A SERVICE STATION'S PEOPLE MANAGEMENT STORY
Amber Oil was established in Fermoy by the Fitzgerald family in 1980. Realising that fuel prices in Ireland were excessively high, they saw a gap in the market for a fuel discounter with an emphasis placed on customer service.
Liam Fitzgerald, managing director of Amber Petroleum since its foundation, has gained vast experience in all aspects of the oil industry over the last 30 years and is happy to share this wealth of knowledge. As a family run company Liam has always insisted on family values within Amber Petroleum as he strongly believes that this facilitates the fostering of strong long term relationships with customers, suppliers and staff.
Since those foundations Amber has grown, based on this core concept of customer focused fuel discounting, to become one of the largest indigenous oil companies in the Munster region and beyond; with a successful, dynamic and growing network of service stations.
Before Bizimply, Amber Oil used Excel documents to create their daily schedules which only consisted of the employees name, the shifts assigned to them followed by an endless amount of scribbles. It was as messy as an oil spill!
Using this approach is not only outdated, but time consuming, laborious and does not effectively accommodate for the relational employee scheduling technique.
As ownership of their stores again began to grow and running them all from the Head Office, it meant there was a lot more staff to control and manage. This led to frequent confusion as they would’ve had 5 or 6 rosters being structured together in the one Excel document and therefore, had no idea of what was happening in each of their stores.
When it came to attendance of employees, they found they had no way of tracking if someone was late, or sick or on annual leave which meant that in some cases Amber Oil were over/under paying; “If someone was down for 5 days, then they got paid for 5 days.”
The lack of tight record keeping and delayed updates from the manager was not optimal when it came to doing Payroll. On these Excel spreadsheets, calculations were completed manually and then entered into the payroll system so employees could get paid. “It just wasn’t working for us”.
Their HR end was a disaster, they only had the basic information of their employees such as contacts and next of kin, again, all gathered in an Excel sheet. As more security regulations began to be implemented they knew that running a tighter ship of storing documents in one place was essential. Nick quickly realised that the business was not performing as efficiently as it could and that’s where Bizimply came in.
Since joining Bizimply in 2017, Nick admits that Amber Oil has thrived as a company! Implementing the software has improved the consistency, efficiency and productivity of the organisation as a whole.
They now get an immediate visual impression on key indicators for the business. These include real-time indicators: “I can login and view all schedules at the Head Office at any time, it is much clearer to see who is working where and when – none of that was clear before”.
Bizimply has helped them to cut down on labour costs as they can now see if they are going under or over, they have also implemented a budget for staff costs which the manager can now follow, as well as an allocated allowance of hours for each store for each month.
The Time and Attendance system has benefited greatly as they now have records of days off, sick days and the accurate number of hours worked by each employee are noted. The photo feature “is great to show the actual person was there, better than cards or ID number clock ins”. Nick also loves the engagement feature; “I like the smiley faces when clocking out with the engagement survey. I love to get that feedback on when people are happy at work.”
Managers now have no delays when it comes to doing Payroll, for them, Bizimply has completely plugged the gaps. With just under 200 staff, the easy process of export and import on the system “is a real godsend to streamline everything in the one place”. It has reduced the potential for mistakes or errors, unlike the previous use of the Excel sheet. If there ever was a mistake with someone’s pay, it often took a while to locate where and what it was, “now, if there’s a mistake you can track it back to where it happened much easier and quickly.”
Nick agrees the system is a “one-stop shop for everything”. With their increase in stricter measures in the HR side of the business, they now have all documents safely secured in one place that can be accessed by managers when required. It reassures them they are being fully compliant throughout the business.
“The document storage is really useful”. As training has moved online, they now upload all training documents into the system – eliminating any scraps of paper left around the office. Relieved, he says; “Bizimply fits in nicely in storing that information easily.”
Overall, Nick finds the system to be really easy to use and innovative.
“To be honest I love it all! I don’t think there’s much we don’t use. Here at Amber Oil we are proud of the improvements we have fostered, increasing efficiency of the organisation and that is down to Bizimply!”