How biometrics can change the way that asset management works
Over the past 40 years, Al Naboodah Construction Group (ANCG) has built up an extensive portfolio of construction projects for high profile private sector and government clients in the Gulf.
Much of ANCG’s success has been achieved using cutting edge construction techniques and a highly skilled workforce. The many landmark projects completed by ANCG include royal palaces, office and residential complexes, airports, roads and highways and luxurious villas which affirm the company’s position as one of the leaders of innovative construction and quality projects in the region.
With approximately 20,000 labourers and 4,400 individual items of plant and equipment at a number of ANCG sites in the UAE, the company urgently needed a new workforce management system that would enable it to manage such a vast workforce and plant and equipment strength, effectively.
Kronos has wide-ranging experience in the construction industry and offered a scalable and flexible solution which would fulfill ANCG’s requirements and prove reliable in the dry and dusty desert conditions.
Furthermore, with Kronos being an accredited partner of JD Edwards, the ERP system employed across ANCG, it offered an opportunity for seamless integration. ANCG needed a workforce and plant and equipment management system that would improve recording the working hours of the extensive workforce and items of plant and equipment being used on site, ensuring the ability to process the payroll and plant billing quickly and accurately. Kronos was able to do this and so much more.
There are ten companies that make up ANCG which meant added complexity in maintaining accurate records of staff as some transferred between the companies to work on different sites and were listed on more than one company payroll. Once Kronos was installed, ANCG was able to move to one employee database which, once synchronised with the JD Edwards payroll system, ensured only one record existed for each employee. This meant that all the hours worked were logged to the correct individual and charged to the correct project as an automatic function not as a manual process. Kronos also ensured employees who left ANCG were identified on the database once the final wage payment was made. This had proved time-consuming to manage before Kronos was implemented.
With Kronos in place, ANCG was not only able to reduce the length of time it took to prepare the payroll, but it also enabled labourers to be paid by bank card rather than cash. Both of these initiatives were very well received by the workforce. Kronos also enabled ANCG to reduce the number of administrative timekeeper staff employed to monitor the workforce on each site to a minimum, as the system captured all the necessary information.
With 250 Kronos biometric terminals installed across ANCG’s sites, the workforce now registers all hours worked using a biometric finger scanner for verification. Using this data, ANCG is able to accurately cost all labour activity and then produce productivity reports by activity on a site-by-site basis. In construction, the major costs are labour and materials and in this economic climate it is vital to be able to monitor these elements accurately.
ANCG can now track labour costs on a weekly basis and link them back to the original tender, allowing analysis of projected and actual costs. In fact, ANCG extended the time recording process to include plant equipment which means that the operating time of machinery can also be monitored for costs and fed into the analysis. This gives ANCG exact costs for each activity.
The level of detail that Kronos has given ANCG across both labour and plant billing is excellent. Very few construction companies are able to offer this degree of sophistication and ANCG is delighted with the benefits it has brought.
Tighter plant and equipment control
With such a large fleet of internally owned plant and equipment it is imperative that all hours worked are booked and recorded. This enables the plant and equipment management team to assess the productivity of each plant item, manage the maintenance of equipment better and assist with capital expenditure planning. It also ensures that sites can more accurately track the actual usage of plant and equipment against tendered amounts.
As with all implementations, change management was a challenge, but all these challenges were overcome through the committed work of the ANCG senior management.
CASE STUDY POINTERS
• Monthly payroll processing time cut by 75% – a saving of 36 weeks each year
• Payroll errors reduced
• Sophisticated costing analysis for labour, plant and equipment
• Assisted in reducing the site monthly costs reports from three to four weeks post month-end to one week
• Wages paid earlier
• Duplicate employee records removed
• Biometric verification eliminates fraudulent clocking
• Reduction in administrative staff.