Cutting costs, increasing margins

Hi I’m Eddie Young, and this is the second in a series of blog entries I hope to bring you, exploring some of the burning issues faced by our industry today. In this instalment, I’ll be talking about ways you can cut costs and increase efficiency, both important for survival in our difficult current economic climate.

Clients are savvy these days, you can’t get the most money just by charging the clients more! You have to create efficiencies by reducing procedural costs, while increasing business efficiency. We have developed products to try and assist with these aims. These include timesheets which can be sent to a fax server. Or, we can even help with electronic collection of timesheet data via scanning, web portals, and client timesheet data via spreadsheets. The days of one size fits all are over! You don’t have to have one stakeholder doing all the work. Someone could be doing the inputting remotely, and sending it to you electronically, saving you precious time and resources.

Removing a paper trail is vital. Not only is this vital for saving our planets resources in these increasingly greener days, but also to save time, and reduce margin for error. Electronic timesheets eliminate the time lag between a timesheets completion, authorisation, and processing. Debtor days are reduced, as invoicing can be completed days earlier than the paper based equivalent.

I’m not describing the world of science fiction, this is happening today. Even where some of our clients don’t feel ready for electronic authorisation of timesheets, there is a gentle introduction. The ability to deliver to a worker their timesheet for the week, and print it ‘in the old fashioned way’ once completed, can be achieved electronically. This method is regarded by some of our software users as an introduction to the principle.

I’ll be writing a further few blog entries soon, but would be interesting in hearing your thoughts on these matters or anything else relevant to our industry on!

At last! Holiday pay, AWD, and other issues are coming along!

Hi I’m Eddie Young, and thank you for reading my blog. I want this space to be about the burning issues that face our industry, and this is the first of what I hope to be a series of blog posts.

Employment businesses are increasingly reviewing their relations with clients and workers, in the light of further legislation, coming soon. They are considering the impacts of this legislation in this changing market.

Back in 1998, there was a lot of talk about holiday pay, and a lot was around how to minimise its impact on margins! This view was a reflection of an anticipation, that the agencies were worried they might have to make temps move off their books early! One client was worried they might have to finish a temporary worker, on a Friday, only to restart them on a Monday, to avoid any pitfalls and complications around continuous service!

Thankfully temporary workers are a little more savvy these days, and know they are entitled to the same rights as those in comparable roles, but what are comparable roles? There are no official guidelines from the government on this. Agencies have to agree these with clients, and clients need to agree what they will accept after 12 weeks service, as rates may increase.  People seem to currently have their ‘heads in the sand’ over this issue, and we need to find a way forwards.

Ireland have taken advantage of the ambiguity, and can’t give any firm dates yet on the agency workers directive (AWD) current issue. Rather than just revise that aspect, they are looking at their whole legislation in relation to agency workers.

I’ll explore some of these issues more in a further few blog entries, but would be interesting in hearing your thoughts on!

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