Staff management platform Deputy allows employers to closely monitor staff productivity

- February 25, 2016 5 MIN READ

There are many workplace solutions that help facilitate communication between employers and their employees. These solutions are increasingly cloud-based, allowing workplace connectivity at all times during the day. Employees want to have their eyes and ears everywhere to make sure their businesses are running smoothly, even when they’re on the other side of the world. By eliminating manual processes staff no longer get away with running late to work or not finishing all tasks – everything is recorded down to the finest detail in an effort to reduce time and costs and ultimately increasing efficiency.

Sydney-based workplace management solution Deputy allows managers to run their businesses from the back of their pocket with their simple cloud solution. Cofounder Steve Shelley said their product helps businesses to save time and money by simplifying scheduling, time-sheets, tasking, performance management, and communication.

“I was able to use the internet to build those systems to allow me to know what my people were doing and who they were doing it with and when they were doing it and how they were doing it,” said Shelley.

Employees interact with Deputy on a daily basis using an iPad. The Deputy kiosk is downloaded onto an iPad and becomes a tool that staff members use to interact with the business. Effectively updating old school timecard system, Deputy has employees login to their shift by typing in their own unique password, where they can then see all their allocated daily tasks.

Through the same login process staff can record their breaks by starting and stopping their shift. Deputy also has inbuilt facial recognition technology that is used to record and approve the correct person logged in and at the right time, to eliminate other staff ‘covering’ for their coworker being late. The system also tracks who completes which task and when each task has been completed. The iPad takes a photo of each staff member clocking on and places it against the time-sheet in an attempt to reduce time theft.

“We reduce time theft significantly in businesses and again wonderfully performance and productivity has increased since people started using Deputy,” said Shelley.

Deputy currently has 10,000 businesses in 70 countries using their system. These businesses cover a range of sectors including hospitality, which makes up 60 percent of businesses, childcare, cleaning, security, healthcare, and agriculture.

The Deputy kiosk can be mantled on a wall in a convenient position for employees to clock in and out of work. As the system uses an iPad device, employers need to make sure the kiosk is set in a position with good lighting for the facial recognition to work – this is especially crucial for pubs and restaurants, which are known to have minimal lighting, especially at night. The facial recognition option however can be turned on and off accordingly in such situations.

Everything in Deputy is a user preference, giving employees the ability to turn most features on or off, depending on what works best for their business. The Deputy app is compatible for iOS and Android, giving staff the ability to download the app onto their smartphones so field workers can start or stop their shift and manage all their personal information from the app. The time-sheet is geotagged and a pin is dropped at the location the employee signs on for their shift, proving that the person was in fact at work when they said they were.

For employers there is a desktop version of Deputy which looks at the business from all angles. All rostering is completed via the desktop, retracting the time-consuming and problematic part of scheduling each employee. Through Deputy’s rostering intelligence, the system can promote the best person qualified for certain tasks, determining the most efficiently-priced person. For example, a restaurant may require a barista from 7am to 3pm and Deputy will suggest the best person in that environment to perform the task. All a manager has to do is accept the suggestion and move forward to the next rostering task.

“Once all those rostering tasks have been done, Deputy will tell the business owner how much it’s going to cost to complete that roster for the week,” explained Shelley. “The employers will then have their schedule either push notification, email or text or all of those three, straight to the smartphone and the employee can then accept that schedule and populate their own calendar with alarms.”

Managers can oversee all scheduling, time-sheets and attendance records to see whether employees are completing all their tasks they have been assigned to, in real time. All issues can be managed in real time, including if someone cannot complete a shift Deputy will suggest an alternative option.

“So these are the sort of time saving applications offered for a small business who would normally have to sit down and start texting and phoning, trying to find people,” said Shelley.

Deputy has been adopted by some of the biggest restaurant chains, clubs and pubs in Australia, including Gelato Messina, Riversdale Group, San Churro, Avis Rent a Car, Geelong Football Club and Queensland Rail, to name a few. In the US, Deputy is used by large healthcare companies and schools. Schools are introducing the system to their students so that when they leave school they’re familiar with scheduling and time attendance.

“Schools are interested in getting them to start and stop their schooling day so they’re familiar with that process which i think is very exciting for us as well,” said Shelley.

Shelly acknowledged that there are companies who do a lot of what Deputy does, such as Employment Hero and ClockOn, however Deputy bundles everything together, not just focusing on workplace communication, but including scheduling, time-sheets and task performance management.

“We bundle all of those things together and do it all in one beautifully integrated cloud-based solution that allows the business owner or the manager to not toggle between applications and find integrated applications to do everything in the one product,” he said.

Deputy is fully self funded and is increasingly fielding enquiries from investors both domestic and international. Shelley plans on doubling the business within the next six months and then doubling it again after. With big aspirations and growth plans, Deputy is keeping an eye on the US. In the States there are 77.2 million hourly paid workers, meaning all those workers need to somehow sign on and off for their shifts. Transacting all of that data is time consuming and managers are viewing the Deputy system as a viable alternative to the whole method.

“We are the perfect fit for the States and the UK right now because the UK is in a very similar path. On top of that we’ve got an amazing opportunity in healthcare in the States. We’ve had a lot of growth in healthcare and we’ve got some very significant partners. We’ve got a lot of enquiries so we’ve decided that we’re going to put a lot of effort in our business development in the healthcare sector,” said Shelley.

“We’ve got ageing population and healthcare is an enormous, it’s a three trillion dollar industry in the States and we believe that we are going to have an opportunity in the States far beyond where we’ll get anywhere else.”

Image: Ashik Ahmed and Steve Shelley. Source: Supplied