Over 800 people have already signed up for DairyNZ’s new Roster Builder, which makes what could be a time-consuming, frustrating job into a five-minute exercise.
HR officer at Amuri Dairying Ltd in Culverden, North Canterbury, Vicky Hamilton, says the DairyNZ Roster Builder makes putting together rosters for 24 staff on three farms, plus a support block, incredibly straightforward.
“It’s so easy – the support provided by DairyNZ has been incredible. It certainly makes life a lot easier,” says Vicky.
Previously Amuri Dairying used an excel spreadsheet to keep track of staff. While that worked well, it was difficult for individual farm managers to be involved. It also put all the ownership on one person to produce, distribute and make changes to the roster.
“It could get really difficult because it wasn’t housed anywhere centrally and could result in delays with leave request approvals and seasonal changes to the rosters,” says Vicky.
“The Roster Builder is so straightforward that a new user could be up and going with it in less than 30 minutes, no matter how complex their operation.
“If you had a 1000 cow farm and five people, you can literally sit down and in about five minutes set up the farm’s roster. You can then go in and edit the roster to look at different options, say, ‘What does a 8-2-8-3 roster look like? What does an 11-3 look like, or a 9-3?’ And you’ve got a ton of different rotations.”
Each dairy farm can decide on the best rotation for them based on staff resourcing requirements, rather than all farms using the same rotation. The result is a reduction in inefficiencies.
Using the Roster Builder is just a matter of entering farm facts, adding parameters such as the number of staff to be rostered on, on any day, and with a click, workable rosters are created.
“A leave calendar is included and you can see all staff across all farms, who’s off and who’s on, so when someone comes to you and says, ‘I want a month’s leave in February’, you can easily go on to the Roster Builder and see if there’s anyone else off during that time. The manager and staff can see pretty quickly if it’s easy to approve leave or where the dates might need to be flexible. It’s definitely a time saver and stress minimiser,” says Vicky.
Find out more and sign up to use the Roster Builder at dairynz.co.nz/rosterbuilder.
This article was originally published in Inside Dairy March 2016