Attention to detail is very important in the graphic design and print industry. WhosOffice is enabling Systematic Print to provide outstanding customer service, by managing its workforce through online scheduling and holiday management software.
Systematic Print has been in business for almost half a century. The family-run firm, based in Lincolnshire, offers a wide range of design, print management and marketing services, including mailing projects, corporate gifts and exhibition stands. Every print and digital resource the company produces has the same aim: to help Systematic’s clients win business and do business.
To ensure its customer-facing operations run smoothly at all times, Systematic recently transformed its internal processes. One of the most important improvements has been transitioning from a paper-based holiday system to fully digitised leave management, using WhosOffice software.
Up until 2019, Systematic was using printed holiday request forms to submit and log annual leave, but the firm knew a significant update was long overdue. "We love paper – our work revolves around it! – but we needed to shift away from our very manual, labour intensive, paper-driven core processes," explains Systematic’s Operations Manager, Jacqui Vear. "We had an infamous file to capture staff attendance, and there were always bits of paper floating around that needed to be signed off, submitted and added to the diary."
This traditional approach to staff management had been in place since the business was founded in 1975. However, as Systematic grew and modernised, it needed a digital platform that could make processes simpler, quicker and more confidential. And its chosen software needed to cope with more complex demands than the average holiday booking system.
Being family run, work/life balance is pivotal to Systematic’s brand values. The company is constantly looking at ways to offer flexible employment opportunities. Initiatives include a ‘compressed hours’ system, which allows team members to work longer hours each day, in return for an additional day off once a fortnight.
"Our number one rule for new starters is to put family first, and we needed the right people planning software to help our team work flexibly," Jacqui shares. "The compressed hours scheme meant we could no longer just book days off for staff; we needed to manage leave on an hourly basis as well, and factor-in flexi time alongside holiday. This just wasn’t viable through paper systems or Excel spreadsheets."
After researching the market, Systematic identified WhosOffice as a leading staff planning solution, and contacted the team to discuss the intricacies of their needs. "We wanted a tried and tested partner, and WhosOffice was the most suitable platform," Jacqui says. "The WhosOffice team were clear, concise, and quick to get us started with a free trial."
We wanted a tried and tested partner, and WhosOffice was the most suitable platform
Within days of talking to WhosOffice, Systematic began trialling an automated system for managing staff attendance. During this trial, the WhosOffice platform was engineered to manage compressed hours, so that team members could book flexi days as well as holiday.
"We wanted to be fluid, so staff didn’t always have to book the same day off each fortnight," Jacqui shares. "This enables us to be flexible while still delivering to client deadlines."
One key benefit of moving to a centralised leave management system has been remote access. Systematic has clients based all over the country, and staff frequently work from home. Wherever they are, employees can use the digital holiday planner to request flexi days, book holiday (in either days or hours), and log both compassionate leave and other absences.
And when requests are approved, staff are sent an email notification, to avoid manually chasing for a response. Data is also pulled through to Systematic’s Outlook open master calendar, so that details of who’s on leave appears alongside meeting information.
"We’re standardising information, improving communication, and capturing people’s working patterns – data that has historically not been easy to share," Jacqui adds.
Our old system is now an in-joke; it seems crazy that we were using paper to manage staff attendance, considering we’re a progressive, agile company!
Trialling the system first made buy-in simple for Systematic, as the whole team could see the software in action and experience its advantages first-hand.
"Launching WhosOffice was a big step-change, but the platform has been really well received by the team," Jacqui notes. "Our old system is now an in-joke; it seems crazy that we were using paper to manage staff attendance, considering we’re a progressive, agile company!"
With everyone on-board, Systematic was able to go live with a fully customised version of the system within three months of the initial trial. And any subsequent developments have been dealt with quickly and pleasantly.
"There are little quirks in our requirements, and we’re always able to get through to the WhosOffice help desk for support," Jacqui acknowledges. "The WhosOffice team are great at helping us to solve challenges – not just making changes on our behalf."
The WhosOffice team are great at helping us to solve challenges – not just making changes on our behalf.
In addition to making day-to-day operations, run smoother, WhosOffice is also delivering statistical benefits for Systematic. Each year, the company conducts a major trends report on staff sickness. Data was previously manually collated and analysed, but now it can be collected in moments, as all absences are recorded on the WhosOffice platform – something Systematic hopes to expand as it explores WhosOffice’s new HR features.
Transitioning to the WhosOffice platform has increased Systematic’s internal agility, enabling the company to manage staff attendance better, while spending less time on administration.
"It’s been a real time liberator, and it’s also given us greater contingency and accountability," Jacqui praises. "Everything is now recorded accurately, date stamped and attributed to people. And the data is secure; I feel a lot happier knowing things are no longer being written down on paper."
And internal processes now optimised, the Systematic team can spend more time focussing on the end customer.
We couldn’t find another system with the same level of flexibility as WhosOffice.
"Client service drives our reputation – we get a high number of referrals – and we need a people management system that enables us to put our clients first," Jacqui concludes. "We couldn’t find another system with the same level of flexibility as WhosOffice."
Knowing we’re working with an expert team who know how to do their job unburdens us, and allows us to focus on doing our job.