Village Glass is a national company offering standard and specialised glass products for residential and commercial applications. It began as a local glass shop in the mid-1980s with two full-time employees making sealed units by hand, but developed extensively over the past 30 years.
Currently, Village Glass manufactures around 12,000 units over a five day, four night shift rota, at their production facility on Eastways Industrial Estate,Witham and has been responsible for supplying products for some of the UK’s more dynamic projects including Regent Street, the Olympic Village and numerous London hotels.
John Hannaford, IT manager for Village Glass, was a member of the team in charge of selecting a new modern, electronic time and attendance recording system to be implemented throughout the company’s production facility. Village Glass’ main goal was to speed up their payroll system, relying at the time on the antiquated, time-consuming and often troublesome paper timesheets.
The team had various options to look at, but ultimately decided to choose the Tensor WinTA.NET Business solution because it was the “one to best suit our needs”.
John also revealed the main advantage the Tensor system offered over its competitors: “it is the only system featuring machinery that you build yourselves. All of your competitors import their systems, and, for us, the fact that it’s assembled here, in the UK, means that you know your products in and out, and you are capable of providing the best possible after-market support for them.”
The fact that “a member of the team had a very good experience with Tensor systems in a previous workplace” also played an important part in their final decision, John told the Tensor reporter.
The WinTA.NET Business system installed at Village Glass comprises 3 x T32xx clocking stations for the staff and factory entrances, operated by both Smart Cards and Smart Fobs. The clocking stations record and monitor attendance, also doubling as an access control point. The recorded data is then sent to the Time and Attendance software, which deals with many different shift patterns, including night working and overtime.
It’s very important to mention that the system offers an Export to Payroll function that allows data from WinTA.NET to communicate with all the major payroll packages such as Sage, Pegasus, Centrefile,Unipay and many more.
The Tensor system was set up back in January 2013, and although some minor problems were recorded during the hardware installation process, everything was quickly sorted out. The software installation, on the other hand, went very smoothly.
Both Mr. Hannaford and Ms. Sheri Warren, Village Glass’ Payroll Administrator, received specific training on the use of Tensor systems, either on the site (Mr. Hannaford) or at Tensor’s Hail Weston training facility (Ms. Warren). Both considered the training to be “quite adequate and to the point”.
When asked what he likes most about the Tensor WinTA .NET Business system, Mr. Hannaford’s answer was that it is “intuitive and easy to use. You can even learn how to use it by going through the menus.” However, John also admitted that they’re still not using the system at its full potential.
Village Glass’ IT manager also believes that the “smart cards and fobs are very easy to use”, although they did initially experience “a couple of issues when adding new cards to the system”, but that problem was quickly sorted with Tensor’s help.
Since the Tensor WinTA .NET Business system is installed in a production facility, where fire represents a clear and present danger, Village Glass also fully benefits from the fire safety features enabled by Tensor Fire Roll Call.
Mr. Hannaford told the Tensor reporter that Tensor Fire Roll Call has actually helped them discover and tackle some internal emergency response management deficiencies, after being triggered on one occasion. And this is where Village Glass currently considers extending its Tensor system. “We’re considering the possibility of changing the fire assembly points’ configuration by adding a couple of different zones, each served by its own printer. After that, we’ll also assign staff, based on their specific shifts, to the different assembly points”.
Village Glass had to contact Tensor’s help desk service a couple of times and John Hannaford described their feedback as a “good service”. The same applies to the Tensor Operations Department engineers, who were called on occasion to the company’s site in order to sort out several functionality issues, their service being appreciated as “very good”.
In fact, John mentioned that from this point of view, Tensor’s after sales customer care service is quite commendable. “We called for help, we got the help we needed. It’s as simple as that.”
When asked by our reporter whether he’d recommend Tensor to other companies, Mr. Hannaford’s answer was “Yes, certainly!”. Summing up Village Glass’ experience with Tensor, John said “The product is very good, it really meets all of our needs.”
Unit 2, 18 Eastways Industrial Estate