Nampak reduces labour costs, optimises workforce with Kronos
Packaging giant Nampak has rolled out workforce management solution Kronos across most divisions, with more than 6 000 employees now on the system. As a result, the company is paying workers accurately and fairly.
Kronos was supplied and installed by Bytes Systems Integration (BSI), the sole distributor of the solution in South Africa. It replaced a system that was antiquated, largely manual, open to error, resource-hungry and very expensive.
“We wanted a system that is a proper foundation for labour management,” says Mary-Anne Bottyan, financial controller at Nampak. “As a company that spends R3.6 billion per year on employee benefits, we believe there is far more value to be derived from Kronos than from the usual simplistic time and attendance solutions. Our most valuable and expensive asset is our workforce, and Kronos is enabling us to manage it properly. We can now control costs, improve productivity and pay our employees correctly.”
This is particularly important at a time when wage costs have soared, making it imperative for companies to use the best technology available so they can work smarter and maximise employee productivity.
True labour management, Bottyan points out, lies in the ability to astutely analyse employee behaviour and production. This enables management to use and leverage human capital, and to align workers, systems resources and product capability. “That's when the organisation achieves the highest levels of product quality at the lowest cost to the customer. When you can measure and control the input cost that directly affects the products you produce, you are able to become the lowest-cost provider of the product, with the highest quality of output, because every man-hour that goes into production is the employee's best hour. It's not about spending less on labour, but about spending it well. Containing costs at this level would make us even more competitive as a packaging manufacturer.”
Julia Gilmour, Kronos sales manager at BSI, says the implementation of the solution has placed Nampak ahead of the curve in workforce management in South Africa. “As a large organisation, Nampak now has a single, stable, and powerful platform in place and can pay thousands of employees located throughout the country. In addition, Nampak has brought the system in-house and taken complete ownership of it, which means that the benefits it is deriving will only increase.”
Gilmour says the implementation is an example of what can be achieved when there is a true partnership in place between the client and an experienced systems integrator that has in-depth knowledge of organisational requirements. “Once BSI had implemented Kronos, a process of knowledge transfer was put in place and the system is now managed by Nampak, cutting ongoing consulting costs and enabling the people who best understand the business to take advantage of the solution.”
Kronos is used by many large companies in South Africa, which have large employee bases, Bottyan adds. “We meet as user groups and it is there that capabilities and knowledge are shared, with continuous feedback going into Kronos. There's a huge amount of value in that process as it means the system is constantly being upgraded with user needs in mind.”