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Everstar

CNA
mediacorp brandSTUDiO

Text Melody Tan

Photography Joseph Nair

Taking its human resource system digital resulted in more motivated and productive workers for Everstar Engineering & Services

Mr Prabhu Packirisamy, director of Everstar Engineering & Services, remembers what working life was like before the company transitioned to a cloud-based, human-resource management system. “It was a lot of chaos,” he said.

The fast-growing company, which has around 300 employees, offers engineering specialist solutions such as steel structure fabrication for the oil and gas, petrochemical and marine industries. It also provides a wide range of services in electrical installation, thermal insulation and fireproofing projects.

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Everstar Engineeering & Services caters to the oil and gas, petrochemical and marine industries.

At every payroll without fail, there would be disputes among the workers, human resource staff and site managers over miscalculated salary amounts for man-hours worked. While some disputes were due to human error, others were a result of the company’s unintegrated systems – from attendance-taking to payroll management. Data was either not captured in its entirety or was lost when transferring from one system to another.

To resolve the problems, Everstar utilised a Human Resource Management Software (HRMS). The system helped to automate all the manual processes, saving the company precious time, and reducing the likelihood of errors. Using the cloud-based HRMS, Everstar estimates a S$40,000 reduction in operational costs, and over 3,500 man-hours saved in a year.

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Manually recorded timesheets were ineffective and unreliable.

FEWER HR HEADACHES

With the old method, worker attendance was recorded using a biometric clock-in system. This generated hardcopy timesheets that an office employee would collect from every project site, before entering the data into an Excel file for HR to review.

Now, to clock in, each employee has his photo taken and uploaded into the HRMS via a mobile app. He then selects the project he’s been assigned to for the day.

If a worker is absent, Mr Packirisamy’s office staff are able to react quickly. “Even at 9am, we can redeploy more workers from other sites to critical projects that require more manpower. Without the HRMS, we had to wait until the afternoon when the client calls to inform us of the resource shortage.”

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HR executive Eny Farani Binte Abu Bakar had to do a massive amount of filing before the digitalisation move.

Generating payroll is now a breeze for HR staff, who used to spend one to two days on processing salaries for approximately 50 local employees. This involved making calculations for income tax and Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions.

Ms Eny Farani Binte Abu Bakar, Everstar’s HR executive, was pleasantly surprised by the company’s paperless HRMS when she joined last October. “It’s very user-friendly. The system is linked to both CPF and the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), so the process is streamlined. To generate the salaries, taxes and CPF contributions, it now takes less than 15 minutes, with just a click of a button on the HRMS,” she said.

The automated system also alerts the HR staff of upcoming tasks, such as renewing workers’ permits or scheduling medical check-ups that certain projects require.

HAPPIER WORKERS

Everstar’s employees now receive their payslips on the mobile app – a far more convenient arrangement compared to before, where payslips were hand-delivered to workers scattered across up to 20 projects in various locations such as Tuas or Jurong Island. As payslips were often late or misplaced, this frequently caused many workers to be unhappy, which affected their work.

With the new arrangement, Everstar’s employees promptly receive either an email or text message, notifying that their monthly payslips have been issued on the app. This also provides transparency, as workers can match their clocked man-hours to their salary.

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With the mobile app, Everstar staff are able to clock in their attendance quickly and easily.

“The employee can see, for example, that he worked 192 hours with 10 hours overtime in a certain month. Every time they clock out, they can see a summary of the hours they had worked,” said Mr Packirisamy, adding that workers have become more motivated as a result.

Applying for leave is easier, too. Previously, employees submitted a paper form to the line manager who then passed it on to HR. Due to the sheer volume of paperwork to be done, forms were often misplaced or leave days wrongly recorded as absences, triggering salary deductions that resulted from inaccuracies.

Now, workers simply tell a supervisor, who then uses the app to apply for the worker’s leave. Once approved, the HRMS automatically records the leave application and updates the worker’s leave balance, too.

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SUPPORTING THE JOURNEY TO EFFICIENCY

Another benefit of tracking man-hours means that Everstar is able to monitor productivity rates. Relying on the data captured, it plans to introduce an incentive scheme to financially reward more efficient workers.

The data also provides a clear picture of the man-hours clocked on a project. When analysed with the budget, it helps the team manage project profitability. “If there are cost overruns, we’ll check with the project manager to find out if there are any variations in the jobs billable to the client,” said Mr Packirisamy.

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Ms Eny finds the company’s paperless HRMS a joy to use.

Currently, Everstar has expanded the HRMS to its 33 employees in Malaysia. It is also looking to customise an existing enterprise resource planning solution with sales, purchase, inventory and finance modules.

With fewer issues to resolve and less paperwork to handle, the HR team can focus on improving employee welfare, while the operations department emphasises its efforts on business development and strategic planning.

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Director Prabhu Packirisamy, CEO Lars Oye and HR executive Eny Farani Binte Abu Bakar are able to work more efficiently with the adoption of digital solutions.

The heightened efficiency is appreciated by Everstar’s chief executive officer Lars Oye, who said: “In my job, I spend a lot of time outside the office. To be able to work efficiently, it is important to be able to connect to our data systems anytime and from any location. Digital solutions give me access to real-time information and enable me to make quick decisions. Another advantage is that paper consumption has been significantly reduced. This saves costs and it’s good for the environment.”

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