Ferguson Plarre is one of the longest standing and well-renowned producers of hand baked goods in Australia. Based in Melbourne, the family-owned business has a rich history of providing customers with sweets and savouries since the 1800s. The company faced a number of workforce challenges before engaging Tanda such as, difficulty navigating excessive amounts of administration and overspending on overtime due to scheduling inefficiencies. Ferguson Plarre wasn’t reaching its potential and action had to be taken to overcome these challenges. Chris Tankard, Culture & Human Resources Manager at Ferguson Plarre set out to find a solution – and since finding Tanda, has seen great success in improving day to day operations and employee satisfaction. Following their implementation of Tanda, Ferguson Plarre has adopted a highly optimised scheduling process, allowing them to accommodate for the constantly shifting demand for their products, significantly reducing the time spent maintaining staff rosters, absences and staffing costs.

How Legacy Systems and Processes Can Dramatically Hinder Success

Ferguson Plarre is committed to delivering freshly baked goods to its stores. With a staff of more than 150 employees, their goal is to provide the best quality products, while catering for constant shifts in their day to day sales. As such, they require a staff management system that can optimise their schedule according to demand data. 

Previous systems used at Ferguson Plarre failed to achieve the results they needed to achieve their business mission. Their previous scheduling software was a platform that employees throughout the company avoided. Staff were reluctant to use it due to issues with reliability. Meanwhile, the managerial team found a great deal of effort was required to make basic adjustments to staff schedules, pay rates and documents. Not having access to the tools they needed led to higher staffing costs, frustrated staff, and the inability to dedicate time and energy to areas of the business that add value. As a result, the company was left with significant sunk costs in a system that didn’t give them outcomes and satisfaction in return.

Implementing a System That Helps Your Business Grow

Chris set out to find a user-friendly system that would be eagerly adopted by his team, a solution that would allow his front line staff to start thinking like business owners. This is why finding a great system functions more like a partnership than a service – especially when it comes to managing areas of the business as important as your employees – is crucial.

Ferguson Plarre partnered with Tanda to address critical concerns in their day to day operations. Here’s how the team at Tanda work with Ferguson Plarre to manage and excel their business:

Rostering Software

  • Ferguson Plarre uses Tanda’s rostering features to create more efficient schedules for their staff.
  • Cognitive rostering ensures that Ferguson Plarre keeps unnecessary overtime to a minimum, reducing staffing costs across the company. 
  • Rostering to demand and teams allow Ferguson Plarre to roster staff on a room by room basis, ensuring they never over or under staff stations.
  • Shift swapping software lets staff easily request altered schedules, reducing the time managers spent maintaining the roster and protecting the bottom line.

Digital timesheeting

  • Automatic timesheet generation means Ferguson Plarre can create and approve accurately costed timesheets in bulk each pay period.
  • Timesheet software automatically flagged any variance in wage spend, aiding Chris and the team in adhering to their budgeting KPIs.
  • Tanda’s timesheet software synced to Ferguson Plarre’s payroll system, allowing them to export the data without any manual entry each pay period, significantly reducing the required labour hours.


  • Tanda’s dashboards and reporting suite means Chris and the team could access valuable workforce metrics and alter their business practices for efficiency.
  • Digital reporting and storage means Ferguson Plarre can easily access historical reports and monitor their performance over time. 


  • Tanda’s award engine applies the correct base rates, overtime, and allowances to completed shifts, eliminating the need to manually calculate pay rates and amend timesheets. 
  • Tanda’s award engine allows Ferguson Plarre to quickly and easily make pay rate adjustments, easily applying elevated pay rates and paying their staff above the award.

Thorough implementation guarantees a fast return on investment

Business tools only begin to return benefits when they are implemented quickly and adopted fully across the company. It’s not uncommon to find businesses adopting newer and better processes, only to be caught in the implementation stage, receiving fractional value for an extended period of time.

Implementing business systems can easily become a long and drawn out process, it’s one of the biggest reasons organisations don’t routinely assess the other solutions available to them. For Ferguson Plarre and the team at Tanda a gold standard implementation process was a must have. 

Tanda assigned a dedicated implementation consultant to Ferguson Plarre, ensuring that the implementation would run smoothly, so they could start getting value from the system as soon as possible. This meant assisting Chris and his team through the setup, integrating their existing systems into Tanda, and ensuring that staff knew how to use the system.  A thorough implementation helps staff learn everything they need about Tanda and aids Ferguson Plarre in gaining a quick return on their investment.

$100,000 saved on wage spend, hundreds of hours saved on administration

Using Tanda’s cognitive rosters and staff management tools, Ferguson Plarre significantly reduced the amount of unnecessary wage spend incurred each week. 

By predicting demand and staffing requirements well before each shift, they can efficiently plan and publish perfect schedules without the sizable administration burden it would typically require.

Ferguson Plarre saved the equivalent of two full time staff members when it came to reducing admin across production, rostering and reporting, these valuable savings allow them to reallocate their resources to other, more valuable areas of the business.

Simplifying the admin processes to focus on creating value

Tanda provides Ferguson Plarre with greatly simplified admin processes, allowing them to focus on the things that matter. 

“It has just freed up so much time for my leaders to be able to actually focus on the projects that make us money and are better for the business, rather than sitting there putting excel spreadsheets together, trying to figure out what labour is gonna cost” Chris shared.

Moving forward, Ferguson Plarre Foods will continue to build on their rich history and continue to delight customers. As the business landscape continues to shift, they are well-equipped to face these changes because they have a platform that enables them to be agile and make data-driven decisions. 

Workforce management has a lot of moving parts, but it doesn’t have to be a burden. Tanda can take out the administrative side of managing your team so you can focus more on growing your business.