Summary of highlights

Savings of $250,00 p.a.

Reduced manual forms by 98%

Errors reduced to .01%

Since adopting Affinity’s fully managed payroll services and cloud HRIS three years ago, the City of Tea Tree Gully has seen some dramatic improvements in operations – including year-on-year savings of around $250,000.

As well as outsourcing its payroll function to Affinity, the Council now has a single-source HRIS system to manage all employee data – and provide a real-time view on labour costs-to-budget.

Highlights:

The business need Affinity’s solution The outcome
To reduce the cost of payroll processing Fully Managed Payroll Services Year-on-year savings of $250,000 per annum
To gain a ‘single source of truth’ for all employee-related information Seamless intregration with the Council’s existing ERP, Civica Ability to access people-related data from a single-source, and in real-time
To replace inefficient manual processing with automation Automated workflow & project costings via Clever Timesheets Reduction of manual forms by 98% and errors reduced to .01%
To solve the complexity of numerous Award payments Award Interpreter Module Award payment terms automatically calculated for each employee

With a community almost 100,000 people, the City of Tea Tree Gully is one of the most populous local government divisions in Adelaide. The Council has around 450 employees.

Ryan McMahon, Director of Organisational Services and Excellence, explains the catalyst for change:

“When I joined CTTG, our council had blown its labour budget by about 20% in that previous year. When I asked my managers why that had occurred, it was because they didn’t have access to real-time data to manage their labour budgets. They essentially said that information was hidden, and they had to rely on Finance. Clearly, that didn’t quite work.”

So the Council set out to find a solution. Ryan McMahon says they were looking for fully managed payroll services that could oversee both payroll and HR functions.

Affinity seamlessly integrated their HRIS modules to the Council’s existing ERP system, Civica. This provides a single-pane view – or a ‘single source of truth’ – when it comes to all employee-related information.

“That’s one of the key aspects we’re really, really happy with,” says Ryan McMahon.

“Previously, we had information cobbled up in different systems, including paper-based systems, where they never talked to each other. We didn’t necessarily know which source of information was correct, and which to believe. Now, because we have one source of truth, it gives myself and my managers real confidence in the information we receive.”

Another big benefit is being able to access data in real-time; particularly when it comes to managing employee costs.

One example, explains Ryan McMahon, would be if staff were asked to start work at 5am instead of their usual 7am. Supervisors can immediately calculate the monetary impact of that (which might be double-time shift loadings for the whole day), and make their decision accordingly.

“By seeing it in real time, people are now able to see the impacts of the decisions they make. They actually understand what their true labour costs are.”

From the employee’s perspective, Affinity’s electronic timesheets gives them more clarity around their earnings, and replaces the time-consuming manual forms they previously had to fill out.

“Our staff have really embraced the paperless approach,” says Ryan.

“One of the reasons is that they can see their timesheet as live data, in real time. When submitting their timesheet, they know exactly what they’re going to be paid, and that’s quite empowering.”

Another headache-solving feature has been Affinity’s Award Interpreter. As Ryan McMahon points out, Councils are required to calculate the different awards that apply to every individual.

“The Award Interpreter has actually been built to work out the correct rate for each employee – and automatically calculates things like higher duties, overtime, and penalty shift loadings.”

Affinity’s Clever Timesheets[check] module has also revolutionised the way Council allocates costs for projects and services. Under the old manual system, there were 17 separate steps required to capture the information on any Council-delivered service. Now that information is available in two minutes.

Overall, the Affinity solution has been a key part of the positive “cultural journey” that City of Tea Tree Gully has underway. Ryan McMahon says there’s been a real uplift in staff and team leader performance measures – and much of that is a result of giving staff more ownership of their day-to-day activities.

“The Affinity system provides our people with the information that allows them to better manage their business. So it’s one of the key elements of increasing the satisfaction levels and productivity of our staff.”