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In the grime and grease of a Fulton Hogan construction site in 2017, waged workers build a bridge, a highway, a pipeline. At the end of the day, they dig around in their pockets for a slip of paper and a pencil, record their hours – and a few smudges of grease – and go on their way.
At the end of a week, they’ll fill out a timesheet – and if they hold onto the slips of paper those timesheets will be relatively simple – to be verified one-by-one by the site foreperson and faxed to head office. There, they’ll either roll under a filing cabinet to collect dust or be passed to the payroll team, who’ll manually add the information to payroll platforms and Fulton Hogan’s ERP.
“It was a very slow and cumbersome process, and errors were rife,” Senior Systems Analyst Chris Strydom says. “We had lost or illegible faxes, confusion about job codes, discrepancies in pay.”
Waged workers make up 4,500 of Fulton Hogan’s 8,500-strong workforce, and many were left frustrated by delayed or incorrect pay, while the salaried workers in head office were spending valuable time on repetitive manual reporting.
With no way to record data in a streamlined, unified and meaningful way, let alone integrate it with other systems, precious insights into resource use, health and safety issues, and staff feedback were being missed.
Something had to change.
Collaboration is key
The power of the platform
Strydom explains that Fulton Hogan had initially chosen Salesforce as its platform to replace some access databases that could store information well enough but were not scalable or cloud-based - both of which were becoming increasing priorities as the need for flexible, real-time access to information grew with the company.
“Then we realised the power of the Lightning platform,” he says. "Using Lightning Platform to build the eTimesheets apps meant it could integrate easily with other apps and our database of contractors."
And because basic platform functionality like secure identity, synchronisation and user identity is built in, developers can spend time on more high-value tasks like developing business functionality and UX.
While the eTimesheets app took approximately six months to develop, The Lightning Platform has allowed for a much faster turnaround on other apps - sometimes as little as a week.
Reusable components - including regions and zones, contractors and departments - has been a key factor in ease of development and integration.