Efficiency, Transparency of Information, and Everything in Between
Synerion Direct System at the Bnei Brak Municipality
About Bnei Brak Municipality
Bnei Brak is currently the tenth largest city in Israel, and it is the world center for the study of the Torah, religious education, and charitable activities.
With a population of approximately 190,000, about 50% are children and youths up to age 18. The average number of family members per household is 4.3 — the highest among large and medium sized cities.
Moreover, with jurisdiction over 7,088 square kilometers, the population density is extremely high - about 25 thousand people per square kilometer.
Bnei Brak has been financially balanced and stable for the seventh year in a row, owing to proper financial management, establishment of controls, and other important management processes.
For the third consecutive year, Bnei Brak enjoys the high credit rating of AA+. This high rating
reflects the success of the city of Bnei Brak in optimizing existing work processes, financial management, liquidity, and a variety of other professional parameters.
Bnei Brak’s regular budget is about $230 million. Its development budget, of about $30 million,
is dedicated to the development of the city’s infrastructure, construction of educational institutions, establishment of parks and so on.
A vibrant industrial zone is under development in the northern part of the city. Several business towers are under construction or already being populated, in addition to those that are still in the planning stage. Altogether, there are over 500,000 square meters of office space in this area. This, along with other factors, is indicative of Bnei Brak’s expected economic growth in the near future.
The municipality numbers about 1,200 municipal employees, 2,000 teaching staff, and 1,100 retirees.
The Challenges – Streamlining processes and providing employee services
The municipal sector is characterized by many types of employees, including social workers, administrative staff, education, maintenance, and others. Every type of employee is subject to different regulations in terms of working days/hours, employment conditions, collective agreements, and more.
Such variety and complexity led to a situation where there were about 700 different types of employment contracts at the municipality, with small differences between them, making it difficult to navigate, manage, and control them.
In addition, processes such as updating erroneous attendance reports, reporting attendance exceptions of employees, supervisor’s approvals, etc., wasted a lot of employee time and that of the manager in charge. Processes involved extensive administration, paperwork, and required the attachment of substantiating documents.
Manual data entry into the system, as well as data updates and approvals, performed by the Human Resource Department, were the source of human error and created bottlenecks in the preparation of the payroll.
Moreover, the employees had no real-time access to personal information, such as their overtime hours, vacation balance, and utilization of sick leave, and they constantly had to turn to HR for clarifications.
The Solution - Synerion Direct
Phase I - Individual work templates
The starting point was the restructuring of the attendance agreements. To this end, work templates, which are defined in the employee's personal file in the attendance system, were used. These templates allow for the definition of any required default contract, based on uniform rules, and conforming to the service terms contained in the regulations of local authorities for different types of workers.
This reduced the number of agreement types to only 11 templates that cover all the types of contracts of municipal employees.
"Formulating and implementing clear rules regarding unauthorized tardiness, and applying them
to the agreements, resulted immediately in a substantial reduction of the phenomenon.
Now employees arrive on time and are available to provide service to residents for their benefit and wellbeing ".
Sari Davidovich, Department Director in the Human Resource Division,
Bnei Brak Municipality
Differences in conditions among employees of the same type, such as part-time employment, working days and hours, rules of attendance, etc., were defined in an individual work plan and administered in the employee's personal file, including history of changes throughout the years of employment. This was achieved without having to change the default contract.
In accordance with the Mayor’s directives, clear rules were set to reduce the scope of tardiness. It was decided that employees who were late for work without authorization by more than half an hour past the beginning of their work day, would not be able to complete their hours or make them up with overtime on the same day.
The result: Reduction in the number of agreements that allows simple and convenient management, including monitoring and control capabilities. It was also possible to fit the employees into work plans, even by parties who are not authorized to change default contracts.
The agreements, which were very specific and defined down to the smallest details of each employee, enable the most accurate automatic calculations of payroll.
Phase II - Automation of reports and transparency
With the introduction of the Synerion Direct attendance system, employees and managers have online access to current data on attendance, absences, working hours, and so on. In this way, employees can complete missing attendance data, submit vacation requests, send supporting documents, such as scanned medical certificates, etc. Managers can approve or reject attendance/vacation requests automatically, without paperwork, and without involving the HR department in the process.
Moreover, Synerion Direct allows employees and managers to have full access to data such as vacation/sick leave balances, overtime, etc., in real time. This is achieved through clear summaries, metrics, analytics and reports. Full data transparency allows complete control over these matters.
Managers can approve or reject absence requests based on the employee’s balance. They can approve in real time employee overtime as per quota, and are able to monitor and control the amount of employee overtime, attendance, and absence.
"The transition to the Synerion Direct system provides employees and managers with real-time monitoring and control tools. It ensures full transparency of data and makes it unnecessary to send requests to the Human Resource Department, and to wait for a response.
At the same time, the responsibility has shifted to the employees. If they wish their salary calculations to be accurate and in line with their entitlement, they have to comply with the rules, ensure that their attendance reports are complete, submit their supporting documents for absences, and so on.”
Sari Davidovich, Department Director in the Human Resource Division, Bnei Brak Municipality
The deployment of the system was straightforward for the employees, primarily due to the intuitive and user-friendly interface of Synerion Direct.
Everybody received email instructions for uploading and working with the system. Those who had problems received assistance from the attendance manager at the Human Resource Department. Within a month everyone was using the system.
"I have no words to express my full appreciation of the Synerion team for their professionalism and the excellent service we received.
The process of system implementation and reduction in the number of agreements was complicated.
The team, and Ziv Dreyfus especially, made every effort to find a solution for each of the requirements we raised, complex as they may be.
Ziv checked our every request, explored it in-depth, and returned with a thorough professional response. The term "impossible" simply does not exist in his vocabulary. It was a great pleasure to work with him. The service was above and beyond, and the results were 120%.
Now the system provides rapid and immediate response to our every need.”
Benefits and Impacts
- Transparency and access to services for employees
- Direct communication shorter response times between employees and managers regarding issues such as absence requests/authorizations
- Reduction in unauthorized tardiness
- Real-time control and monitoring by managers of employee attendance and absences
- Savings in administration and streamlining of processes
- Process automation and paper saving.