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Managing time is of the essence

Managing time is of the essence

Article by Amano UK

Our typical “9 to 5” culture is set to become a thing of the past with legislation adapting to allow more people access to flexible working. Matt Wheeler from Amano UK – part of the worldwide Amano Group that designs and manufactures innovative time and workforce management systems – explains how technology will help finance teams save time and money as their business adapts to the demands of a flexible workforce.

Businesses have typically been nervous about adopting flexible working schemes and recent research highlighted the main perceived disadvantages of flexible working to be limited interaction between key workers, lack of management control over employees and security and confidentiality of information.

However, nearly half of organisations surveyed saw flexible working as the key to higher productivity. Other advantages included retention of key staff and the ability to attract new and well-qualified employees, reduced office costs and more responsive customer services – tangible benefits that have a direct and positive impact on the bottom line.

Great in theory, but with pressure to improve efficiency, productivity and cost control while incorporating flexible working practices, there is a growing need for time and attendance systems that can track complex working patterns and analyse real-time data that will help Financial Directors to accurately measure impacts on the bottom line. Those businesses that do not yet possess the technological infrastructure to facilitate more flexible and mobile working patterns are in the most danger of being left behind.

Measuring Performance is Key

For many businesses the very thought of a new IT system brings to mind headlines of vastly expensive and overdue projects but the reality is far less daunting.

Flexible workforce management software systems, such as The Astrow Suite, enable businesses to synchronise time and attendance, project and activity tracking, holiday and overtime management, HR recording and integration with access control and payroll. Access and permissions can even be tailored to allow a ‘self-service’ element, allowing staff to manage their own time, releasing valuable time for managers to focus on core productive activities.

New systems like these could be key to helping finance teams to adapt to the cuts in spending and waste reduction they face as result of the recession, by increasing efficiency and reporting while managing new flexible working patterns.

Advances in technology now mean businesses can respond more quickly and cost-effectively to the demands of changing working practices, even implementing new management functions immediately via the internet. Web-hosted services like iTime, offer a flexible ‘pay as you go’ option for businesses wanting to easily manage time and attendance and simple HR admin online – an ideal tool for cost-effectively managing mobile and remote workers whilst avoiding the need to install software.

The Amano Group is a billion dollar business and employs 4,000 people in 17 countries. Amano UK is based at Festival House, Jessop Avenue, Cheltenham. For more information about the Amano Group visit www.amano-tcs.co.uk

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