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“My colleagues laughed at me when I told them that we can save 313,000 euros per year on the time registration of our field staff.

Until I showed them the calculations.”

Last week, Bjorn, our CEO, asked in the MT meeting if I wanted to see where we could save costs by making processes more efficient. I thought: this is a good time to share my findings with the group.  


“I am happy to give the floor to Michel.”  


With a small nod, Bjorn motioned for me to begin my presentation. I started my story.


“I took another critical look at our various business processes. Most primary processes are well under way. But I think we can still make a big improvement in the way we have set up our time registration.  As you know, our field staff currently fill in their hours on paper work orders. I went through a bunch this week. Man, man, man. I didn't know it was that bad. 

Normally I only see the data once it is in our time portal, so after Joke has entered it. But now that I've seen the coupons myself, I can say it's a real drama. The timesheets are dirty, crumpled and sometimes even with coffee stains on them. And the handwriting is often really illegible. 

This way they will be placed in Joke's tray to be imported. Now she has assured me that, after years of entering 235 timesheets every day, she can decipher the manuscripts fairly well. But she also admitted that sometimes she just has to guess what it says. 

In fact, some coupons have the same information every week and every day: from Monday to Friday from eight o'clock to five o'clock. Of course we have nothing to do with that.”


"No, indeed. But how can you save on that?" said Bjorn. "I can't see it yet."


I replied: “I will show you the calculation in a moment, but first I want to show you on a slide how it is arranged now and then I will show you how it can be done easier and better. 


Manual form -> Physically submit form -> Enter data in hours portal -> check and approve -> process in administration

Look. That's how it goes now. They fill in the form with pen. That's a few minutes of work every day. Often start and end times are rounded up, so it's not very accurate. Sometimes we also see time sheets from different employees, but with the same handwriting.  


Then those notes have to end up in the tray with Joke. That also takes time. Most do this every day, but some only once a week or so. Or give them to a colleague. Those who have not submitted anything are called after by Joke. A day later or sometimes later, Joke will still receive the timesheet. That's quite a hassle actually.  


Then Joke types them over in the time portal. She is a great person, but she also makes mistakes when entering. So the data presented to the project leader for review and approval is far from accurate and not always complete.  


And I want to know exactly on time and as precisely as possible who has worked at which location and for how long, because I need that information for the subsequent calculation of the projects and I also need it to be able to charge hours correctly. In any case, it is nice that the hours from our time portal are automatically entered in the administration. And that got me thinking…


It would really make a big difference if the entire process of registering hours in the field were also automatic. Just as it is now happening internally through the link between our time portal and the ERP software."


“Yes, that would be great! But how do we do that?” asked Bjorn.


“Well”, I'll show you that on the next slide”, I said...

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