United Civil

United Civil

Prior to TimeFiler, all of United Civil’s payroll and timesheets were handled manually, including the review process for payroll.

Key TimeFiler benefits

  • Increased timesheet accuracy
  • Integrated with existing payroll Greentree
  • Reduced code validation errors
  • Increased overall time and attendance speed
  • The problem.

    United Civil Construction Limited is a New Zealand-based civil engineering firm that thrives on completing big, complex engineering and construction projects. Their expertise includes industrial and water infrastructure, as well as roads and pavements — typically large-scale, multimillion-dollar projects. Some of their previous work includes the rebuilding of the KiwiRail Bridge 217 in the wake of Cyclone Gabrielle and the civil works on the tyre recycling facility at Fletcher’s Golden Bay Cement plant in Portland.

    Needless to say, United Civil likes to involve itself in unique, highly intricate projects. However, such a varied workload, along with a team of 120+ staff working on multiple sites, meant that United Civil was facing many time-tracking complexities. Prior to TimeFiler, all payroll and timesheets were handled manually, including the review process for payroll. This meant a significant amount of time was spent simply chasing up employees who hadn’t completed their timesheets or who had entered incorrect information.

    Another problem was getting employees to use the correct code for their particular job. With hundreds of possible valid activity codes related to the dozens of different projects on the go, an incorrect code could tie up an employee’s payroll process — all while the correct code was chased after through an extensive paper trail.

    Finding a solution.

    Consultants were brought in to investigate the problem and review the potential solutions. Since United Civil already had a dedicated ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system, Greentree, the challenge was to find a time and attendance system that could accommodate without creating extra work. Considering a number of alternatives on the market, TimeFiler seemed to have the best functionality and flexibility, including a complete mobile application, timesheets, and leave allocation. 

    Therefore, the rollout process was fairly straightforward, with field staff testing the initial product before the rest of the team. This testing phase made it clear that TimeFiler had the necessary functionality to suit, and the testers became determined advocates for the switch.

    TimeFiler could run its API (Application Programming Interface) with the Greentree accounting system, working out data that would be configured into the existing application. This included leave balances, hours worked, pay allowances and other details that would normally have to be calculated from a paper timesheet and typed manually into the system. The new ease with which the information from one system could be transferred to another meant a significant amount of time and interpretation was cut down.

    The setup.

    While the TimeFiler setup was ‘very specific’, it was obvious to CFO Brett Halvorson that this wasn’t TimeFiler’s ‘first rodeo’. As Brett suggested, ‘it was clear they knew what they were doing, and they gave clear direction on the processes to follow.’ 

    Since United Civil resembled, in many ways, other civil engineering clients TimeFiler had worked with, many processes didn’t need to be reinvented completely to suit United Civil’s requirements. The main challenge came from working to integrate with Greentree’s APIs, as well as setting the overtime payments based on which site and job a particular employee is on. However, having worked in the past with other ERPs, TimeFiler was able to customise the application for United Civil. 

    The solution.

    As Brett went on to say, ‘we don’t have any missing timesheets anymore, and we process weekly payroll faster and with a lot less angst’. The problem with timesheet submission has also gone down significantly, and for the few who do lag behind, United Civil can easily see who they are and follow up accordingly. Brett says that ‘we can now add better value instead of just processing, so there’s better quality coming out of that and not just us fixing things. Our guys know they’re getting paid as long as it [the timesheets] gets approved’.

    Another milestone has been greatly reducing the code validation errors. Whereas originally, employees would have to remember to pick one out of hundreds of potential codes, their work codes are now sorted per job and employee. Hence, when an employee logs into TimeFiler to record hours worked, they only have to pick from a few possible codes, which can be rectified much more easily within the TimeFiler system.


    The TimeFiler experience.

    Since its implementation, TimeFiler has greatly increased the accuracy of the timesheet process, creating greater transparency around where timesheets are and the information they need to contain for each employee. 

    Currently, United Civil is looking to improve their use of TimeFiler, especially for complex jobs, in order to give 'better accountability for timesheet approval’. TimeFiler has ‘improved the speed’ of normal time and attendance tracking whilst reducing the number of errors. To date, United Civil’s payroll has never had to request a timesheet be resubmitted, which was common before shifting to the TimeFiler application.

    When asked if United Civil would recommend TimeFiler to anyone else, Brett had this to say:

    “Absolutely — there is a lot to be gained by going with TimeFiler. I’m confident in the data we’re getting… what gets put in is going to come out right, as long as the processes are there to manage that data.”

    Brett also mentioned that TimeFiler has a good support system, which has allowed them to achieve this data accuracy. Working to the brief, TimeFiler was able to make its application fit with Greentree’s APIs, giving United Civil a consistent, predictable system that meant it could keep its current ERP.

    If you’d like to find out more about how TimeFiler operates, book in for a free demonstration of what the software can do for you.

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