The incentive was clear: the traditional system required each employee to fill out a timesheet each week and following sign-off by the relevant team leader, post or fax it to a central location for processing. The sheets were manually keypunched to a mainframe, which extracted and validated the data. Only after this manual process was completed could payment of salaries to employees be effected. The obvious incentive was to reduce costs and remove the manual nature of the process by transferring the processing of timesheets to an electronic medium. Eircom chose SoftCo's Workflow and Document Management products.
SoftCo designed and implemented eDiary, built on SoftCo's Workflow and Document Management engine. eDiary is Internet/Intranet based and designed to cope with the timesheet submission requirements of thousands of employees. The basic data is submitted electronically by Eircom staff over the Internet and captured and archived centrally in the SoftCo archive. Using SoftCo Workflow, it is automatically validated and routed to the team leader for electronic sign-off. The timesheet can then be submitted for upload to the payroll system, or in the event of a query arising, is returned to the staff member with relevant areas highlighted.
Using the SoftCo Cold module, images of all submitted timesheets are archived in the SoftCo archive for an indelible and quickly traceable record of the transaction. An ICR (intelligent character recognition) system was also implemented to process paper timesheets if necessary. This extracts the hand-written information from timesheets and posts the data to the payroll, employing the same validation rules as the web-based system. Payroll data and salary cheques can then be produced.
Employees can also use the system locally or remotely via the internet to keep track of their timesheet submissions and review details such as hours worked, overtime, time in lieu and holidays which have accrued to date. As copies of all of the paper and web-based time sheets are all archived in SoftCo, they may be recalled at any stage. The data is also held in a central database from which Eircom management may request statistical analysis of the data via the Eircom intranet.