Kronos ® Incorporated announced availability of version 6.1 of its Workforce Central ® suite. Workforce Central 6.1 includes hundreds of features and ease-of-use enhancements and underscores Kronos’ commitment to deliver solutions that enable organizations to control labor costs , minimize compliance risk , and improve workforce productivity .
“We’ve developed a unique perspective on what it takes for an organization to successfully deploy a workforce management solution,” said Aron Ain, Kronos chief executive officer. “We have a fundamental belief that workforce management doesn’t have to be so hard. We believe that organizations shouldn’t have to trade functionality for simplicity. The latest release of Workforce Central combines the deep functionality for which Kronos is best known with a spectrum of ease-of-use and cost-of-ownership enhancements.”
Major enhancements in 6.1 include:
Enhanced ERP integration
Many organizations are finding that the time and labor solutions offered by their ERP vendors are unable to meet even the most basic requirements. Solutions that rely on custom code and scripting languages inherently take longer and are more expensive to implement and maintain. They also waste employees’ and managers’ valuable time by forcing them to live with sub-standard functionality.
Kronos delivers a completely configurable solution with full workforce management functionality out-of-the-box. Configurable software equals fast, low-cost, and predictable implementations that save time and money.
Recognizing the inherent deficiencies of ERP-based solutions, more and more organizations are turning to Kronos. In response to this growing demand, Workforce Central 6.1 introduces Workforce Integration Manager ™ , a new integration tool which makes it easier for organizations to integrate their Kronos applications with existing ERP, payroll, and human resources systems.
“Kronos extends our PeopleSoft/Oracle system and provides superior data collection and time and attendance processing capabilities without costly customization,” commented Shirley Kenyon, manager of human capital systems, Pinnacle Foods Group LLC. “Workforce Integration Manager will be impactful for Kronos customers who, like Pinnacle, want to carefully manage the flow of data between Kronos and other business systems.” Pinnacle Foods manufactures and markets convenience food products including the Duncan Hines, Mrs. Butterworth’s, and Vlasic pickles brands.
As part of the 6.1 release, Kronos is extending its investment in certified SAP integrations. Workforce Integration Manager capitalizes on the NetWeaver platform and integrates directly with SAP’s HR and production planning modules.
According to David O’Connell, senior analyst, Nucleus Research, “Nucleus found that using Kronos to automate time and attendance workflows rather than SAP translated into a number of key returns including lower software costs, better data acquisition, and less customization. In fact, Nucleus found that SAP users tended to adopt Kronos as a way to extend their ERP platform to time and attendance functions and increase the value of their original investment in SAP.”
Low Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
“Recognizing that TCO is a growing concern among many organizations, Kronos invested heavily in 6.1 to expand the list of supported third-party tools, streamline on-going maintenance, and significantly reduce the size of its application footprint,” commented Peter George, Kronos senior vice president of products and technology.
New integration and device management tools eliminate the need for dedicated servers. An enhanced communications protocol allows Kronos data collection devices to be securely connected to the internet without the need for a dedicated VPN. Support for VMware and a host of system monitoring tools allows organizations to leverage their existing infrastructure and minimize support costs.
“We’ve also taken special care to simplify the upgrade process and minimize any disruption to existing integrations,” continued George. “It’s all about helping our customers drive cost out of the equation.”
Kronos strives to automate all of an organization’s workforce management business process so managers can focus more time on running their operation. Workforce Central 6.1 includes a host of enhancements that free managers from drudgery they experience with competitive systems.
- Workforce Alerts ™ notify managers when their involvement is required. Capitalizing on the Kronos real-time architecture, alerts proactively minimize compliance risk and control overtime costs by identifying employees who are about to violate a work rule or accrue overtime.
- In partnership with Microsoft, Kronos developed Workforce Worksheets ™ which allow users to easily and securely bring Kronos and third-party data into the Microsoft Excel environment to format, summarize, chart, and analyze labor information.
- Effective dating automatically applies new work rules when an employee is transferred to a new job or department. Accrual Transition Manager ensures accrual balances are automatically converted when an employee moves from one accrual plan to another. Cascading Pay Code edits free managers from having to remember company-specific rules by automatically debiting hours from the correct accounts.
“Complete automation is about having the system do the heavy lifting and creating an environment where managers spend minimal time interacting with the software,” commented George. “There are literally hundreds of enhancements in the software aimed at this goal.”
Workforce Central provides a centralized view of the entire workforce, enabling organizations to monitor workforce performance across diverse geographies. The latest release strengthens Kronos global capabilities and delivers enhancements such as an expanded library of languages; support for a broad range of local government regulations and business practices; and a new multi-currency feature which allows organizations to manage currency at both a local and corporate level. (See related news: “ Kronos Expands Global Product Offering ”.)
Machine resource tracking
Labor and machine utilization have traditionally been managed as two separate and distinct disciplines. Workforce Central now offers a single combined view of these two operational dimensions by extending the tracking of labor resources to include the tracking of production cells and resources such as operating equipment. As a result, shop floor managers are now able to identify and resolve bottlenecks in real time, resulting in higher levels of productivity. (See related news: “ Kronos Enables Manufacturers to Reconcile Labor and Machine Utilization to Drive Operational Efficiency ”.)
Workforce Central 6.1 includes advanced self-service for employee scheduling. The new capabilities enable employees to request open shifts as they become available, and give managers the ability to review and approve shift changes and assess how they impact the rest of the schedule. In addition, version 6.1 helps healthcare organizations to minimize compliance risk by tracking staffing details required by JCAHO regulations. (See related news: “ Kronos Extends Leadership in Healthcare with New Capabilities to Optimize Nurse Schedules and Minimize Compliance Risk ”.)
All applications are available for immediate shipment and rapid deployment. Availability of language support varies by region. For more information call (800) 225-1561 or visit www.kronos.com .