December 7, 2022

Collaborating with Multiple Employee Groups for a Smooth Tech Transition

Seeking stability and union compliance, DPS engaged with TCP Software

With over 9,000 students and more than 1,300 employees, Decatur Public Schools (DPS) includes multiple campuses ranging from pre-kindergarten to high school. The Illinois school district was experiencing complications with their previous time and attendance solution, and initiated a search for a more robust replacement that could not only meet the needs of the school district but the contractual needs of the unions it worked with as well.

DPS relied on their previous solution provider to integrate with AESOP as a single point of entry for tracking their substitutes; however complications began immediately after installation. The organization experienced recurring failures related to the connection between the time collection devices and their software. Moreover, the solution provider and hardware manufacturer neglected responsibility for the issues and left DPS with an insufficient system to track and report employee time and attendance.

This combination of third-party hardware deployed as time collection devices, inadequate customer support, weak integration methods and instability in supporting middleware forced DPS to reach out to TCP for a fully integrated, reliable time and attendance solution. Their primary goal was to have a stable solution to help them ensure labor compliance throughout all seven of their employee groups and streamline their workforce management.

Related Content: Tech Funding Sources For K12 Schools

AESOP integrations and substitute management were a must

At the onset, Rhonda Thornton, Grants Administrator for DPS informed her TCP representative that she required a reliable time and attendance solution to integrate with AESOP and properly track substitutes as well as manage leave requests. In addition, Thornton was adamant about the next solution working in conjunction with Tyler Technologies Infinite Visions. “We wanted somebody that was going to walk us through step by step — here is how you set people up, especially payroll,” said Thornton.

TCP’s TimeClock Plus software was deployed, and in addition to seamlessly syncing with Infinite Visions for payroll, it utilized fully integrated biometric time clocks that streamline employee productivity. Placed as needed across every campus, each clock is a true extension of our software, and instantly delivers real-time information for departmental supervisors to manage their workforce.

TCP’s implementation specialists worked closely with all members of the DPS to achieve validation, prevent miscommunication and ensure that all stakeholders, including employee representatives, had a say in the integration process. Thornton talked about the implementation team’s ability to answer questions in a prompt and professional matter. “I’ve never had the word no said to us. It’s always been, let’s see what we can do to help you implement and do it well and do it right.”

Due to the district’s size, DPS had seven different employee contracts and required a customized configuration for each group. TCP helped switch each group over accordingly.

Starting with the Teaching Assistants (TA), they were trained on how to clock in/out, use the break button for lunches, and how to view hours worked and accrual balances.

I’ve never had the word no said to us. It’s always been, let’s see what we can do to help you implement and do it well and do it right.

TimeClock Plus made shift scheduling easy and it reduced overtime and human errors

With the TA’s, DPS saw immediate results and were able to easily assign recurring schedules with specific start and end dates, as well as prevent overtime with adjustable thresholds. This process yielded new levels of accountability and allowed the TA’s to view their hours and schedules. Thornton said she was pleased with the multiple ways TCP allows their employees to clock in. “You can really customize it to meet the needs of the different employee groups you have.”

After the TA’s, administrators and supervisor were trained in the management functions, including the approval of hours, leave requests and contract variances. As the first premier time and attendance software the district has used in their hundred years of providing education, shifting from paper timesheets to an automated payroll process has reduced the risk of human error and provided DPS with a time-efficient solution.

“We wanted a product that is going to stand the test of time, as well as something that is going to be sophisticated enough to meet our needs,” said Thornton, and she’s seen immediate results. “For our payroll department, it has cut down on the massive pile of papers that they would receive every two weeks.”

Today, their organization has moved all seven of their contracts over to TCP. “I’ve been very pleased with our experience with TimeClock Plus,” said Thornton. “I would definitely, whole-heartedly recommend it to others.”

You can really customize it to meet the needs of the different employee groups you have.

Get ready to get time right.