Sascha Blythe
Job title:
Branch Manager
Food and beverage

The challenge

"We didn’t have a single view of who was working, and when."

Modern-day coffee shop, Ziferblat, has 37 employees spread across four branches, the largest of which is based in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. All are on various contracted hours ranging from eight to 40 hours per week.

“Our problem was that we had one system of spreadsheets and messenger apps for shift planning, and then another set of documents and processes for absence management. And none of them were really linked in anyway,” says Ziferblat branch manager Sascha Blythe.

“As a result, we had information being held all over the place, without a single overview of who was working and when. Instead we jumped between two disparate, manual systems to try and get the information we needed.”

“Using a combination of spreadsheets, Outlook calendars and messenger apps made it impossible to visualise staff rotas - to see how many people we had on each shift, whether we had enough cover, and if we had the right skills.”

Sascha says recording and managing staff data was only made worse when it came to temporary or hired staff. “It was extremely difficult to coordinate, particularly as some of the hired staff used their own phones and apps to track what shifts they were working, and what days they could and couldn’t work.

“As a result we lost all confidence in our processes, and in our ability to manage employee shifts.”

The solution

"We have one clear picture of who’s available to work, and who’s going to work."

“We now have one system that does it all,” says Sascha, when asked what life looks like after signing up to BrightHR.

“Our people - no matter what contract they’re on - use the online or mobile app to request a holiday, log sickness absence and see what shifts they’re working. It removes inaccurate information, and eliminates any confusion or conflict.

Folk at Ziferblat also appreciate how visual and accessible staff shifts are in the software. As Sascha tells us: “We love that it’s a simple chart style view, so you can instantly see the length of shift everyone is working, how many people you have on a specific shift, where you need extra cover, and so on.”

“The fact that we can use one system for absence and shift planning is a win for us. Plus all our employees use the mobile app to request time off and see when they’re working.”

Sascha concludes, “BrightHR is a big win for us, as it’s become the focal point for our people. We only ever have one version of who’s in and out, and who’s available. And it means we now have confidence in our shift planning.”