perfect Workforce Management System

Posted by Jimmy English on Mon, Mar 27, 2017

 linkedin_Manufacturing1_1200x627-1.gifManufacturing the perfect Workforce Management System.

 The manufacturing industry in the UK and Ireland is rapidly expanding post economic downturn. Growth in the manufacturing industry has led to a positive boost in employment levels. The growth in the manufacturing industry in the UK and Ireland has also raised a number of workforce management issues for manufacturing companies.  By identifying these issues, manufacturing companies can begin to implement workforce management solutions.  Some of the major workforce management issues for manufacturing companies include: creating easily adaptable rosters and schedules, timesheet fraud and manipulation caused by ‘buddy punching’ and inaccuracies between time and attendance and payroll.

   Do any of these issues sound familiar to you? Fortunately, they are all easily resolved. Softworks Workforce Management is currently working with manufacturing companies in the UK and Ireland to deliver them with effective and sustainable workforce management solutions.

Some of our current customers include Apple, Formica and Kerry Foods.

So how exactly do Softworks help manufacturing companies?

  1. End to End Automation

Our workforce management software helps eliminate any inaccuracies in an employee’s time and attendance and their payroll.  Automating your time and attendance will result in an automation of payroll, removing any discrepancies.

  1. Biometric Timekeeping.

By implementing biometric time and attendance systems, you remove any possibility of ‘buddy punching’ or attempted time and attendance fraud.

  1. Flexibility of Rostering.

With the nature of the manufacturing industry, flexible working hours and shifts are a necessity. Softworks eRostering allows manufacturing managers to ensure allocation of adequate resources within prepopulated budgets and costs.

In the manufacturing industry, companies are always striving to reduce costs and improve efficiencies. Time and Attendance solutions from Softworks can help you do just that. 

But how do you know which Workforce Management System is right for you? Our guide to selecting a Workforce Management System will provide you with an unbiased guide on choosing the perfect workforce management system for your manufacturing company.

To find out more about how Softworks has already assisted a major manufacturing company,download our case study on Aughinish Alumina.










Topics: Workforce Management, Workforce Solutions, Manufacturing, Time & Attendance

Clean out your Computer - Workplace Management and Optimisation

Posted by Jimmy English on Mon, Feb 13, 2017



Let’s be honest – there’s nothing more frustrating than a slow computer. You’re in a hurry to get your reports typed and your emails sent and they just – won’t – load. Is it a virus? You better hope not or the IT department will be after you. It’s very likely that your sluggish computer needs to be cleaned out. The more unnecessary and scattered files you have on your computer the more memory being used, and thus the slower your computer will run.  An uncooperative computer is going to have an adverse effect on your productivity and as a result, your company productivity. Luckily, there are simple steps you can take to fix this common workplace issue:

  • Sort through old files and either remove to an external drive or delete them altogether.
  • Defragment your computer’s hard drive.
  • Store all files directly to the cloud – a practice which is becoming commonplace.

Workforce optimisation involves a lot more than sorting through your computer every once in a while. In fact, to truly optimise your company and maximise potential return you should consider investing in a workforce management system. A workforce management system allows you to track all aspects of your business. One of the biggest costs to a business today is labour optimisation; managing time and attendance, scheduling & rostering and absence management.

 Identifying and recognising the needs of your business or the area to be addressed will help you select the right workplace management system. It is also important to consider your employees and colleagues. A new workplace management system will take a while to get used to, and will require buy in from your entire team.

It’s also important to ensure that your new workplace management system integrates with any current applications running in your company. If you have already implemented a HR or payroll system, make sure that your chosen workplace management system will work with them.

Investing in workplace management solutions for time and attendance, eRostering and workplace access is a big step for any business. Before you make a decision, do your research! Read our free and impartial whitepaper on ‘Selecting a Workforce Management System’ for some tips and advice before you buy. You can read our whitepaper here.

Download our free Whitepaper on Selecting a Workforce Management Solution


Topics: Workforce Solutions, Workforce Management, Workforce Optimisation

Trick or Treat? It’s Always a Treat with Softworks!

Posted by Eimear McCarthy on Fri, Oct 21, 2016

Trick or Treat-1.jpg

It’s almost that spooky time of year again – ghouls, goblins, gremlins and of course, the tradition of kids knocking on our doors declaring “Trick or Treat”. Every kid wants a treat! Isn’t that what we all want? So let’s avoid the tricks this Halloween and look at all the ways Softworks can “treat” you!

1. Save You Time

How much time do you or your HR manager spend each week (or day) trying to make a work schedule? It can be such a nightmare! Using our Workforce Management Software can save you and your business hours per week so more time can be spent on the human aspect of HR within your corporate environment. As Softworks have a web based system, you can manage tasks wherever you are instead of rushing back to the office.

2. Increase Security

Biometric data collection devices (i.e. fingerprint scanners) make it so only an actual employee can clock in and out, which helps eliminate “buddy punching”, the practice of one worker clocking in for another. Spreadsheets are not very accurate, time consuming, and do not provide useful insights. Your organisation should begin thinking about the better alternative – Softworks Workforce Management Solutions.

3. Reduce Absenteeism

Employee absence has a huge impact on any organisation and the best way to control it is with a Time and Attendance Solution. Attendance needs management and absenteeism needs to be controlled. The software will allow an organisation to track rates and report reasons for the absenteeism. Recording absences allows the relevant people such as line managers, colleagues, payroll and so on to be notified. The recorded absences can then be totalised and can used as a management aid. This can be done by highlighting employees with unusual absenteeism levels, comparing how absenteeism varies by department, how it varies over time and so on.

4. Increase Employee Satisfaction

Scheduling and handling time-off requests are an important part of maintaining a satisfied workforce. When employee satisfaction increases, issues such as turnover may decrease. With automated systems, it is possible to quickly review, approve, and address absence requests and manage planned absences to minimise their effect on your business.

5. Reduce Errors

When the onus of responsibility rests with humans, there is always a chance of human error, which can lead to lost time and increased discrepancies. Our Time and Attendance Softwarereduces the risk of human error and ensures an easy, impartial and orderly approach in addressing specific needs without any confusion.

6. Softworks Self-Service Mobile App

Easily turn your administrative nightmare of managing employee time & attendance into a dream come true with Softworks new self-service app. Believe it or not, our mobile app is not a trick. It is simply another treat we have for you, so what are you waiting for?

Get a Free Demo Today!

If you are interested in learning more about Softworks and want to avoid all the tricks and horrors this Halloween, contact us today. With over 25 years’ experience, we have a great story to share!

Topics: Workforce Solutions, Workforce Management, Time & Attendance

Benefits of Workforce Management Solutions

Posted by Eimear McCarthy on Tue, Apr 12, 2016


Why do you need workforce management solutions in your business? Well, workforce management solutions is a broad term used to describe a set of tools which companies use to increase efficiency and productivity among their employees. Workforce management solutions provide automated resolutions to many of the common, everyday tasks performed by any organisation’s Human Resources (HR) department.

Softworks workforce management solutions helps companies streamline processes, increase productivity and reduce costs through improved management, scheduling and tracking of labour resources.

There are many benefits to using workforce management solutions to reduce your HR department’s operating costs while increasing the organisation’s efficiency. Below are the top benefits of using workforce management solutions:

  1. Eliminate Human Error

When the onus of responsibility rests with humans, there is always a chance of human error, which can lead to lost time and increased discrepancies. Workforce management solutions can reduce the risk of human error and ensure an easy, impartial and orderly approach in addressing specific needs without any confusion.

  1. Increase Employee Satisfaction

Scheduling and handling time-off requests are an important part of maintaining a satisfied workforce. When employee satisfaction increases, issues such as turnover may decrease. With automated systems, it is possible to quickly review, approve, and address absence requests and manage planned absences to minimise their effect on your business.

  1. Save Time

How much time do you or your HR manager spend each week (or day) trying to make a work schedule? Using workforce management software can save you and your business hours per week so more time can be spent on the human aspect of HR within your corporate environment. As Softworks have a web based system, you can manage tasks wherever you are instead of rushing back to the office.

  1. Boost security

Biometric data collection devices (i.e. fingerprint scanners) make it so only an actual employee can clock in and out, which helps eliminate “buddy punching”, the practice of one worker clocking in for another.

What are the benefits of operating your workforce management software in the cloud?

A cloud-based workflow management solution that operates as a SaaS has immediate benefits for both small and big businesses. As the software is a web application, it can be accessed from any smartphone, tablet, or computer with an Internet connection. Cloud workforce management software merges company data onto a single platform and allows employees to easily handle self-service processes. This helps bridge the gap between departments and allows your company’s HR staff to stay focused on analytics rather than manual tasks.

Download our free paper: Top 10 reasons why you should move your Time and Attendance to the cloud.

Spreadsheets are not very accurate, time consuming, and do not provide useful insights. Your organisation should begin thinking about the better alternative – Softworks workforce management solutions. It is a powerful tool for optimising operational efficiencies, employee satisfaction and ultimately the customer experience. So what are you waiting for, sign up for a free demo with Softworks today!

Have a look at our extensive range of products and keep up to date with Softworks by following us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and don’t forget to watch our two minute video.

Topics: Workforce Solutions, Workforce Management

Why HR Directors in the Public Sector are taking an active role in WFM

Posted by Nadine Walsh on Mon, Aug 31, 2015


HR directors in the Public Sector have come to realise that In order to drive change and efficiency in these challenging times, they need to be involved in Workforce Management Projects.  It is the workforce who will be instrumental in the successful implementation of an organisation’s objectives.  The recognition of the importance of achieving this buy-in from the entire organisation has prompted active involvement by HR leaders. This involvement proves to other executives and employees, their commitment and their understanding of these projects and the benefits they can bring to the organisation.  They are demonstrating that they want to be consistently used as strategic partner in the organisation and that their knowledge and expertise should be exploited.

Over the last few years, the Public Sector has undoubtedly experienced some of the most radical changes in history. The drive for change and efficiency has never been so important, and this has prompted many HR directors to find new solutions and channels to meet these challenges. 


Why are HR directors fundamental to the successful implementation of a WFM strategy in the Public Sector?

(1)     Strategic Partner Within today's Public Sector, the HR Director is viewed as a strategic partner. In this role, you contribute to the growth and the success of the organisation’s plans and objectives. You are responsible for creating the vision and implementing your Human Resources plans that will assist your organisation to achieve their overall mission and objectives. 

(2)     Employee advocate  As an employee advocate; you play a vital role in the success of your organisation via your expertise and knowledge about employees. Your skills include, knowing how to create a work environment that encourages employee motivation, participation, achievement and job satisfaction.

(3)     Employee Empowerment  Your goal is to create a work environment in which employees are empowered, productive, contributing, and happy.  From here you can attract, recruit and retain the best employees.

(4)     Change champion  More and more you are been called on to champion change. Your knowledge and ability to implement successful change strategies mean that you are extremely valued by the other senior executives.  Your knowledge of how to link change to the strategic requirements of the organisation, minimises employee dissatisfaction and opposition to change.

Leading organisations today realise the importance of aligning all labour costs, with associated revenue and business profitability.  The who, when, where and doing what, needs to be measured effectively and this is where a comprehensive WFM platform plays its part.   Employees get the tools and operating parameters they need, at every level to deploy resource plans and schedules effectively, while delivering top down management controls over payroll overhead, overtime, contract staff, absence management and other major cost drivers in the business.  Easily accessible knowledge of employee time results in faster decision-making, improved scheduling and better labour cost management, which makes organisations more productive and competitive.


Labour is the biggest single overhead in all organisations; yet, it is often overlooked.  

As you are well aware, employee time is one of your organisation’s most valuable yet costly resources.


Modern WFM Solutions go beyond simple time and attendance functionality.  World class companies today are using Softworks WFM solutions to automate flexible working options, optimise labour planning, scheduling & modelling, respond to union and legislation requirements, track and cost projects and manage planned and unplanned absences. Today’s integrated WFM solutions build a bridge between the operational and the strategic elements of the organisation and therefore require that you are actively involved in these projects.

To discuss how Softworks can assist you implement the perfect workforce management strategy, arrange a free, no obligations demo with our team of industry experts today.

Talk to Our Team

Topics: Time & Attendance, Workforce Solutions, Flexitime / Flexible Working Hours Arrangement, Flexible Working, Public Sector, Government

Why Choose Softworks

Posted by Nadine Walsh on Mon, Apr 13, 2015


We recently conducted a survey to ensure we are facilitating our clients to the best our our ability and thought we should share the results with you. As always, we endeavour to lead the way with our workforce management solutions and work closely with every industry and companies of every size to ensure we are accomodating every worker's needs. 

The Results:

Just click on the image to get started ! 



If you have any questions or would like to arrange a demo with our team of experts just click on the link below.  Thank you to all of our clients who took part. Your feedback is much appreciated. 

Schedule a Live Demo

Topics: Time & Attendance, Workforce Solutions, Absenteeism, Flexible Working

The Key to a Happy Workforce

Posted by Nadine Walsh on Mon, Feb 2, 2015


happy workforce


We all know that saying, find something you love to do and you will never work a day in your life. There's nothing I would like more than for everyone I know to be working in a job they love, in a field they are really interested in, surrounded by supportive, talented co-workers. I am generally a positive thinker but the harsh reality behind that statement is that we have bills to pay, the job we love isn't always that easy to find and we all know every office has a nuisance (or two). There are a number of simple steps that will help you on your way to a happier workforce. This one is for you managers, CEOs, presidents and everyone else in charge of someone else's working day. Implement the ideas below now and I promise you will see a difference.


1. Introduce Flexitime.

Its 2015. Our lives are crazier and busier then ever. As it is, most of us spend 25% of our week at work and 34% sleeping leaving just 41% of your week to do the things you like. Plus or minus a family, hobbies, exercise, eating we really are short on time. Just the other day I wanted to kill my Iphone. Just this one device allows me to communicate in over 10 different ways; Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Whatsapp, Viber, Imessage, text message, email, call, Facetime... Yes I am ranting but my point is that there is more to life then work, however much we like our job. It will make such a difference to everyone if they can leave ten minutes earlier so that they can make that appointment or take an extra long lunch if its been a particularly stressful day. Remember that your workplace is made up of people, not machines. Being honest, we could all use a bit more flexibility in all areas of our lives so the workplace is a good place to start.

2. Celebrate Moments and People.

If somebody has been in the building for 20 years today, why not send a mass email to all staff and congratulate and thank them. They are choosing to be here and they wouldn't still be here if they weren't important to your company! Something I love about working at Softworks is that there are so many people working here that unless we were obesity advocates, we couldn't possibly have a cake for everyone's birthday. With that in mind our CEO introduced "cake day" where once a month we get in an array of buns and cakes and enjoy them together. Its definitely in the little things, and there is a great sense of fun round the office once everyone realises it's "cake day".

3. Schedule, Schedule, Schedule

There is nothing worse than your job taking over your life. I remember years of working in restaurants and the problems the messy schedule brought. I knew I had to get out of the shift work world when I had to miss an award ceremony where I was actually receiving a prize because my manager wouldn't let me reschedule my shift. I also missed birthdays of loved ones, my own birthday and lost a few friends because it. For people like nurses, doctors and many more escaping the 24 hour roster isn't ever going to happen. Set up a system where if needs be co-workers can do a swap. A disappointed and sulking worker is of no benefit to anyone.

4. Hand Over the Power

I cannot stress how important I think Self Service is. Employees, in my opinion should always have access to their own records. I want to be able so see how many hours overtime I have done, I want to check my holiday balance and I want to know how many times I was late or early this month without having to ask HR who will usually pass comment or wonder why I am asking. Don't get me wrong I think every company; big or small should have a HR department. A great HR team is fundamental to every successful company but my roster and my holiday details are the business of my manager and I. Get rid of the middle man.

5. Time to be on Time

We all have great intentions. You all know that amazing feeling when you come out of a productive meeting feeling all motivated because you and your team brainstormed tons of great ideas that could really work. Then you look back on the minutes of the meeting a month or two later no progress has been made and most of the ideas have been tossed aside and forgotten about. Start tracking your projects. Once the whole team can see on a shared screen what needs to be done and who needs to do it, the project will be done in no time. Set a deadline, make a task list, assign responsibility and get on with it. A great idea should never be let slide.


I would love to know your tips too! Feel free to share



Topics: Flexitime / Flexible Working Hours Arrangement, Time & Attendance, Flexible Working, Labour Scheduling, Workforce Solutions, Work-Life Balance, Performance, Working From Home, Working Hours, Rostering, Happy Workers, The Key To a Happy Workforce

Rostering - Putting Skills in the Right Places

Posted by Nadine Walsh on Fri, Nov 28, 2014


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Almost everyone’s heard of the saying ‘Right place, right time’ and when it comes to your workforce, a key element to the successful management of a business is ensuring that you have the right staff in the right place at the right time.

This often comes down to judgement, trusting your manager(s) to roster correctly and assess the possible requirements of their department within set constraints, be it contract terms, working hours, holiday leave, sick leave and so on. Whether it’s a shop floor, a manufacturing plant or a hospital, the demands on staff will change depending on various factors. Whilst these factors are more often than not outside of your control, you can plan effectively to deal with them based on historical data, local knowledge and general trends.

After all that, there is still a time consuming necessity to plan out the rosters based on the business requirements and the staff available. This can often be a frustrating and tedious task, which is subject to change at any given moment. Having an efficient and flexible rostering system can often save multiple hours every week/month as well as ensuring that all regulatory obligations are met. It can also be designed to factor in many of the aforementioned variables which aids in reducing the risk of under staffing at critical times, not to mention ensuring cost effectiveness by controlling resources when they are less needed.


Softworks offers a range of rostering & erostering solutions to make scheduling your workforce as easy and stress free as it should be. Click here for more details.


By Softworks' Head of Finance: Oliver Mitchell, ACA                    Oliver

Topics: Time & Attendance, Labour Scheduling, Workforce Solutions, Rostering

Webinar - Fall in love again with your Time & Attendance System

Posted by Nadine Walsh on Tue, Nov 25, 2014


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Do you find managing areas such as; employee attendance, absenteeism, overtime, flexible working, scheduling, leave, pay rules & policies, compliance etc. a nightmare? Does any of the following sound familiar…?

 You are still calculating your more complex pay rules by hand.
 Your system makes it difficult for managers to approve time.
 Your employees still contact HR to find out the status of their leave requests.
 Your current system is not able to grow with you.
 Your system was chosen without understanding your department’s “actual” needs. 
 You are not getting the benefits you originally expected – doesn’t do what it said on the tin!
 You have multiple locations but no visibility across them.

There is an easier way to work!  Join Andrew Ferguson, Softworks CEO for a live 45 minute webinar on Wednesday 10th December at 3pm GMT/10am EST*.  In this session Andrew will demonstrate what you should expect as standard from your Time & Attendance System.

*Not sure what time this is in you city? Click here to check

Can't attend? Click Here to Register anyway and we will send you on the recording.

Topics: Time & Attendance, Flexible Working, Labour Scheduling, Absenteeism, Absenteeism, Workforce Solutions, Work-Life Balance, Working From Home, Compliance

Meet the Softworks Team at the CIPD Annual Conference and Exhibition

Posted by Nadine Walsh on Tue, Nov 4, 2014

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The Softworks team are looking forward to exibiting at the CIPD Annual Conference and Exhibition this November 5th & 6th. 

Visit our stand to learn about how Softworks Time & Attendance, Scheduling and Absence Management solutions assist companies to organise the working day, in a way that makes them more productive, profitable and add value to their operations. Our highly qualified team will demonstrate how we enable organisations to drive efficiencies, ensure compliance and improve reporting – while promoting a safe, positive working environment.


You will find us at stand 588. Be sure to drop by if you are attending this event and our friendly team will be happy to answer any of your questions plus you'll be able to test-drive the very latest in Workforce Management Technology from Softworks.


We look forward to welcoming you to our stand and hope you enjoy the conference! 

Topics: Flexitime / Flexible Working Hours Arrangement, Labour Scheduling, Workforce Solutions, Conferences