As one of the nation’s premiere producers of specialty lettuces, Jepco is highly reliant on its several-hundred-strong seasonal workforce in order to satisfy the needs of its customers. As Tim Brown found out, the streamlining of Jepco’s HR administration has allowed the company to search for even more green shoots.
As a business, Jepco works closely with Concordia (labour provider) to source its key seasonal workforce from across Eastern Europe.
However, before an employee can join the Jepco ranks, there are a number of control and training needs which must take place. Employees must first complete a form for pre-employment screening and then must proceed through an induction process to ensure they are ready for the commencement of work.
“Historically we plotted the status of each employee using spreadsheets and were creating enormous paper trails that were very hard to follow” says Jepco technical compliance manager, Jane Doherty. “My role was heavily focused on the administration of the seasonal labour force.
“That red-tape meant a considerable amount of communication with future employees who had to also complete form after form and also undertake a certain amount of time-consuming training.
“What we really wanted was to be able to capture employee data easily, conduct training on-line and then be able to access the employee data and training results quickly at any stage of their employment,” says Ms Doherty.
Jepco enlisted the assistance of IT solutions provider Papaya whose cloud-based Induction Direct software perfectly fitted the bill. What Papaya offered was a system which let Jepco automate the pre-employment screening administration process, store data effectively and deliver training and assessment.
Using its highly configurable system, Papaya created a range of modules and forms that allowed Jepco to issue them to their prospective employees. The modules were designed to be supported by brief question and answer section which assesses the users understanding.
According to Ms Doherty the change at her company and in her role has been – significant. “You wouldn’t believe how much this has reduced my workload. I have not had to get involved in managing any areas of the workforce whereas before I spent weeks and now I am able to get on with my real job of managing compliance within the company. In addition, employees that have been with us for a number of seasons have openly told us that the new system is far superior to the way we used to operate.”
Since the introduction of the Induction Direct solution, Jepco has also looked at using a similar solution Papaya is offering to also automatically screen its suppliers to ensure they are audited correctly and meet the required compliance imposed by its customers.
Both Papaya solutions have proven to be incredibly successful for Jepco who are now reviewing all of their systems cross functionally to see if they can drive even more efficiencies.