Twilight Aged Care

Twilight Aged Care slashed their wage bill by $600,000 per annum and reduced their error rate to 0.01%.
  • Previously had 25% error rate due to manual data entry
  • Selected Attaché Payroll and RosterLive because they were easy to implement and use
  • Slashed wage bill by $600,000 per annum and reduced error rate to 0.01%
Twilight Aged Care

Slashing wage bills and freeing resources to improve service delivery are the goals of countless CEOs. Few, though, could boast the success of Twilight Aged Care’s CEO John Stuart who, with one decision, slashed $600,000 p.a. from the wage bill with not one job lost. Just as importantly, he brought peace of mind and established strong foundations for the secure growth of this not-for-profit service provider on Sydney’s North Shore, about to celebrate its 100th anniversary.

Today Twilight Aged Care is a model of efficiency, a far cry from when John first walked through the doors of the Chatswood head office to take up his position as CEO in 2004.

John recalled in horror his introduction. “When I walked in they were running MYOB Version 12 on a standalone PC and had outsourced the payroll to a private ‘kitchen table’ business that was provided with time and attendance information in an Excel spreadsheet.

“It was a nightmare. Reports and corrections would go back and forth between the payroll people and our staff. It would take an inordinate amount of time and we’d still end up with a huge error rate of around 25% because of all the manual processing and duplication of data entries.

“The last thing I expected was to find the core of the business so antiquated. I was used to having information to hand.

“Even generating a financial report for the board involved the accountant printing reports from two programs and manually re-entering data into a spreadsheet,” John said.

Bullet proof reliability

After a long career in senior public health sector management and nursing that included high-end involvement in implementing major IT projects and representing the Chief Nurse of NSW on several Department of Health planning committees, John had a clear-cut idea of what was needed. First came the information network, then the specialised financial and clinical systems.

When it came to payroll and rostering systems, John looked at a whole range of options but kept coming back to the combination of Attaché Payroll and RosterLive (now WFS Australia). These programs were proven in the aged care environment, straight forward and easy to use, and had a reputation for bullet-proof reliability. “Ultimately, for our size, the ease and rapidity with which we could implement Attaché brought it out on top, and the fact that WFS interfaced seamlessly with Attaché meant we could completely eliminate manual data entry for both the rostering and payroll processes, a saving of 19 hours a week,” John said.

Prior to the introduction of Attaché Payroll, Twilight Aged Care had at least a 25% error rate every week. Today it is in the order of 0.01%. While that is excellent for staff relations, the biggest bonus of the Attaché and WFS systems has been a six figure one.

“I have seen probably $600,000 per annum saving on payroll costs through better management of staff,” John said. “That’s close to a 10% saving, because before we didn’t even have rosters that would comply with the then Workplace Relations Act. Managers treated staff like a running tap.

“We have not reduced our staff-to-resident ratios to achieve these savings. We have become tighter at determining our staffing requirements based on our assessment of resident care needs, and monitoring and controlling those through effective management.”

Steady approach key to successful transition

Twilight Aged Care has taken a methodical, steady approach to the introduction of various aspects of their programs.

Attaché Document Management, a confidential document delivery service that allows emailing of pay advices and payment summaries, was introduced to staff as an option. Initially, 75% of staff took up the service and it will soon completely replace paper pay slips, resulting in significant savings in mailing costs and time.

WFS’ SMS capability has been used since day one, but the employee self-service kiosk that allows holiday requests and other data to be entered by employees via the web was introduced two years later.

John has been pleasantly surprised with the positive take-up of the technology by employees. “We had a few gripes when we introduced biometric scanning as a means of logging on and off the shifts, but we expected that as we suspected that some of the employees were rorting the system previously, leaving early and getting workmates to sign them off.

“Generally, today everyone is happy with the scanning because their pay is always correct,” he said.

Twilight Aged Care has gone from a dinosaur to a leading edge institution. Against this background John now sees no reason why the not-for-profit cannot quickly grow from its current base of four aged care facilities as it enters its second century of operation.

About Twilight Aged Care

  • Not-for-profit organisation which offers aged care accommodation
  • Sites in Mosman, Gordon, Beecroft and Gladesville
  • Low and high care options, as well as dementia specific care

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