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Outsourcing to IBDC/Compass


Rostering is a term that has many different shades of meaning.


Rostering is widely used as a labour management tool. Rostering helps management control staff cost and ensure there is enough of the right labour on the floor at each point in time to meet customer demand or work requirements.

For every day of a roster period (usually at 28 day cycles), each member of staff is assigned to work or not work. For each day/shift that a member of staff is allocated to work, there are a large number of specific details that have to be decided. These details include the particular time, the particular role, the specific tasks, the particular service area/point, and the specific duration of the assignment.


For staff to be effective and productive at work, they have to be willing workers. Their eagerness to perform well often depends on whether they feel satisfied with their job. Their capabilities, skills and interests, approved leave and unavailability must also be taken into account.

Sometimes, staff prefer to work with one particular team leader or another. Who they work with, can also be an issue. Other work preferences include things like, when they are rostered to start or finish, how long they are assigned, where they are stationed, and what tasks they will be doing. A key factor in the level of their staff satisfaction is the degree to which their work preferences are understood by management and are perceived by the staff themselves to have been met.

The more those preferences are explicitly recorded and taken into consideration in the rostering process, the more satisfied the staff member will feel about their work.


From management's point of view, apart from issues arising out of the EBA rules and Award requirements, there are also several HR issues that need to be borne in mind. These include training, personal development, career development, "succession planning" intents, disciplinary matters, on-the-job training, mentoring, coaching and intended promotion.

All this makes rostering a difficult task, which requires a complex set of calculations to handle. To do so well is mind-bending and time-consuming. Then whenever there needs to be a change to the work schedule, possibly owing to changes in customer demand, the whole roster needs to be reviewed and effectively recalculated. If this is not done, inefficiency or rigidities can result. However, another complication is that, once a roster has been posted, (that is, a labour contract has been established), there are a number of constraints under the EBA or Award rules that apply.


Quite often, much of the labour force that is involved in delivery of customer service is a mixture of full-time, part-time and casuals. The objective is to get the right mix of each type of staff, for each period of each day, with the right skills (to serve the customer needs), starting just-in-time, and being present on the floor no longer than necessary.

Many enterprises do not have a rostering method or automated rostering system that can handle the above matters satisfactorily. Indeed, most businesses are not aware of how much better things could be, if their managers could tune their roster to all the competing demands and issues. CBS can help you deal with all these aspects of rostering, simply and quickly. The automated rostering engines that come as part of the supervisory management (SuperMan) application handle all rostering calculations and EBA rules at a touch of a button, and they substantially reduce or even eliminate overtime and penalty rates. CBS also allows staff to enter their own preferences and adjust them when needed. Management's job is made a whole lot easier.


Productivity stems as much from assigning the most appropriate person to the task, with the right instructions, supervision and performance appraisal, as it does from appropriate processes, technology and adherence to procedure. Productivity improvements have been vast over the past 30 years, and many managers now struggle to maintain modern levels of labour efficiency, let alone find ways of continually improving it.

And, more often than not, increases in efficiency, which are achieved by hard-working supervisors, are offset by a drop in output quality or a lack of customer service effectiveness.

Normally, the rostering process absorbs an enormous proportion of supervisor time, requiring them to know what staff are available, what their skills and fortÚs are, what their work preferences are, and figuring out in advance what work to assign to each team member. This has resulted in rigidities setting into: the work that the team can fruitfully accomplish; the team composition; the continual dependence on the supervisor and middle management roles; the boundaries and barriers between teams or organisational silos; the service delivery methods; and the ways customer needs can feasibly be met. For most businesses in this competitive world, the productivity/overtime ratio seems to become a fearsome hurdle.


Staff cost is higher than it needs to be when rostering is performed without an effective automated rostering engine or without the flexibility of being able to access all skills available across the enterprise. Each supervisor has to repetitively perform the same mental gymnastics each time they need to adjust their roster. They have little option but to trade off the appropriateness of the schedule of skill assignments (needed for customer service excellence) against the personal requirements staff have of their shifts.

Compass Business Suite (CBS) offers the choice of rostering manually, or using the sophisticated automated rostering engines to assign staff skills from across the enterprise, without breaking EBA rules or incurring costly overtime. These engines handle award, policy, and management requirements, as well as a very wide range of staff preferences, leave and unavailability.


The supervisory management (SuperMan) application provides supervisors with immediate, real-time access to up-to-date schedule requirements, staff availability and rostered assignments in a fully integrated way. It automatically generates timesheets and payroll files, and allows them to be approved or modified on-line. Staff have direct access to the "On-Floor" self-service module which is easy to use and very user-friendly. This allows them to look at and enter their information, as well as clock on to and off from their shifts and breaks.

CBS Productivity Rostering has been specifically designed to create flexibility in each of the above areas. The software allows management and staff to find new ways of changing old habits and of communicating across the psychological chasm or unintended organisational barriers. This flexibility provides the means to solve issues that supervisors previously had to handle on their own. CBS provides executive and senior management; middle management; supervisors; front-line staff; and unions with the freedom to be themselves, and feel involved in working out how best they can contribute to the enterprise as a whole.


Unquestionably, the motivation for everyone improves dramatically and remains highly sustainable. If this sort of organisational culture seems good to you, then CBS may be just what you have been waiting for. Nothing else provides the opportunity, the means and the measurable outcomes that Compass has in store for you and your teams. The benefits are clear, and the enthusiasm it creates is so infectious, that people start to reach out for goals and achievements that engender their own long-lasting empowerment and increased staff and customer satisfaction.

CBS provides the strategic edge competitors have long wished for. The new approach to rostering can be adopted one step at a time, and allows the organisation as a whole, the opportunity to move forward at a pace of its own choosing. A two-hour demonstration is all it takes to show how easily and how well it can all be done.

As an outline of what's in store, we provide below, a list of the functions, outcomes and features that CBS includes and delivers:

1. Market-Driven Scheduling of Staffing Requirements
2. Service Areas, Flexible Line Units & Their Role Requirements
3. Staffing Requirements scaled to Marketing Events, Promotions, Room Bookings, etc
4. Partial Schedules/Full Schedules
5. Template Schedules
6. Marketing and HR can contribute their understanding and input to the scheduling process
7. Automated Rostering
8. Staff Preferences
9. Management Preferences & Requirements
10. Staff Role Targets and Limits
11. Automated Enterprise/Award Rules Enforced
12. On-the-Job Training
13. Rostering Engine that produces optimal solutions
14. Costing of Roster Solutions
15. Rostered Work Assignments, Temp Org Units, & Committee, Project & Taskforce Roles
16. Manual Rostering Fully Supported
17. CBS standard Schedules and Templates to help develop your staff rosters
18. Roster Costing Reports
19. Cutting the Cost of Roster Changes
20. Enterprise/Award Rules Checking & Over-ride Tracking
21. Staff On Standby
22. Declare Staff Surplus
23. Finish Early
24. Ranked Listings of Available Staff & Contact Details
25. Assign Surplus Staff
26. Up-to-the Minute Staff Rosters
27. Roster Posting
28. Manual Assignments & Transfers
29. On-line Updates to Staffing Requirements
30. Approved Leave/Unavailability
31. Staff Notified Unavailability Tracked
32. Project, Committee and ... Assignments
33. Assignment Tasks, Instructions & Messages
34. Company News
35. Staff Feedback to Management
36. Assignment Performance Criteria & Appraisals
37. Issues, Ideas, Suggestions Aid
38. Time & Attendance and Payroll
39. Clock On/Clock Off
40. On-line Timesheets & Approvals
41. Overtime Tracked and Managed
42. Automated Payroll File
43. Roster Costing Reports
44. By Role, Service Area, Staff member, Crew
45. Surpluses/Shortages of Roles/ Capabilities Reported & Analysed
46. Real-time Costing Reports
47. Productivity Rostering Benefits
48. Increased Revenue
49. Better Customer Service
50. Fast Response to Market Changes
51. More Effective Marketing
52. Increased Staff Satisfaction
53. Cost Savings
54. Less Management Time
55. Better Staff Utilisation
56. Fewer Staff Overall
57. Fewer Casuals
58. Reduced Overtime
59. Better Staff Hires
60. Increased Staff Retention
61. Discipline Issues Better Controlled
62. Staff Satisfaction
63. Meaningful Work
64. Fair Distribution of Work
65. Staff on Standby
66. Option to finish early
67. Less Unproductive Stress
68. Earlier Promotion
69. Career Plans
70. More Control of Personal Life


At last, all levels of the organisation can now have appropriate input into the rostering process. Those that have the responsibility of looking for staff to fill work assignments or dealing with surplus staff can now do so easily, efficiently and expertly. The feeling of the interactions with staff and the whole rostering task becomes quite a lot of fun.

Natural by-products of the rostering process when using CBS, include better handling of approved leave, unavailability, time and attendance, automated timesheets and shift-by-shift, on-the-job staff appraisal.


CBS is inexpensive and easy to implement. The savings in staff cost far outweigh the monthly rental fee. And, you can introduce CBS gradually, and improve your rostering process one step at a time. As part of the product offering, we can help you get started, at no extra cost. We would analyse your current roster and record the roles, service areas and shifts into the Productivity Rostering Application. This information would then be accessible by staff, supervisors and management as you choose. Trend analysis and costing of roster solutions is also possible. Where clients prefer, the whole scheduling process can be out-sourced to Compass Commercial.

Productivity Rostering is an important step forward in tactical and operational business planning and supervisory management.


If you have a large number of staff who have to be assigned to a variety of tasks each day, then CBS can help you improve your enterprise's bottom line. With CBS, your staff will be happier, more satisfied and more productive.

Want more information?
Call Lynn Parsons on 0418 616 665 or e-mail [pre-written], so we can send you more details or arrange a personal demonstration.

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