“The complete customisation, offline functionality and the mobile connectivity meant the other companies couldn’t really get close to Advance Systems TMS solution”
There is more than sport at play with the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). The organisation has deep cultural and historical significance in Irish society as well as being the country’s Ireland’s largest sporting organisation.
They are heavily active in both the schools and local communities promoting their amateur sports the length and breadth of the country. The clubhouses, in many areas, represent the epicentre of the community.
The GAA are using the Advance Systems Time Management Software.
The back story
The GAA had previously been an Advance Systems client. After experiencing some technical difficulties, the decision was taken to move to another HR solutions provider who offered a system deemed to be all encompassing.
After installation of the new system it became apparent that, while the functionality was vast, the application to the needs of the GAA staff were limited.
The new system proved rigid with very minimal customisation options. Within a few years staff were disengaged from the system as they could not accurately record their data either remotely or when logged into the system. As a result, managers no longer promoted use of the system. The GAA found themselves paying for a service that wasn’t being used.
Testing the market
With the contract on the existing service provider coming to an end, the GAA began to survey the market for an alternative solution.
They engaged several companies including the incumbent and Advance Systems.
The reason for re-engaging with Advance Systems was to see if the technical difficulties they had encountered had been resolved. They had found the Time Management Solution to be extremely customisable to their needs. However, system downtime became an issue.
During the demonstration Advance Systems assured the GAA that all technical issues around performance had been resolved and even more customisation options had been added.
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There were four key areas the new solution had to address:
- The GAA in addition to having office-based staff have a team of coaches that mainly work remotely in schools and clubs.
- The are 15 different categories of work the coaches and managers do, all these need to be accounted for.
- The ability to capture this data remotely had been a challenge.
- Given the nature of broadband coverage in rural areas there was also the issue of recording data offline.
As the incumbent contract was finishing there was some urgency to install TMS, transfer the information and get the system live. This time period also coincided with Christmas holidays.
“They were brilliant, I don’t know how they got it up and running so quickly. Our Advance Systems consultant came on site for a few days and nothing was an issue with her. We did complete changes on some things and these were implemented without any issue and very quickly.”
– Maria Ennis, Human Resources Executive, GAA
TMS now covers most staff and the managers are happy to encourage use as there a no obstacles to using the system.
The Advance Systems solution.
During the demonstration Advance Systems were able to show how their TMS could capture all relevant data in real time, remotely and offline as required through several system capabilities.
- Customisation – during the installation process all required customisations were identified and implemented. This meant that from the first day the system went live it was completely applicable to the GAA’s needs.
- Real-time – All office-based staff use it to record time and annual leave. This information is immediately uploaded to the central system and available to analysis and reporting.
- Remote – by using the Advance Systems TMS app, remote working staff can upload their data to the central system, which updates at regular intervals.
- Offline – Some coaches had trouble recording their data as their area had poor broadband coverage. The TMS app allows you record your information, which is then uploaded to the central system once connectivity is restored.
This problem was sometimes compounded by a few coaches that did not have smart devices and therefore did not have access to the app. TMS provides a text service that allows them to text their information to a phone number connected to the central system thereby logging their information both remotely and offline.
According to Maria Ennis, Human Resources Executive at the GAA – “The complete customisation, offline functionality and the mobile connectivity meant the other companies couldn’t really get close to Advance Systems TMS solution.”
The additional benefits
Over and above the time and attendance solution, the GAA have found additional uses for the TMS system.
- The Scheduling functionality is an added extra. For example, the Museum Tour Guides scheduling now takes place on TMS.
- Probation and review forms have been moved online whereas before they were paper based.
- Managers have access to reports and dashboards that allows them complete visibility of staff activity
The GAA would be happy to recommend Advance Systems as a HR solutions provider.