‘Just-in-time manufacturing’ is a recognised approach that ensures the production of goods to exactly meet customer demand with the required quality and quantity, in time, and with zero wasted resources. When this ‘just-in-time’ concept is applied to labour, the hours of labour are considered ‘inventory’, and permanent personnel can therefore be considered an organisation’s ‘fixed inventory’. In project-based companies or those where demand for its products or services is seasonal, it is often difficult to ensure the correct quantity of personnel and the hours they are required to work. Just-in-time HR management optimises the management of personnel assets, freeing up managers to focus on their core business.
PRP’s Honeycomb portal brings the ‘just-in-time’ concept into the personnel management sector. It integrates payroll, human resources, and finance functions, enabling optimised, efficient personnel management within an organisation.
Companies that stand to benefit from PRP’s ‘just-in-time people management’ solution most are those operating in sectors like cleaning, construction, food & beverage, hospitality, manufacturing, retail, and security.
Managing temporary labour just got easier
Making use of a vendor management solution (VMS) within the Portal, companies subscribing to PRP’s Honeycomb solution are able to interface directly with vendor agencies that provide temporary personnel. Of significance, it facilitates more than pure interaction and provides employers with the ability to manage temporary labour in a cost-effective, legitimate way. “The comprehensive record-keeping, which forms part of this solution, helps companies to easily comply with the Labour Relations Act’s strict regulations with regards to temporary labour,” points out Kriya Govender, CEO, PRP Solutions.
“Employees benefit from this type of temporary personnel management too,” Govender adds. “They are ensured of regularly paid market-related wages in an environment where there is zero opportunity for exploitation. One of the key mandates shared by most South African trade unions is to ‘look after the interests of their members’. Our ‘just-in-time’ offering helps facilitate this while removing the management burden from the company utilising this service.”
An ideal example of just-in-time in the services sector is that of the security industry, where balancing employee leave with reliever capacity can become onerous. On its own, the task is not arduous, but in many service-orientated industries, flexibility is essential to accommodate peak periods, like in security services when managing a strike, or covering events and exhibitions. PRP can also easily assist plants and shops with their reliever capacity requirements by ensuring the correct personnel are allocated to the correct position at the correct place for the correct period, without it impacting the company’s bottom line. All of this is remarkably simple for the user, and is achieved with only a few taps of a computer keyboard.
“Just-in-time HR management is not restricted to the services industry,” Govender points out. “The manufacturing sector is often constrained by machine capacity, which is easily resolved by increasing the number of shifts or increasing shift duration. However, both options indirectly impact labour requirements which, again, can be easily managed by implementing PRP’s VMS.” This offering provides a value-add to outsourcing companies whose business model revolves around temporary personnel. They are able to fill their employment requirements without having fixed costs, while their temporary employees benefit by being first in line for permanent recruitment opportunities at the service provider. Their experience within a company is reflected in all record-keeping, which serves as an experience reference. That the system allows temporary employees to make themselves available too, is beneficial. “This is another type of flexi-staffing model that can be easily managed by PRP’s online service,” Govender adds.
“PRP is not a staffing vendor and the just-in-time relationship for labour between our client and the temporary staffing agency is independent of PRP,” Govender elaborates. “Our system receives a request for labour, which is directed to the staffing solution providers and subsequently implemented in such a way that all compliance requirements are met, as well as ensuring that the personnel selected are of the appropriate seniority, possess the requisite skillset and have the necessary experience.”
The VMS incorporates a feedback functionality by surveying managers for the assessment of personnel on completion of assignments. “The upside of this functionality is that it offers both employers and staffing agencies the opportunity to identify any needs, like training, for example,” Govender adds. A part of PRP’s role is understanding its clients’ compliance requirements and ensuring that the staffing agency enforces these requirements, as well as tracking the reasons for its clients using temporary labour. PRP plays a management role in approving relevant timesheets and invoicing clients accordingly. “So,” says Govender, “PRP is the control mechanism between the two parties.”
“Our company name – People Resource Planning (PRP) – speaks for itself,” Govender says, and clients needn’t subscribe to the entire Honeycomb suite to benefit from the just-in-time aspects of PRP’s offerings. The VMS can be acquired as a module on its own and licensing of the module is usage-based with clients having the option of either a monthly subscription based on actual usage, or an annual licence.
Digitising manual processes to save time and money
A vital role played by PRP is the management function when a company has different payroll rules for permanent and temporary personnel. PRP configures this for them, reducing some of the “pressures” the client is sometimes subjected to. “Digitising a previously lengthy manual process inevitably saves time,” Govender opines. In addition, digitisation prevents non-compliance with protocols (which is when inefficiencies creep in). Fixing mistakes, ensuring people are paid on time and correctly can be tricky and time-consuming. For example, if there are multiple queries that must be resolved before a payment can be processed, then the payment may be delayed. However, when using a digital system, authorisation for all aspects of the job, including payment, is secured in advance. “Implementing a digital interface now, even if it takes a little time, provides time-saving and better returns further down the line. Scheduling tools within our solution help prevent unnecessary overtime, a saving in itself, help reduce both invoicing and payroll queries, and ensure compliance with customer policies.”
It’s in the cloud, so it’s safer and smarter
All of PRPs software is cloud-based so it is easy to implement and there is no extra investment when clients use PRP as the interface between themselves and the personnel provider. This reduces any additional system infrastructure costs and requirements. It also allows for replacement personnel to be scheduled in advance, including the cost report for an upcoming period.
Business intelligence is also a benefit of implementing this solution, which is seen in the management reports produced. “Before introducing our system, many clients did not have accurate data on temporary employee usage, or whether they were within budget until after the invoicing period. Our solution incorporates a dashboard that quantifies and reports on every aspect of the personnel’s temporary replacements,” Govender says. “This data, which is so easily available when using PRP’s just-in-time HR offering, assists the business to the extent that it results in increased productivity and efficiencies, ultimately leading to increased profitability, within a relatively short time frame.
A ‘just-in-time’ HR service like the one offered by PRP, has the potential to increase production, efficiently, while reducing the cost to company, ensuring compliance with labour regulations and safety requirements, and relieving senior managers of the stress and time involved in executing the required tasks manually.
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