Photonics Engineering

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The Centre for Integrated Photonics has greater visibility over the projects staff spend their time on with Sage TimeSheet.

Established in 2003, The Centre for Integrated Photonics is a research and development facility and supplier of advanced photonics technologies. These technologies include fibre optics and optoelectronics and operate with light rather than electronics.

From small beginnings as a breakaway company with a staff of 10 in 2003, the company has grown dramatically over the past three years to a point where staff numbers have now reached almost 40.

This growth, combined with an outdated Excel spreadsheet system that was used to keep track of the projects that staff were spending their time on, meant the Centre for Integrated Photonics required a comprehensive timesheet management system.

"We do a lot of consultancy work and needed a system that could track the time that our researchers were spending on each project," says Leigh Hepplethwaite, the Centre for Integrated Photonics' VP business and finance. "Much of our time is chargeable and we needed to know that we are charging the right projects for the right amount of time."

With up to 40 lines on each Excel spreadsheet for the different projects being undertaken, the company's financial assistant was spending a lot of time collating and inputting data - time which could be better spent elsewhere.

The Centre for Integrated Photonics chose Deepak Sareen's Sage TimeSheet product to automate and simplify its time and attendance processes.

"The Sage TimeSheet system has provided real benefits for our business," says Hepplethwaite. "It is extremely efficient and provides access to real-time information on the projects that staff are spending time on. We don't have to wait until the end of the month for staff to input their hours which also saves time."

Range of benefits

Although it took time for staff to warm to the new timesheet and recording system, they have adapted and now find it simple to use. "One of its many benefits is that staff can have it on their PC and can access and update their own timesheet whenever they need to or want to," enthuses Hepplethwaite, "and the change has been well received."

Sage TimeSheet's comprehensive reporting, combined with the breadth and depth of its functionality and configurability ensure that it can be implemented to provide an easy to use, effective solution across a broad range of time tracking requirements.

In the case of the Centre for Integrated Photonics, this reporting provides a range of useful management information and can flag up areas that may need to change. "We may see that people are spending too much time in meetings and not enough time in other areas. The Sage TimeSheet system provides that extra level of visibility that we didn't have before."

In addition, says Hepplethwaite, the system makes it easy to convert chargeable hours into WIP figures and the extensive reporting facilities have been extremely beneficial.

"The Sage TimeSheet system gives our managers the information we need to run our business," says Hepplethwaite.