Crafting Workforce Success at Windsor Alehouse
Windsor Alehouse on Punt Road is something of an innovation itself. Formerly Pint on Punt, this familiar three-storey building transformed itself from an all-Irish pub to a classical beer bar, changing the way it does things in the process. “It was tough at the start,” says manager Ewan. “We actually got rid of what we were renowned for previously. It’s baby steps, everything’s baby steps. Everything takes a while. Build it, and they will come, slowly add a bit, add a bit.”
Some things remained, but most were updated to attract a new clientele. Patrons still get their drinks at the iconic horseshoe-shaped bar. But where Magners, Budweiser, Heineken, and Guinness used to be are 19 taps offering up local and international craft beers. With its high stools, bright lights, and modern rustic decor, it’s come a long way from its Irish pub roots. A whole new team is running the place too, with Ewan at the helm, himself new to Melbourne. And he is not your average manager.
“It’s horses for courses, you know?”
“In the hospitality industry, there is a ridiculously high turnover of staff, which is one of the biggest problems,” Ewan notes. At Windsor Alehouse, however, they’ve only had to hire two people in the past year. Having a good working environment where you’re valued, get paid on time, and have good rapport makes a difference. “We’re a very honest group,” says Ewan, who advocates getting things done in the fastest, most straightforward way, including schedules.
True to the principle of reinvention, he keeps aces in their places with a workforce technology platform. “I love that I just went boom, and that’s it. Everybody’s paid, all my databases have the monthly email,” he remarks. Because clocking on and clocking out, rostering, and timesheets are all taken care of quickly on Tanda, Ewan has more time to connect with his staff and their patrons. That’s good, he says, because, “The more you’re sat in an office, the more likely you’re going to sit in that office.”
But it’s still horses for courses at Windsor Alehouse – different people for different situations. “It’s just knowing your staff and who you’re working with, really,” he notes, underscoring the importance of staying connected and maintaining a degree of flexibility. Some employees take off on weeknights, others need their weekends off. Accommodating everybody’s social life leads to an appreciation that makes them stay and work better. Filing for leave, unavailability, and requesting shift swaps are also done through the Tanda app.
“You can’t be missing the heart.”
“A lot of pubs, especially chains, they run it from an office. So everything’s up in a folder in head office, and there’s no heart to it. It’s missing the heart,” he says. Heart is the most important thing in Windsor Alehouse, and we’re not just talking about their signature comfort food. The rapport between the barmen and the actual customer is emphasized and in fact, that’s how they built their regular customer base. “If I go into a place and the person is sour and doesn’t want to be there, I immediately think something up the chain is wrong,” he adds.
Staying creative is also key to maintaining a unique pub experience, and Ewan puts his faith into his managers to do that. Instead of telling them what to do, he gives them small tasks where they can express themselves. “Our barman Shaun makes a sick cocktail, man, I swear. He does the cocktail list, which is encouragement in itself. I chuck him an extra pint for it,” he says, and staff bond over beers afterward. “We need to be a team, you all sit down and have a beer together, because at the end of the day you want the guy next to you to cover for you, as much as you cover for him.”
“Are you well, man? Here’s a pint.”
Asked what makes him a successful manager, he bursts into laughter, the sound rising over the din of the pub: “I don’t know if I am!” But falsely humble he is not, the twinkle in his eye suggests there’s a lot more to come for Windsor Alehouse. They’re still too small for any blanket policies or constraints that chain pubs can have, so changes in the staff’s schedules are easy to manage with Tanda. “I don’t think I’ve rejected any holiday request. There’s always a way to accommodate everybody. I think people appreciate that.”
Ewan has been running pubs for 13 years, and he’s come a long way from his Carlsberg-drinking days in Scotland. He didn’t know anything about Windsor Alehouse’s craft beers at first, he admits, but it has opened him up to new experiences. Today, whether he’s downing a Carlsberg in his hometown or serving up a Nine Tales Amber Ale on Punt Road, you’ll find him behind a bar with an easy smile, asking you the same thing: “Are you well man? Here’s a pint.”
Ready to find out what Tanda can do for your business? Book a demo today.
Clients & Partners AU |
Focusing on Client Success with RSM Australia
“You might have heard the term big ship to steer, that’s us,” says Joe Mulcare, Digital Analyst at RSM Australia. With 1,200 staff across 30 offices in Australia alone, RSM is one of the largest professional service firms in the country. It’s also one of the oldest, celebrating 97 years in the industry this year. Their parent company, RSM International, is the world’s 6th largest audit, tax, and consulting network. It employs more than 43,000 people in 800 offices across 120 countries. The sole mission of this massive operation? To guide clients through business challenges, both locally and seamlessly, across borders. Joe, who works with the Digital Services Division, is at the forefront of introducing businesses to the cloud. From simple advice to total implementation, Joe and his team step in for clients of all sizes. “Our key role is to help advisors feel more comfortable and confident about recommending digital software. We offer advice around their digital ecosystem,” he emphasizes. Transitioning to the cloud Joe is familiar with the anxiety around automation and knows just how to deal with it. “A lot of people are afraid of what automation might mean for their job,” he says. “I think the Accounting industry as a whole is going to be changed dramatically by automation. That’s not necessarily a scary thing though.” And that’s why RSM Australia is here: to advise clients on improving business efficiencies using cloud technology. Not to replace accountants and bookkeepers, but to free up their time to focus on more high-value tasks. To be able to advise their clients, Joe’s team attends events and conferences where they can see firsthand what software is available and how it can help their clients. He describes their approach: “For us, what we’re really seeking for is those light bulb moments where our advisors say, man, I’ve got a client who would just love this.” Their hands-on attitude allows them to get to the bottom of a client’s problems and provide long-term solutions. And because they understand that businesses can be swallowed by tech transformation, they balance quality with urgency. “It’s not just about setting up a piece of software. It’s about guiding them and giving them that time to do things that are more useful like growing the business and developing new processes to further improve efficiencies,” he says. As an advisor, he focuses on empowering their clients through financial data. He believes that it comes down to that core accounting piece where the different revolving parts of business flows perfectly into. Tanda, as a partner software, is able to contribute to that. Steering ships large and small As a large professional services firm, RSM Australia needs to constantly reevaluate what it means to keep employees productive and successful. For Joe, this kind of workforce success means employee engagement. “Happy employees make a happy company. That comes down to a few things, and I think a big part of that is employee engagement, how happy they feel in their role.” That’s why they partnered with Tanda, a rostering, attendance, and labour insights platform that caters to clients in every region. “At the end of the day, we have to advise on the best software. Implementing software like Tanda makes these processes that once would have been a burden on both the employer and the employee snappy, easy, and a joy to use.” Tanda helps businesses manage staff and significantly decreases administrative work. With multiple payroll and POS integrations, it’s one of the most responsive and user-friendly software on the market. And because it’s adaptable, it can handle anywhere from 8 to 18,000 staff members. Like Tanda, RSM Australia is no stranger to managing thousands of clients. “We’re also negotiators, and I think that’s probably one of the hardest parts,” he says. “It’s just being there and listening to both sides and trying to make everyone feel comfortable. When we’re implementing Xero and Tanda, for instance, we want all the key stakeholders to feel comfortable, and that means we need everyone involved.” Indeed, transparency is one of RSM’s key virtues and one that they promote to clients and partners as well. Focusing on client success When it comes to convincing their clients to transition to the cloud, Joe finds that there’s really no one-size-fits-all solution. “You might find in Sydney or Melbourne and the willingness to move to cloud technology, especially when they have issues,” he says. But a client with poor internet connection might be more difficult to convince. Solutions also need to be tailored according to the client’s familiarity with technology. “For a lot of people, the cloud is scary. They have questions about is my data secure or who’s really having access. We face questions like that every single day.” At the end of the day, Joe and RSM Australia focus on making their clients successful. Their access to infrastructure, or what their attitude is towards technology, doesn’t matter. The bottom line is to help the client reach their business goals. Like Tanda, they do this by staying abreast of software trends. They constantly innovate to make sure every resource is leveraged. RSM Australia knows that ensuring success comes from empowering people. “We want to help guide them through the tricky process of navigating the cloud space [and give] them the confidence that they can approach it themselves,” he concludes.
Clients & Partners AU |
HideAWAY Handmade Scrubs Up their Scheduling with Tanda
Artisan beauty goods company HideAWAY Handmade knows what it means for products to be made with love. Named for Hideaway Bay in Queensland where founders Wendy Campbell and Bruce Arms became engaged, the popular online brand crafts artisan personal care products such as whipped soaps, bar soaps, body custards, scrubs, and other bath time treats—all done through traditional means. The brand’s big draw? All-natural, locally-sourced ingredients, with a process designed to be as sustainable as possible. HideAWAY Handmade is a fully online store, enabling the brand to focus less on managing a physical storefront and more on putting great care into the products they make, especially with a small team. Regardless of location, though, the need to manage their on-site employees in the most effective way possible is a constant. Enter Tanda’s mobile application and rostering software. A Mobile Workforce Amber is part of the Production team, creating soaps, body custards, and other bath products such as bath bombs. She speaks glowingly of the mobile version of Tanda’s software, which the team uses for time clock and online roster features. The portability of the mobile app also gives them the added bonus of having the option to check their rosters and manage availability without needing to head to the office. “I use everything through the mobile app unless I’m clocking in at work. And it’s really good. So then if I’m at home and I’m trying to book a holiday I can also write in my unavailability for a holiday. And then it can get approved in real time. Even if it’s on the weekend as well. So I find that really handy,” Amber says. The clean user interface and live wage tracker also makes it easier for workers to budget their own personal expenses accordingly. “I like that it tells you in the top corner how many hours you’re doing and then also how much you estimate to make for the week. So that makes it easier for me to budget through my week as well.” Whipping Up Smooth Operations In the product manufacturing business, having a user-friendly online roster interface is a big concern for companies like HideAWAY when switching from manual rostering or legacy systems. When loads can be unpredictable and one week can be insanely busy while the next could be quiet, schedules could get messy very quickly without the right software. For HideAWAY’s workforce, the auto-fill option in Tanda’s predictive rostering feature addresses this need. “Let’s say that the week beforehand was quiet. We can pull it over and the shift filling feature helps fill it all in, to maximise our roster and prepare for a big week ahead,” posits Dan, the brand’s Operations Manager. Overall, he emphasizes that Tanda has made the process of creating an online roster for employees easier and more streamlined. It also takes much less time than before. The presence of in-app messaging options are a big benefit, too. “Tanda has been a game changer for us with rostering and being able to contact our staff quick and easy with the text message and the call feature,” he says. No more need for unintuitive software that may not be built for scheduling either. “I guess before we were using Tanda we were just rostering through, I think it was a Google Sheet or Microsoft XO. Super basic and it took hours to do that.” Now, HideAWAY uses a single app for creating and managing staff schedules—connecting them more closely with their wages, with each other, and with their work. Ready to find out what Tanda can do for your business? Try it for free today.
Clients & Partners AU |
Spreadsheets to software: How Hoxton MPM focused more on clientele by rostering less
“We help busy doctors manage thriving practices.” When you visit Hoxton Medical Practice Management (MPM)’s website, that’s the first slogan you’ll see. A company focused on relieving pressures off of practitioners’ minds, this company based in Hampton East, VIC, Australia offers expertise ranging from virtual reception services down to medical billing support. But with several facilities on-hand means hiring people with different skills who work varying hours. While Hoxton MPM is completely dedicated in providing their clients 100% peace of mind, manual administrative work used to get in the way of maximising their own line of services. It was at this point of their operations that they figured out how they can reallocate hours rostering into focusing more on their customers. We talked to one of their managers, Shamita Singh to see how eliminating blockers at work changed after using a time and attendance software. End-to-end servicing for practitioners On the daily, Shamita helps manage Hoxton. “We do everything — from setting up [the clients’] practice to typing, in-patient billing, bookkeeping, and virtual reception, which my team primarily does.” Digital administration, one of their core services, stemmed from the need of medical specialists who didn’t require their own full-time staff. This made Hoxton MPM’s service stand out in terms of value and efficiency, filling in the operational gaps for doctors who used to worry about such things. They not only personalise every practitioner’s booking system, they also cover database recording and after-hours correspondence. “Some staff are in the office and others are on-site with the clients,” says Ashley, one of their virtual receptionists. On top of everything they do, they also take care of the clinic they’re assigned to and manage their practitioner’s diary, sometimes answering up to 200 calls in a day. Among Hoxton’s core values are efficiency, certainty, and freedom. Allowing doctors to focus on their practice helps the integrity of their business. Shamita emphasised that the goal in properly running the platform is to help clients remain experts in their respective line of work and being the best at their craft. While people like Shamita are committed to focusing on clients save time and money by cutting down their documentation chores, Hoxton MPM’s own boatload of paperwork could be lessened too. Operating for 5 years now with approximately 30 staff members, they started taking on Tanda’s cloud-based digital platform to see how it can improve. On unique operational needs and manual rostering “We needed something that was both dynamic enough to work across our multi-team structure and that could also be online and easily accessible,” says Shamita. Having multiple offices and a number of remote staff who work from home was something that they considered when they chose Tanda. Hoxton MPM placed high importance on their offsite staff, and they wanted to ensure that a workforce management platform could cater to people who were both coming in everyday and those elsewhere. “Another thing we were looking for is to make our timesheets easier, which we’ve done with Tanda’s clock-in and clock-out functions,” Shamita adds. It was also important that logging hours were not logistically limited, seeing that they have so many staff members spread in different locations. However, the fit of software for their employees wasn’t the only factor. “Before Tanda, the difficulties were mainly around timesheets, rostering, and applying for leave. Everything was completed manually and it was done in a document.” Rosters were also done in a spreadsheet, where they added dates and hours. It took several steps for a manager to have people on their shifts. Read more: 3 Common Rostering Problems Manager Face (And How to Solve Them) For example, if somebody filed for time off, they had to go back and forth the company’s annual leave registry before approving the leave request. This process applied when it came to rostering people, too. They then had to email the roster to the team every time an update is made, which would be often due to doctors’ fluctuating clinic hours. It was also quite taxing for them to track sick days, early shifts, and overtime hours. It took Shamita and her team several hours a week to get these tasks sorted — from creating spreadsheets to double-checking everything, down to sending them to staff and letting them know of any updates. The practice was far from sustainable. With last minute changes often happening, staff have to log back in and check the spreadsheet just to confirm who’s coming in at certain times of the day. “It was definitely hard to keep up with where we were going, especially that we’re changing the site,” Ashley mentions. Simplifying a complex process using software After using Tanda, a multi-step rostering process became a lot simpler. “It’s been a lot easier having Tanda, like having the live rosters for all members and being able to access them on the app,” Shamita says. For somebody who’s always at the forefront of operations, not having to manually log her hours on a spreadsheet made coming to work easier for Ashley. “It’s good to be able to have that accuracy on when we’re starting and finishing. Being able to get those live updates from the roster, [like] if there was a last minute change, you’d get a notification and you can always just log in and have a second look. I’ve also added the Tanda link to my calendar so the roster automatically goes into my calendar, so I know where I am in that order. Updates itself as well,” she concluded. No longer did she have to fuss over updates on documents and look at them every now and then; Tanda has been able to streamline the way they receive shift details directly from their managers. In addition, it provided peace of mind for people in Shamita’s position. The new technology made it simple for everyone, specifically by having a time clock that everyone could use. “People just seem to remember what time they worked by having the clock-in and clock-out function. People will have the app and they can just log in and see when they’re working. It’s been quite easy for [them] to pick up.” For Hoxton MPM, rostering doesn’t take hours anymore. While their clients’ hours still vary from time to time, having a platform where they can just apply pre-built schedules significantly reduced what used to take them several hours a week. “For me, in particular the template rostering [is] the feature that I use the most. Doctors usually have a regular schedule, so just having a template that I can match up to the week that they’re in [is useful] to roster my staff.” Shamita also mentioned that it’s been really critical for them to use said templates in rostering because they need to ensure that doctors have receptionists working with them in every shift, leaving no phone call unanswered. “Tanda allows us to see exactly what needs to be covered and if it is on us.” Hoxton MPM streamlined their rostering and time tracking across multiple staff and locations. With Tanda cutting hours of manual scheduling for their managers, it’s helped the business stay even more dedicated to their mission of reducing their clientele’s manual administrative work. To see how we can help your business simplify complex workforce management tasks, try Tanda for free today.