Raben Group’s logistics services in Poland include comprehensive customer service, modern fleet and warehouse space, as well as a network of branches located throughout the country. However, the high degree of service automation and numerous IT systems supporting logistics processes are not able to replace humans, which is why Raben Poland has more than 5,000 employees and several hundred associates from temporary work agencies.
The company needed an IT tool to manage the working hours of such a large workforce, most of whom work in shifts. Basic requirements of Raben Logistics Polska included:
- planning working time in the shift system, including brigade-based planning,
- the ability to integrate the solution with any HR system (at the time of concept development, the company was using a solution popular in this area, but the implementation of SAP SuccessFactors was planned),
- integration with working time recording readers,
- the ability to take into account employee preferences in creating schedules,
- mobile access via a web browser.
In 2020, Raben Logistics Poland decided to implement the All for One E-Time solution. It is an application that allows managers to plan the time of their subordinates, taking into account their availability and preferences, in accordance with legal and corporate regulations.
The application is used by office and warehouse employees. Initially, the solution was implemented in the company’s headquarters and warehouse in Robakowo, near Poznań, and in subsequent stages employees of other branches were added to cover all warehouses in Poland in 2021.
The main users of All for One E-Time are managers of warehouse facilities. Their tasks include creating working time schedules for their subordinates.
In the application, the user can apply complementary methods of scheduling – using brigades or by indicating shifts with conditions specified by the manager.
The system itself validates the compliance of scheduled working time with the Labor Code. The following checks are performed:
- no 11-hour break on the planned day, counting from the end of work on a preceding day,
- no 35-hour break (in a pay week),
- scheduling work on four consecutive Sundays (except for the weekend working time system),
- validation of a plan for disabled employees – prohibited full-time work, overtime and night work – (the check can be deactivated if an employee obtained a doctor’s consent to work full-time, overtime or at night),
- checking the number of days off in a pay period,
- the inability to schedule more hours in a pay period than the number provided in the standard for the pay period (taking into account the employee’s hiring or dismissal date and when there is a change in the working time basis),
- the number of scheduled hours of work may not exceed 12 in the equivalent system and 8 hours in the basic system,
- scheduling no more hours in the first month of an employee’s employment or re-employment than the number provided in the employee’s limit.
In addition to mandatory Labor Code restrictions, the solution can take into account employees’ preferences regarding the readiness or non-readiness to work on selected days and hours. If an employee wants to have time off on a selected day, he or she selects the reason for the planned absence from an available list (e.g., doctor’s appointment, blood donation) before the schedule is created by the supervisor. The indicated reasons are assigned different weights. If in the creation of the schedule the supervisor decides to accept the employees’ preferences (they can do it or not), the solution takes them into account according to the assigned priorities.
The list of reasons for absence and the priorities assigned to them were configured during the implementation of the solution.
To make it even easier for managers to prepare schedules, a functionality for scheduling working time by brigades was developed for shift workers. The manager defines brigades (i.e., groups of people who work the same hours together) and assigns employees to them, and then – instead of scheduling time for a dozen-odd people separately – the manager schedules it only for brigades (e.g., in the system, the first week of the month: brigade A – first shift, brigade B – afternoon, second week – swap, etc.).
Work rules (days, hours, scheduling cycle) are defined at the brigade level, not at the individual employee level. Of course, the manager has the option to manually change the schedule for a selected brigade or an individual person, or, for example, to temporarily assign them to another brigade (the system will automatically create a schedule according to the rules of the new brigade and make it available for such an employee).
Optimal staffing of shifts
At Raben Group, over the past three years we have focused on digitalizing HR processes. The implementation of modern systems enabled us to electronically manage employees and their development. The most anticipated element was the improvement of the process of working time planning and accounting. We were looking for a solution that would allow us to manage employees’ schedules and would not only meet the Labor Code restrictions, but above all one that would allow staffing of a given shift to be optimally matched to the operations being carried out. The implementation of the E-Time system has enabled more than 700 managers to plan, check and report key data directly affecting employee working time accounting. Access to the application also from mobile devices allows quick transfer of information between the supervisor and their subordinates.
Paweł Szymański, IT Project Coordinator, Raben Group
Absences are a function used by all employees – not just shift workers. E-Time records absences resulting from an employee’s sickness, vacations and other. The solution serves as a leave planning and approval application. The process of submitting and approving leave requests takes place in the system. This solution and the ability to view subordinates’ requests on a single screen make it easier for the manager to manage the vacation plan, especially during the summer.
The solution is configured in such a way that managers receive periodic notifications of requests pending approval.
Users and reporting
The solution includes authorization roles. Employees can view their working time schedules and submit absence requests.
The manager prepares work schedules for his/her subordinates, takes into account their preferences and absences, approves leave requests, introduces rules for brigades, etc. He/she can also reassign an employee to another team or brigade. The application saves him/her time and ensures that the prepared plans comply with the Labor Code requirements. The manager also has an overview of the employee data – a type of contract, a working time basis, and all data affecting working time and proper calculation of the employee’s pays, including statistics related to absences and scheduled vacations.
Generated statements can be exported to an Excel or PDF file.
A supervisor is a role that gives insight into a larger number of subordinate organizational units, making it easier for HR Business Partners to monitor the work of supervisors. More reports and statistics are available from this level.
Paweł Szumański, IT Project Coordinator, Karol Lebioda, Warehouse Manager in Gądki near Poznań, Magdalena Mleczko, IT Specialist, Raben Group
Integration with SAP SuccessFactors and the time recording application
One of the major advantages of E-Time is its ability to integrate with virtually any system for managing HR and payroll processes available on the Polish market. At Raben, the application initially exchanged information with Teta HR. As part of the implementation of SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central (in early 2022), there was a “rewiring" and integration with the new system. This operation went smoothly and required only minor adjustments to the E-Time application. Data from the application is used in recalculating the time evaluation and further in payroll accounting.
Raben uses an innovative solution for recording working time based on data from devices located in branches that record information about employees’ working time from their cards (entries, exits, time spent in rest areas).
Thanks to the integration, the working time data from the time recording application is used in E-Time to evaluate working time. The scheduled time is compared to that actually registered in the time recording application. The manager decides whether to take into account the reading from the time recording application or to treat the scheduled time as actually worked (e.g., working in the yard outside the range of the recording equipment or in an area not covered by the time recording system).
There are plans for further solutions using the possibilities of integrating both of these tools, including forklift start-up control dependent on the validity of licenses.
The key benefits of using All for One E-Time in Raben are:
- improving the working time planning process on the basis of requirements defined by the manager,
- better control of team performance with less effort,
- ensuring compliance of working time management processes with legal regulations, e.g. Labor Code regulations,
- comprehensive time-related reporting,
- transparency of information on working time – employees’ access to schedules on an ongoing basis,
- increased employee satisfaction,
- integration with SAP SucessFactors Employee Central,
- easy access to the tool.
The solution is available as an SaaS option. Raben pays a monthly subscription fee depending on the number of registered employees. Users access the tool via a web browser.
Raben Group is a logistics company operating in 13 European countries. It provides contract logistics services (including warehousing, co-packing, co-manufacturing), road transportation: full truckload, less than truck load and partial load, including transport to the East, as well as air, sea and intermodal transport. It also specializes in the comprehensive handling of fresh products that require controlled temperatures. It handles more than 13 million shipments a year. In Poland, the company has a network of more than 50 branches, a modern fleet and 520,000 m2 of warehouse space.