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The Texas Legislative Council Controls and Manages Its Complex Workforce with a Labor Management System

Texas Council Moves to Dismiss Manual Inefficiencies and Improve Labor Management Processes

Approximately five years ago, the Texas Legislative Council faced the challenge of updating how it would track employee time and attendance. At the time, manual methods (e.g. printed timecards, sign-in sheets, etc.) were used to capture the comings and goings of employees. Not surprisingly, these processes weren?t meeting the needs of the organization because of their proneness to human error and other inconsistencies.

The council knew that they could remove inefficiencies by replacing cumbersome and often inaccurate processes with a comprehensive software system. With an automated system, they also hoped to resolve an ongoing struggle with monitoring attendance for a number of employees who didn?t maintain consistent schedules from week to week.

Based in Austin, the Texas Legislative Council provides drafting, computing, research, and publishing services to the Texas Legislature and legislative agencies. They also serve as an information resource for state agencies, the citizens of Texas, and others. With a staff organized into five major divisions (administration, document production, information systems, legal, and research), they needed a sophisticated labor management solution, in order to meet the needs of the organizations and individuals who rely on their services.

Realizing a Better Way to Manage Labor
To gain control of workforce time and attendance, the Texas Legislative Council selected Time Spot, Inc. and its automated workforce management software. The system enables complex time and labor management, a key requirement for the Texas Legislative Council because of their mix of full-time and part-time employees. It also provides a wide range of data collection devices to automate the process of tracking, managing, and reporting the many aspects of employee time and attendance.

The system was implemented for employees with regular hours in addition to those who kept irregular hours such as messengers, guides, and college students. In fact, it became a crucial tool for monitoring these types of employees. As Bill Rogers, IT Director for the Texas Legislative Council, explains: ?[We have] people who spend four hours here or two hours here, or are not here at all, in irregular weeks? We can use [this automated system] to derive the information we need for how long they?ve been here, when they went home, etc.? ? a task not easily accomplished using handwritten sign-in sheets.

Automated labor management has become an essential part of day-to-day operations at the council. In fact, those who use the system daily aren?t willing to work without it. As the person responsible for keeping the labor management system operational, Rogers intimately understands its importance. He explains that any interruption to the system results in immediate and repeated phone calls to his desk. After fielding enough insistent calls from users, he learned not to take the system offline during business hours.

At one point, the Texas Legislative Council decided to upgrade the server on which the system was installed. The company called on Time Spot?s support team to ensure they made the transition from server to server without interruption to their key systems. As Rogers describes: ?[Time Spot Support] actually hand-ran the [new server]? We connected to them and they got everything up and running over there. As Rogers straightforwardly summarizes: ??their customer service is good?? The new server took over without affecting end-users at the Texas Legislative Council.

The Texas Legislative Council has also made great strides in streamlining traditional timekeeping processes. According to Rogers, ?The type of time clocks that we were using were the kind that print onto a card and of course, you run out of ink; it?s not clear; it?s not legible. Now, with this system, it keeps very good time...? The council is no longer forced to decipher the output of unreliable tools. They are able to produce highly efficient and accurate labor management records, without fail.

Discovering Long-Term Benefits
From persistent usage to positive service experiences, the Texas Legislative Council continues to reap benefits from choosing Time Spot's workforce management system.  Rogers notes that their situation now is ??a much better savings?? ? compared to their former, manual methods. The cost savings most likely stems from reduced inefficiencies affiliated with maintaining paper records, as well as reduced payroll expenses from better employee schedule management. Savings also may have occurred as a result of moving from manual to electronic processes, such as automatically compiling employee data and other payroll calculations.

After five years of successful labor management, the Texas Legislative Council depends on the ability to electronically track, manage, and analyze human resources. The council has saved money and time, and made it easier for managers to monitor employee performance on a day-to-day and comprehensive basis. As an organization, they no longer waste time tending to outdated systems or strategizing about how to accurately capture workforce activity. The council is positioned ahead of the curve in managing their business from a time and attendance perspective.