Softworks helps companies streamline processes, increase productivity, and reduce costs through improved management, scheduling, and utilization of labor resources. Softworks offers reliable, proven solutions for time and attendance, labor scheduling, HR, and absence management. The solution allows both private and public organizations to better ensure compliance, reduce errors, eliminate redundancies, and improve reporting — while promoting a safe, positive working environment for all employees. Softworks was established in 1990 in Ireland and currently has offices in Ireland, UK, Canada, and the United States.
“Our solutions, while feature-rich, are designed to be intuitive and very easy to use,” said Andrew Ferguson, Chief Executive Officer, Softworks. “For example, a unique difference between ourselves and our competitors is our labor scheduling wizard, which builds optimized schedules based on the needs of the organization, along with employee preferences and skills; we also incorporate an organization’s existing work practices into our solution instead of making them change their work practices to fit our solution.”
Ferguson added that another unique point is that all Softworks modules are included as part of the core product. The Softworks solution is very flexible and scalable, and organizations can select the modules they need. There are no large premiums if they’d like to start utilizing additional modules over time. This allows companies to invest knowing that the solution will work for them no matter how their organization changes in the future. Softworks also integrates with third-party applications like most popular payroll and human resource systems, if required.
The Softworks platform is used by a range of organizations across all industries. Clients range in size from 250 to 50,000 employees and include well-known companies such as Dell EMC, Intel, Estee Lauder, Heineken, Kerry Group, Hertz, DHL, Tesco and Selfridges to name a few. The company also works with many public sector organizations, including government departments, councils, and housing associations. Within the healthcare sector, Softworks provides services for a number of large hospitals, nursing homes, and community care providers across Ireland, the United Kingdom, and Canada.
“Much of our business comes from word of mouth. We work hard to provide solutions that make our customers’ working lives easier,” said Ferguson. “We’ve found that once clients experience the benefits that we bring to their organization — such as a reduction in manual processes, improved accuracy of data, easier reporting, and the associated cost savings — then they are very happy about recommending us to other businesses.”
Developing healthcare in the U.S.
Softworks has recently expanded into the U.S. market with a focus on healthcare. Following research into this market, it was discovered that there is considerable interest in automated labor and safe staff scheduling solutions.
“Our U.S. team is receiving very positive feedback from hospitals and other healthcare providers, so we’re excited about our prospects in North America,” added Ferguson. “We’ve had considerable success in Canada with our solutions recently selected for the Geraldton District Hospital, in Ontario, the Markham and Stouffville Hospital, Ontario, and the Dryden Regional Health Centre (hospital and community care) all of which will roll out early 2020.”
Ferguson explained that workforce management is vital because it allows companies to uncover, understand, and address challenges that might be hindering the organization’s success or their employees’ satisfaction. With an adequately scaled workforce management system, companies can spot trends and take steps to address any issues before they become major problems. Workforce management also frees up HR teams and employees from manual, time-consuming tasks so they can spend more time on activities that add real strategic value to the organization, driving improvements on many different levels.
For healthcare specifically, labor scheduling is a major headache with managers spending a significant amount of time manually creating and maintaining complex staff schedules and trying to balance labor costs with patient care requirements. This presents an opportunity for an automated labor scheduling solution, which helps automate scheduling fairly and equitably, so managers can drive efficiencies and reduce the need for agency staff while at the same time delivering exceptional patient care through safe staff scheduling.
“Across all industries, we see the increased need to demonstrate compliance with labor regulations and pressure to find ways of reducing costs and optimize operations,” said Ferguson. “And at the same time, they need to maintain flexibility and quality standards, and deal with attracting and retaining employees — workforce management solutions can help with all of these areas.”
While workforce management may have started with employees clocking in and out to record working hours, it has evolved to now cover automation of complex labor scheduling, absence management, project tracking, HR, and flexible working. Through comprehensive real-time reporting and information, Softworks solutions are enabling organizations to drive efficiencies and better ensure compliance while promoting a positive environment for employees.
Workforce management helps HR managers reduce the administrative burden on their HR teams. They spend less time administering employee absences, annual leave, time in lieu, and sickness so they can spend more time on initiatives such as employee engagement, performance management, and development.
Additionally, the solution helps protect the company from being at risk of non-compliance with labor regulations. Automating time and attendance also increases the accuracy of payroll and the speed with which the payroll is created, again saving time and leading to happier employees.
A platform of efficiency
Workforce management software saves time by eliminating data duplication and reducing time spent on manual tasks that can easily be automated, so it frees up employees to spend time where the organization needs them. The organization is making direct time savings from this, and then, in addition, by tracking employee working hours, they are saving money in the area of reducing or removing overtime and agency costs, reducing overpayments and reducing absenteeism. Aside from the direct savings, indirect savings are to be made in ensuring legislative compliance, improved employee retention, and increased employee satisfaction.
“We’re seeing increased demand for solutions that support employers in managing flexible and remote working practices,” added Ferguson. “As part of the drive toward improving employee engagement we also see an increased requirement to roll out employee self-service features to allow employees to check and book annual leave and flex-time balances, enter individual shift preferences, bid on available shifts, and check future schedules no matter where they are.”
The Softworks solution can be either cloud-based or server-based. In all situations, Softworks is committed to ensuring the security and protection of all personal information and provides a compliant and consistent approach to data protection. Softworks is ISO 27001 certified, meaning that the company has been independently certified and awarded the internationally recognized highest standard for managing information securely.
The company conducts automated vulnerability scanning of the solution and infrastructure as well as using CREST certified, third-party penetration testers. Softworks also includes GDPR compliance as standard.
The Irish Advantage
“It would be very remiss of me not to mention that Ireland is a great place for us to call home,” added Ferguson. “With Ireland’s pro-business environment, its young and talented workforce — we are a naturally forward-looking country that is strong on relationship building, and this is reflected in the way Softworks approaches our business.”