Environment Southland

A time for change

Key TimeFiler benefits

  • Single, online form to capture work, leave and project tracking
  • Integrated with payroll and finance applications
  • Capture use of vehicles and other resources
  • Costs employee time to projects

About Environment Southland

Environment Southland is the brand name of Southland Regional Council. The region includes Invercargill City, Gore and Southland District and New Zealand's national treasures, Stewart Island/Rakiura National Park and Fiordland. It encompasses a total land area of 3,035,577 ha, with a population of just under 100,000.

Council carries out a multitude of functions to assist the Southland community with managing the environment, and employs approximately 150 personnel. Accurately capturing the tasks employees work on is a critical function in order to meet the obligations Council has to ratepayers and customers.

A time for change

Paper timesheets have been the traditional method of time capture. The process for distributing, completing, approving and collating paper timesheets from a workforce spread throughout the region was time-consuming and cumbersome. Once collected, each timesheet had to be checked for accuracy before manual data entry could begin into each of the payroll and finance systems.

The finance department had recently finished implementing a new system, and Environment Southland was looking for a time-management solution that would handle the timesheet process more effectively. They needed it as soon as possible, and it needed to be integrated with the payroll finance applications.

"Timesheets were being entered manually in three different places. We had to find a better solution."

Choosing TimeFiler

Susan Neilson, the Salaries and Payroll Officer, had recently seen TimeFiler at the NZPPA and One Stop Payroll conferences. Susan didn’t hesitate to recommend TimeFiler as a solution. She had been impressed with the functionality and knew it already worked with the payroll system. Jane talked to Horowhenua District Council, already a TimeFiler user, and arranged an online demonstration.

"Not long into the demonstration everyone realised TimeFiler would definitely suit the Council’s needs," says Jane. "It had the flexibility to accurately capture the work, project time and resource utilisation we needed. As a website, our users could access it anywhere and from any device. It could integrate with our other applications, and as a hosted service there was nothing for us to install. And finally, TimeFiler also had the expertise and knowledge we were looking for."

Ian from TimeFiler spent the day in Invercargill with the Environment Southland team planning, scoping and designing a solution. Typically a project would include time spent gathering requirements, completing a scope and then finalising the build. However, because TimeFiler had worked with local councils previously, they were able to draw on that experience to expedite the project. Within a week Environment Southland had a complete system they could test. After a few days of UAT (User Acceptance Testing) the new solution went live the following week.

"Working with TimeFiler was great. I half joked during the online demonstration we had on Thursday about them being on-site on Monday morning, and they were!"

A successful outcome

TimeFiler has been a welcome addition and a successful project for Environment Southland. The solution provides everything expected and integrates well with payroll and finance.

The system was accepted internally without effort,’’ says Jane Carroll. “Even employees who don’t have an affinity with computer systems have found it easy and are happily using the system. It has cut down hours of manual processing, making the payroll process much more streamlined and efficient. In a Manager’s role, I think it’s awesome because it allows me to identify trends coming through so I can plan forward.

“On a Monday there is no longer the rush to gather up all the team's timesheets and take them up to the payroll team, I am finding most of my staff now complete their timesheet on a Friday and I can have them all approved and ready for the payroll team first thing on a Monday morning” says Jane Carroll.

"This project was completed in such a short time frame and nothing was a problem. Ian and Jane would be communicating during the day and sometimes into the night; tweak a bit, test a bit and we quickly ironed out the few wrinkles. Within 10 days from start to finish, we had a very easy solution that all users are comfortable with, requiring a minimal amount of training for go live. I would certainly recommend the TimeFiler team and product to anyone."

Start recommending TimeFiler yourself. Book a free demonstration of the software application here.

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