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Automated payment system saves two days a week for Entrust MD
Investing £7500 into a bespoke payment system from Meantime IT has freed up two days each week for a Midlands based managing director of an SME, as well as saving him £20,000 in overheads each year.And since the software has been installed, managing director of Entrust Social Care Ian Brindley has been able to quadruple the number of fee-earning staff on his books, with no extra administration costs.
Entrust Social Care is a temporary employment business for social workers operating within the public sector in the Midlands and north-west of England. Now with over 3000 social workers on its database, with over 100 placements ongoing at any one time, the company has grown beyond recognition since it was formed in 2002.
"The basic spreadsheet system I was using to pay my locums was proving far too time consuming as the agency grew," says Ian. "I was spending more than two days a week just checking timesheets and processing payments, and on top of that, there was only limited validation – it was subject to human error, and with the volume of data I was inputting that was a very real risk."
So Ian contacted bespoke software developers Meantime IT, and the system the company developed for Ian automated his business processes, leaving him free to concentrate on fee-earning tasks and enabling him to increase the number of concurrent placements from his bank of locums from 25 to over 100 in just four years.
Fenner Pearson is Meantime’s managing director. "Ensuring that the locums are paid promptly is one of the most important aspects of Entrust’s business so Ian felt it was something that he had to do personally," he says. "Yet unfortunately manually inputting the necessary details – basic time, overtime, expenses, bonuses – meant time Ian was tied up with boring, repetitive and time consuming work instead of managing and expanding his company."
"So we spent time with Ian to find out exactly what he wanted to be able to do, then designed a database that would store every detail Ian needed about his clients and his locums; pay rates, tax rates, contract details – everything. Then we created a very simple user interface which would allow him to simply select the locum, choose the client they were working for, enter the number of hours they’d worked and add in any expenses. Then, all Ian had to do was press a button to obtain a single report that gave the details of all the payments required for each locum."
As a result of his automated systems, Ian was able to slash the time he spent on administration from two days a week to just two hours, as well as providing him with vital management information within seconds.
"Meantime’s system has saved us a significant amount of operational overheads and saved me at least one member of administration staff, to the tune of at least £20,000 each year" says Ian. "Without it, we simply wouldn’t have been able to expand the way we have. Now, we have seven recruitment consultants, over 100 locums on placement and 3000 on the books, and just two administration staff – incredible when you consider the amount of information we have to process each week."
And, as Entrust continues to grow, so do the demands on the administration systems. "The beauty of our software is that, because it was designed specifically for us, we can add to it whenever necessary and it will adapt and grow with us," says Ian. "And, more importantly, we haven’t had a single second of downtime since it was implemented."
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