Posts Tagged ‘Efficiency’

PCS Timekeeping Products Create Efficiency

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

TimekeepingToday’s automated timekeeping technology is a powerful resource for businesses, both large and small. It is designed to offer exceptional convenience, and to substantially improve profit margins by reducing the cost of labor.

Our integrated timekeeping packages offer solutions for all types of businesses. Whether you make use of the traditional badge swipe, utilize the new biometric (fingerprint or hand punch) clocks, or your employees clock in from their PC, you can enjoy a solution, or network of solutions, that make managing your labor efficient.

Staying competitive in business today requires companies to find new, controllable ways to drive revenues and profitability. On that note, many companies today do not realize that they can significantly reduce the cost of one of their greatest expenses, employee labor, thus increasing company profitability.

The American Payroll Association (APA) has declared numerous ways in which companies are hurting their profitability by not implementing today’s automated timekeeping technology. Take a look, and evaluate where your company could save:

Cost 1:  Human Error

The APA estimates that the rate of human error in time card preparation and totaling is between 1% and 8%. Therefore, a conservative 2% error rate on a $12,000 payroll would equal $240 in erroneous wages.

Cost 2:  Wasted Labor Minutes

Did you know that just 15 employees receiving pay for merely 4 minutes of “wasted” time per day (untracked breaks, extended lunches, over-approximated punch times, etc.) will total 1380 minutes (23 hours) of additional pay per month?

Cost 3:  Manual Time Card Totaling

The average payroll clerk spends 7 minutes per time card each pay period:

  • Preparing and handling time cards
  • Computing time card totals
  • Verifying time card totals
  • Computing shift and department totals
  • Reconstructing lost or damaged time cards

The Cost: Preparing 100 time cards will take an estimated 11.67 hours to complete.  Therefore, at an average clerical wage of $15.00 per hour, time card preparation would cost $175.05 per pay period.

Today’s automated timekeeping technology is a valuable resource as it is able to eliminate these costs, and save you significant amounts of time.

For more information on PCS Timekeeping products and services, click here.

Submitted By:

Christopher Flynn, MBA
Timekeeping Services Manager
Payroll Control Systems
763.746.1923 Direct
Email Chris

Legal Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only and by no means should replace or substitute other legal documents (governmental or non-governmental) reflecting similar content or advice. If you have any questions concerning your situation or the information provided, please consult with an attorney, CPA or HR Professional.

The Paperless Desk

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

Going PaperlessIn 1975 Business Week pushed forward the idea of a paperless office, where every desk would have a computer where all of our information would be stored, organized, and at our fingertips.  More than three decades later we find a computer on every desk, but we’ve also learned that it’s just as easy to lose a file on a hard drive as it is in a row of filing cabinets.  We can communicate electronically, but at some point every one of us is going to print out an email and walk it back to the sender with hand written notes.  And while the dream of a paperless office is still enticing, we know a lot of work goes into converting not just old files but current habits.

When imagining a paperless utopia, it is easy to forget the little things that we do on a day to day basis. How many notes are written on the top page of a pad and then torn off and thrown away when they are no longer relevant?  How many to-do lists are written out, and then replaced the next day with the most current tasks?  No matter your workspace, be it cubicle, office or communal, here are a couple of tools to help you keep it paperless.

Evernote (
There are numerous note taking programs out there, but the reason that Evernote gets the nod is because it is everywhere.  You can install it on your computer, put it on just about any smart phone, or access it from their website.  In every place, your notes are synced so you can pick up right where you left off.  Additionally, you can share your notes with others, allowing them to collaborate with you.

Toodledo (
Toodledo is an easy way to organize your tasks.  Better than a paper list, you can reprioritize on the fly, and organize your tasks making it so you can keep your personal and work to-dos in one place but keep them distinct.

Scribblar (
More than just a place to doodle, Scribblar is an online whiteboard.  Like a physical whiteboard in a shared space, you can bring others in to see what you’re working on and give input.  You can also use it to give presentations, import images from your computer or the web.

Submitted By:

David Koplos
IT Development
763.746.1943 Direct

Legal Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only and by no means should replace or substitute other legal documents (governmental or non-governmental) reflecting similar content or advice. If you have any questions concerning your situation or the information provided, please consult with an attorney, CPA or HR Professional.

Employee Self Service

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Human resource managers are constantly challenged to increase efficiency and provide better employee services. One dramatic way HR managers have responded to this challenge is by deploying web-based solutions that offer employee self-service, giving the entire workforce immediate access to critical information, helping to attract and retain the highest quality employees and enabling more effective communication across the organization. The SaaS solution offered by PCS is fully integrated with our Millennium Payroll System and is fully implemented and supported by PCS staff.

What Is Employee Self-Service?
Employee Self-Service (ESS) is a combination of technology and organizational change that enables users to interact directly with their human resource data to inquire, review and act upon transactions in the workplace. This human resource technology is known as “Employee Self-Service”, and “Manager Self-Service”.  ESS promises a “paperless” office, streamlined business processes and the elimination of administrative entries for human resource staff because employees and managers conduct via computer basic transactions that formerly were completed on paper forms and then processed by HR staff.

There are several types of self-service applications, including interactive voice response, internet and intranet. ESS creates a single, secure repository for confidential HR information and processes. It provides an easy-to-navigate environment that is accessible by all employees, regardless of where they are located, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Access rights for each employee are established by HR and are typically determined by the employee’s position in the organizational hierarchy, department and key job functions.  ESS and MSS will quickly reduce HR data entry tasks and allow your staff to focus on HR coaching and managing non-administrative duties which makes HR a valued partner on the Management team of your company.

What Are the Usual Features?
You can break down all human resource functions into four basic categories: organizational administration, human resource, benefits and payroll. Within each category, various functions can be performed “on demand” by employees using ESS.

Organizational Administration

  • Forms Request
  • Employment Verification
  • Corporate Policies
  • Corporate Communications
  • Employee Directory
  • Organizational Chart

Human Resource

  • Personal Information Maintenance
  • Emergency Contacts
  • Dependents and Beneficiaries Maintenance
  • Job Postings and Applications
  • Employee Development


  • Benefits Inquiry
  • Benefits Enrollment
  • Flexible Spending Account Selections
  • Primary Care Physician Selections
  • Retirement Plan Transactions
  • Summary Plan Descriptions
  • Stock Purchase Plan Transactions


  • Time & Labor Reporting
  • Duplicate W-2
  • Federal and State Exemption Maintenance
  • Direct Deposit Setup and Maintenance
  • Electronic Pay Statements
  • Paid Time Off Inquiry and Requests

Self-service includes a range of administrative services (employee communications, benefit services and personal data updates for employees), management productivity services (employee change actions, salary actions and approvals) and recruitment-oriented applications (job postings and job requisitions for managers).

When a company implements ESS, HR may choose to give employees the ability to view and update information. The ability to update information is dependent upon two factors: a) if the information is the employee’s own personal information and/or b) if the employee is given management rights. Otherwise, the employee will have the ability to view the data only. Additionally, managers can be granted the right to view and update information about their employees and to perform manager-specific tasks.

Accessing Employee Self-Service: Intranet or Internet?
A company can provide access to employee self-service in two ways, via intranet or Internet. With a corporate intranet, employees access the self- service features from computers connected to a computer network within the company.

If a company chooses to open access via the Internet, employees can access self-service from anywhere in the world by using a computer, a browser and a phone line connection to the Internet. Companies with employees geographically dispersed in one country or in many countries find this to be an economical way to communicate with their employees. Typically, these companies use a “firewall” to prevent intruders from accessing the rest of the computer network.

The HRIS system PCS provides is an internet based system. In companies where employees do not have computers, computer kiosks can be set up in convenient locations and shared by employees.

Benefits: Saving Costs and Improving Employee Satisfaction
Regardless of whether employees access self-service via a corporate intranet or the internet, the benefits are the same and fall into three categories: cost savings, cost avoidance and revenue generation.

In terms of cost savings, the primary gain is in reduced costs for delivering human resource and payroll services to employees. When employees have access to self-service, they can answer many questions independently, thus lowering the number of phone calls to the HR and payroll departments. When employees and managers can update information online, less money is spent on paper forms. Because employee information is captured electronically and sent to the appropriate approver or database, less time is spent processing employee transactions. There is no re-keying of data from paper forms.

A prime example of hard savings is in the move to electronic pay statements where employees no longer receive paper direct deposit advice statements. Employees can view and print their pay statements via self-service as soon as the payroll has been posted. Not only do these companies eliminate the time and cost of printing direct deposit advice statements, they also say goodbye to stuffing and mailing envelopes with the attendant postage costs, and fed-ex costs to remote locations.  Employees have quicker access to their pay statements and do not need to worry about losing the document. By using self-service, they can print a new pay statement on demand.

In the area of cost avoidance, HR departments can provide satisfactory service to more employees without increasing department headcount.  Companies with successful self-service implementations report a staff-to-employee ratio of 1:151, while companies without self-service have a ratio of 1:99. In addition, employees experience improved quality of service. Access to information is available to all employees 24/7, whether local, remote or international. The potential to update information online is key. Who is better than the employee to update his or her personal data correctly? HR managers can rest easier knowing the information in their databases will have a higher degree of accuracy than ever before. When managers can submit new hires, salary increases and performance reviews and have them routed automatically to the appropriate HR manager for approval, transactions are processed faster than paper-based systems.

A third area of benefits to consider is revenue generation. Companies are beginning to establish their employee self-service systems as a portal, or doorway, to other products and services. For example, a company might sign up with and place a link to on their ESS web site. Whenever an employee “clicks through” to and purchases a book, the company receives a small percentage of the price.

Finally, employee and manager self-service results in a key benefit for the HR department. For years, HR managers have expressed the desire to play a strategic role in corporate operations but have been bogged down by compliance and clerical work. With self-service handling much of the administrative transaction processing, the HR team is free to focus on issues of strategic importance for the company.

Please contact your PCS Sales Representative for an in person or web demonstration of our HRIS solution.  We will be happy to show you the features that will help eliminate the drudgery of HR paper tasks and at the same time provide the management team with the reporting data while increasing employee communication and satisfaction.

Submitted By:

Jean Austin
Manager of HRIS Services
Payroll Control Systems