Barnfather Wire, the UK’s largest independent wire production company, produces a broad range of specialist drawn wire products to the highest possible standards. From its state-of-the art plant in the West Midlands, Barnfather Wire can provide product from stock and manufacture bespoke to customers’ individual requirements. One of the company’s most notable achievements was to supply the wire used to create the stems of the 888,264 poppies for the stunning ‘Blood Swept Lands and ‘Seas of Red’ Armistice displays at the Tower of London in 2014.
Ever-expanding company requires agile technology
Since starting out in 2007, Barnfather Wire’s friendly, professional service, quick turnaround and honest approach have created a flourishing business that today has a loyal client following from blue chip companies supplying some of the world’s biggest brands to small and medium British manufacturers. Success is down to just 46 individuals who combine extensive hands-on industry experience with innovative technology across all parts of the business as Dean Horton, Works Director at Barnfather Wire explains:
“We have already achieved incredible things with a relatively small number of talented people but we are a growing business that requires sophisticated technology to support us and take us to the next level. Earlier this year, we took the decision to focus on improving the efficiency and accuracy of some of our most critical workforce management processes and set about searching the marketplace for an innovative, fully automated solution.”
Wages are top priority
Barnfather Wire has recently invested in AUTOTIME’s cloud-based Biometric Time & Attendance system Vanquish to replace the company’s existing clocking in-and-out system that was extremely difficult to use and failed to deliver accurate readings of employee attendances and absences. This had a hugely negative impact especially when it came to calculating the staff’s weekly wages. Dean continued:
“Before Vanquish, every Monday morning would be spent working with a colleague from the accounts department to finalise everyone’s pay packet. The old clocking system was highly ineffectual because it regularly over-clocked and you couldn’t even read the cards very well. Now, thanks to the simplicity of the Vanquish solution, the whole payroll process is so much quicker, down from half a day to just half an hour. Even better, I can do it by myself and have it all done and dusted before 9.30am in the morning.”
Real-time information all in one place
Barnfather Wire selected AUTOTIME primarily for the ease of use of the Vanquish system. Staff use it to clock in and out by simply placing their hand over the Vanquish biometric hand reader terminals when they start and finish work. Then, Dean and his two colleagues from the accounts team use the single, integrated solution to capture and store all information relating to employees, their shift patterns and pay details.
Dean added, “Having information all in one place is one of the major benefits of deploying the Vanquish solution. It’s fast and gives us vital, real-time information on shifts and pay along with critical absence data such as holidays and sickness. We can even add our own comments and attach important records such as disciplinary notes to build a living virtual library and valuable audit trail. At the click of a button, we have a clear view of our end-to-end time and attendance activities.”
Scheduling up for efficiency
For example, when it comes to scheduling Barnfather Wire’s employees, Dean can log into the cloud-based system from anywhere to allocate shifts quickly and efficiently, track the number of hours each staff member has actually worked and reconcile them against the original planned schedules. If an employee does not turn up on the day, is sick or on holiday, he is able to move people around and deploy them to areas that need extra support, versatility which Dean believes is invaluable to keeping the company agile and dynamic at all times.
Spotting trends for improved decision-making and faster results
The ability to record and monitor accurately the number of hours worked along with absences like sickness or holidays makes it easy to identify trends that aid improved decision-making. For example, the Vanquish system will automatically alert Dean to recurring incidents out of the ordinary such as if an employee regularly calls in sick on Mondays or Fridays or leaves early. Being forearmed with this type of information means Barnfather Wire can proactively assess the situation, take remedial action, if necessary, or provide the additional support that staff need before employee morale or efficiency levels suffer.
“Introducing automation into our organisation has yielded impressive results. Just four months after going live with the new Vanquish system, we feel in complete control of our time and attendance activities, have made tangible time savings and improved payroll accuracy beyond our expectations. The AUTOTIME team have been fantastic. They even configured the solution with our four main shift patterns to ensure we were up and running in no time. There’s still a lot to learn but the success of the implementation so far is a real motivating factor. Who knows what more we can achieve in another six months?”
About Barnfather Wire
Barnfather Wire is the UK’s largest independent wire production company. From its West Midlands plant, it manufactures a broad range of drawn wire products to the highest possible standards. It provides products from stock or bespoke to customers’ individual requirements.
One of Barnfather Wire’s most notable achievements was to supply the wire used to create the stems of the 888,264 poppies for the ‘Blood Swept Lands’ and ‘Seas of Red’ Armistice displays at the Tower of London in 2014.