Case Study: Francfranc Hong Kong
Simplifying Attendance Management for High-Mobility Workforce
Barbara Suen, Managing Director at Francfranc Hong Kong
COVID-19 pandemic has changed the ways people work and communicate. Governments in many countries have imposed lockdown and work-from-home policies to curb the spread of the virus in the community. Many private organisations have also implemented remote workforce arrangement.
Originated from Japan, Francfranc is a well-known home décor brand in Hong Kong. Its broad product and solution portfolio includes furniture, tableware, kitchenware, fragrance and fashion accessories, helping every customer to create a modern, trendy and cozy home. The company also provides furniture and styling solutions to show flats as well as premium gift service for corporate customers.
Francfranc Hong Kong employs around 130 employees covering retail, e-commerce and corporate sales businesses. The company currently operates seven retail stores and an online store.
Tracking Attendance is More Challenging Than Ever
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Francfranc rolled out work-from-home policy to back-office employees. The operating hours of its retail stores were shortened when the pandemic was serious. Managing workforce attendance has become a big HR challenge.
“Health and wellness are of top priority in this time of crisis. Work-from-home arrangement is our effort to keep our employees safe. At the same time, we also need to manage their attendance as punctuality is an important aspect in the Japanese business culture,” said Barbara Suen, Managing Director at Francfranc Hong Kong.
As the company’s managing director, Suen develops the company’s business and growth strategies, controls and oversees all the business operations, investments and people.
Employees of Francfranc were unable to go into their work sites during the peak transmission period of COVID-19. A mobile application messaging group was created by HR to record staff attendance. Employees texted the group administrator at the beginning and the end of a working day, reported their body temperature in order to let HR colleagues keep track of their attendance and wellness.
Capturing attendance data via messaging group was a hassle. “We collected 60 attendance records every workday, manually captured and exported them into our internal system. It took up much of our time in daily operations ,” said Suen.
A simple, accurate and efficient attendance tracking is particularly important during the COVID-19 outbreak. FlexSystem’s new attendance tracking app Alpha Connect is the right fit for Francfranc. Alpha Connect is also an award winning product of Adversity Awards 2020 in the category of Retail / Catering – Good Use of Technology Award.
When FlexSystem introduced the attendance app to Francfranc in early 2020, Suen decided to implement it throughout the company. “We have been using FlexSystem’s accounting system for over 10 years. Excellent customer support, high performance and stability of products have given us great confidence in the company,” said Suen.
Accuracy and Reliability
Available in both staff and admin versions, the app offers a simplified and intuitive user interface. Employees download the app on their mobile devices and log in using their staff ID and password. When they clock in from their mobile devices, they have to take a photo to mark attendance at their places of residence. The app has Beacon, GPS and offline capabilities, allowing employees to check in regardless of internet connection.
The app’s admin version enables Francfranc’s HR team to get an instant notice whenever an employee clocks in. The time and location of the employee are stored by the app automatically. Attendance data can be compiled as daily, weekly or monthly reports for exporting and downloading as a spreadsheet. Push notifications enable HR to communicate with employees such as updating working arrangement.
Alpha Connect has simplified Francfranc’s attendance management of remote workforce during the outbreak. “The app helps us monitor employees’ attendance, track time and locations easily and efficiently without worrying about fake punching. We collect accurate and reliable attendance data instantly, and consolidate them into HR reports,” noted Suen.
Team Building Activity – Francfranc Hong Kong
Remote working is becoming the new normal for a lot of businesses. Digitalisation helps both employers and employees to adapt this new work style. Using the right IT and HR tools, HR could communicate with and manage employees more effectively. Remote workforce could remain productive and work efficiently regardless of their places of work.
In the long run, companies could reap more tangible and intangible benefits such as reducing overall employee turnover and operating costs particularly office rental, as well as increasing agility in business operations.