We’re nearly there! 2012 is drawing to a close and 2013 is on the horizon.

On a personal level, we’re well into the festive season. Celebrations with friends and family have begun and we’ve all embraced the festive traditions; mulled wine, mince pies and of course, tins of Quality Street.

On a business level, what better time to review your company processes? And, often, this is what companies will do.

You will look in depth at your current processes and identify where they may be improved. Consequently, changes to current processes, and where necessary, new processes and systems will be introduced.

This post will focus on my area of expertise which is an area we can all, as business people, relate to: staff sickness management. You may find this more beneficial if you are currently using spreadsheet and paper-based systems.

Your current staff absence management system

So, here’s a fact no company can ignore: Sickness absence costs companies money. Thus – sickness management is important.

What process do you currently have in place? Below are the categories of systems that companies generally use:

  • Paper-based
  • Spreadsheet
  • Desktop application
  • Online system

The earlier categories, namely paper-based and spreadsheet, are known to be the cheaper options. They have a small initial set-up cost and very little on-going cost for running the system.

But with all things considered, is this really a cheap option? What are the implications of using such a system to manage sickness absence?

It’s important to understand this, at a glance, it may seem like the cheapest option. But, they are often not a cost-effective means of managing absence.

Implications of using such a system can be as follows:

  1. Problems with accuracy of data recorded – this could lead to future, unanticipated problems such as accident at work claims
  2. Admin time spent on maintaining system – processes aren’t automated, each holiday and sickness absence must be checked and booked manually
  3. Limited ability to access data across the company
  4. Limited ability for HR and senior management to analyse data – reports must be formed on an ad-hoc basis & can consequently be very time-consuming

The above implications are hidden costs of using these systems. You may notice that you have experienced some of the above problems. Or, you may be experiencing them but aren’t aware of it as it’s the ‘way it’s always been done’. Either way, these potential implications cost you money.

How can I avoid hidden costs & identify the most cost-effective process?

Comparatively, using desktop and online systems may seem like a more expensive option on the surface. However – when you dig a little deeper, it is evident that such systems have real potential to save you time and money.

Many time-consuming tasks are automated; regular admin tasks such as checking and booking holiday and the producing of reports for HR & senior management. Furthermore, by automating many tasks & prompting the correct data to be entered, this keeps room for human error to a minimum.

Thus – a system such as this has the potential to deliver significant operating cost savings and improved process efficiency to Direct Trade, improving productivity and impacting the bottom line.

To sum up…

New Year is always a good time for change… A fresh start, some may say.

So, if you’re looking to have a more efficient 2013 and want to discuss more about how switching to an online system may benefit you, please get in touch and one of our team will be happy to help.