How SIPL, an Upper Bavarian bakery,uses SEAK’s IT-based support tools to schedule shifts for around 600 employees.
Sipl in Denkendorf represents baking tradition at its best: When Franz Sipl came to Denkendorf from the Altmühltal in 1914, he bought a small house in which he sold baked goods and groceries. Today, more than a hundred years later, the fourth generation of Sipl is still devoted to the baking craft – eschewing ready-made baking mixes and frozen goods.
When the old bakery in the town center of Denkendorf became too small in 1998, Luise and Franz Sipl sr. built a modern production facility in the industrial park, which was enlarged several times until 2017. Today, in addition to the bakery and pastry shop (with more than 500 recipes for cakes and pies), the building also houses administration and logistics on a total of 4,000 square meters.
In addition to its own 50 stores in the Altmühltal region from Eichstätt to Kelheim and near Ingolstadt and Regensburg, SIPL now supplies numerous supermarkets and delicatessen stores. The company is also an important regional employer: the Sipl family has around 600 employees, including eight drivers and a building services and cleaning team.
To control this large number of employees effectively, the Sipl family appreciates sophisticated software support. For around 20 years now, the company has relied on the expertise of SEAK Software, Reinbek. The solutions currently in use are SEAK pro HR as well as the Mobile Shift Rota and Mobile Staff Scheduling apps. We asked Franz Sipl, the head of the company, a few questions.
Which issues did you aim to solve with SEAK?
Franz Sipl: I still remember the days when we planned using Excel sheets. Then we moved on to a self-made software solution. However, we needed a scalable solution that would reliably grow with our company.
In which areas and stores are you currently working with SEAK solutions?
Sipl: We use SEAK pro HR for staff scheduling in production management, sales management, business management, organisational management, administration and payroll. All employees use the Mobile Shift Rota with monthly, weekly and daily overviews. Additionally, the store managers and department heads can see how each store is staffed every day, as well as which employees are still available for planning. The stores each use Mobile Staff Scheduling on tablets.
“Scheduled shifts for employees depend on the expected customer frequency, which in turn depends on the time of day or the day itself. Staff scheduling is done comfortably from a tablet directly at each store.”Franz Sipl, CEO Bäckerei Sipl
How have SEAK’s software solutions changed your operational processes?
Sipl: Planning across several hierarchical levels has been made a lot easier. All stores receive specific instructions from the head office, which are based on our daily turnover plan. Scheduled shifts for employees depend on the expected customer frequency, which in turn depends on the time of day or the day itself. Staff scheduling is done comfortably from a tablet directly at each store.
In production, our management specifies the staffing requirements. The head of the department creates the staff schedule. This schedule is then checked by production management and submitted for approval. Thus management has an overview of important key figures throughout the entire process.
Everything runs largely without the need for paperwork and is very transparent for everyone involved. The employees can see the final shift rota live on their smartphone .
What is currently working particularly well?
Sipl: Our employees are satisfied because the shift rota is available early and quickly. The “fairness” factor is also accounted for during the staff scheduling process without much extra effort. In addition, the necessary productivity level can be planned quickly, easily and precisely.
How do the software solutions by SEAK influence communication with your employees?
Sipl: The store and department managers know the goals they should achieve. The actual key performance indicators are displayed quickly and transparently for each day. The hour logs show how many staff hours were actually spent. That makes the discussions simpler in the long-term.
Is there any evaluation you regularly like to check out?
Sipl: The target / actual comparisons through which we check the planning quality, but I also like to look at the statistics on time accounting and absences. When I want to do a business analysis, I also look at the evaluations for accrued over- and under-hours, as well as holidays.
On what hardware do you use the solutions?
Sipl: I use SEAKproHR on my desktop PC. I also use the Mobile Shift Rota on my smartphone and Mobile Staff Scheduling on my tablet.
SEAK aims to harmonise the goals of companies and employees with the expectations of customers in terms of service, product availability and consultation. Do you feel that this is being achieved?
Sipl: Yes, it works really well.
What value do you get from the legal certainty that Staff Scheduling by SEAK offers?
Sipl: It is a good feeling when you know that all legal aspects are comprehensively covered.
Could you give us an impression of your experience with SEAK’s support team?
Sipl: The service is exemplary. As most companies do, we also use systems from various different IT suppliers. Among our suppliers in this field, SEAK tops the satisfaction scale.
What stands out for you in your collaboration with the SEAK team?
Sipl: Always familiar contact persons, no voicemail, and quick support if required. Exactly what we want.
What would you consider „quintessentially SEAK“?
Sipl: Solid solution, good service.
What are your future plans and where do you see a need for action?
Sipl: We want to further exploit the possibilities of the mobile SEAK solutions. There is still untapped potential here.
We would like to thank Franz Sipl for the interview. It was conducted by retail journalist Bruno Reiferscheid.
Learn more about staff scheduling + time management in bakeries here.
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Photo © Bäckerei Sipl GmbH