Benefits at a glance
- Proof of Attendance means happier clients
- Greater control for busy operations centre - complete around-the-clock management of staff on and off site
- Lone worker protection – automatic alerts enable timely welfare calls
- Enhanced staff communications – clocking in and out becomes second-nature
- SmartForms guide supervisors through the audit process and offer a myriad of process improvements across the business
Keynsham-based Alchemy provides a range of tailor-made commercial cleaning services to clients stretching across most of the South West from Exeter through all of Somerset, Bath, Bristol, South Wales, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Dorset. Currently celebrating its 25th anniversary, Alchemy has an impressive workforce of highly trained operatives and supervisors who pride themselves on delivering a friendly and professional service.
Work smarter, embrace mobility
Mother and daughter team Karen and Jess Bennett run the very demanding operations side of Alchemy’s business. With a growing workforce and more than 50 client sites, the company needed a more efficient way to monitor the whereabouts of staff to keep them safe, particularly the most vulnerable including out-of-hours lone workers, while guaranteeing consistent service levels for clients.
Alchemy selected SmartTask workforce management software to manage all aspects of staff working hours, from automating the design of rosters and shifts to meet client requirements, to monitoring staff clocking on and off, through to welfare calls. Alchemy chose SmartTask for its impeccable industry reputation, for its proven mobile technology and for its strong reporting capabilities.
Today, over 100 staff at Alchemy depend on SmartTask’s Proof of Attendance, rostering, reporting and electronic forms to keep customers happy and staff safe. Additionally, SmartTask has become an intrinsic part of Alchemy’s auditing process, ensuring the highest levels of customer service.
Proof of attendance for happier clients
Alchemy has an excellent track record for hiring professional, reliable staff, however, before SmartTask there was no easy way to monitor and record where cleaners were, proving attendance – critical for keeping customers happy. Today, if clients say ‘we know Alchemy is here but we don’t know for how long or if they’re doing their hours’, Karen and Jess are able to respond with confidence because they constantly have the SmartTask system open on their screens and can see at a glance where their cleaners are, at which site they are working, and at what time they leave.
All staff are encouraged to clock in and out: drivers use the SmartTask App on their mobile phones while cleaning staff log into the system using the telephone on the customer’s premises every time they arrive and leave.
What is more, Karen and Jess use the system to build fast and efficient rosters for cleaning staff and any instances of lateness or sickness are recorded in real-time for a dynamic, 360-degree view of operations.
Round-the-clock lone worker protection
Alchemy takes the welfare of its staff very seriously, one of the original drivers for deploying SmartTask software. The company offers an out-of-hours service when there is often a small number of cleaners working together or even, alone making them particularly vulnerable. The SmartTask system is hugely beneficial to protecting staff late at night on empty customer premises because it can be configured to automatically alert the operations centre of untoward occurrences, for example, if a cleaner is late. Karen and Jess can immediately call to check the member of staff is OK or ask an on-call supervisor to go out and visit in person.
Smarter auditing with SmartForms
Alchemy uses SmartTask’s electronic forms functionality for the company’s two area supervisors who conduct audits of every single client site once a month. Supervisors simply open up SmartForms on the mobile App which lists the areas they have to check as they walk around a client’s premises. Using KPIs, supervisors then rate each section using a traffic light system to indicate a pass or fail score. All completed audits are signed off by the supervisor - or a client if they are available - and automatically returned to Karen and Jess via the same SmartTask App.
The ultimate goal is to receive two audits each evening, completing all 50 sites during a month, and extending the use of SmartForms to other areas of the business such as training. This opens up significant opportunities for continuous improvement across the whole business.
Reporting drives quality improvements inside and out
The ability to run reports quickly and efficiently is a definite advantage for Alchemy clients and as a self-monitoring tool inside the company. Primarily, the operations team uses SmartTask to audit its own performance. However, if customers or senior managers ask for an update, Karen and Jess can swiftly run off a tailored report for individual clients safe in the knowledge that the information is accurate and up-to-date. All reports are linked to the client record within SmartTask, ensuring that information is always easily to hand.
The reports are invaluable, providing a Quality Audit Summary that tells Karen and Jess how many sites have been audited, what the overall percentage score is along with the grand total. Advanced reporting also ensures that staff are paid the correct number of hours. When staff clock in and out, their hours are logged in the SmartTask system and this information creates reports that are passed on to the payroll department.
New culture enhances staff communications
The transparency of the SmartTask solution has created a culture where clocking in and clocking out has largely become second-nature. Despite an initial hesitation to using new technology, the majority of staff now accept it as part of their daily routine, acknowledging the role that SmartTask plays in ensuring they receive the correct wages while gaining immense pride from knowing they are delivering great customer service. Seeing the benefits first-hand means cleaning staff readily phone in if they are running late so that Karen and Jess can better manage client expectations. Meanwhile, the same distinct advantages are promoted to new joiners from day one and form part of their employment contract.
“SmartTask is a blessing allowing us to monitor our staff in a very positive way. They see the value it brings to ensuring they are protected and get the support they need at all times. The system is also fundamental to increasing customer loyalty, giving us the real-time knowledge we need to manage client expectations every step of the way and ensure their service levels are being met. Quite simply, SmartTask makes our lives easier and we have far greater control – it’s an absolute godsend!” – Karen Bennett, Operations Manager at Alchemy Commercial Cleaning Specialists.