Data about labor even faster and more transparent for managers and in the workplace
Traditionally, a huge amount of data is recorded in horticulture sector. What started with a notepad showing the auction prices or meter readings, grew through path registration systems and study clubs to the current enormous data flow. The trick for entrepreneurs is to pick up the right signals from this and to bring out the profit potential.
With the integration of the Power BI visualization tool into the RGGS software that many growers use for labor registration, the latter will soon be even faster. It is the result of a collaboration between Custo & Partners and Horti Analytics. “Harvesting data is harvesting gold”, says Willem Verwoerd of Custo & Partners, who developed the RGGS software. “Although the profit potential does not always have to be immediately expressed in hard cash. It can also provide peace and a pleasant working atmosphere. ”
Labor important control variable
In recent years, more and more has become possible in the field of data and the collaboration that Willem is now entering into with Ricardo Prins of Horti Analytics makes these extra options accessible to RGGS users. Ricardo explains: “A lot of data streams converge in the RGGS dashboard, which is why it is increasingly important that everything in the dashboard remains clear and that, above all, the correct control variables are visible. One of the most important control variables is the process of labor. ”
The RGGS dashboard focuses specifically on the labor factor. Willem: “The dashboard cuts the various parts of the work process into bite-sized chunks, providing insight into what a specific action may cost in time or money (standards) and how much time an individual employee has actually spent on it. Linking this to a system with remuneration for both the employee and the employment agency, for example, creates a win-win-win situation. I can now cite countless examples in which the grower achieved significant cost savings, while the temporary worker and the employment agency also benefited. ”
More stable labor
“We cannot calculate the savings that this system will generate immediately,” says Piet van der Wel, Location Manager at Schenkeveld Schiphol. “We work with RGGS because we want to reward our employees for their work. Employees who work hard are allowed to earn more. That is why we work with this bonus system. A large group of temporary workers works at Schenkeveld all year round, in the summer we have a peak and there are 120 employees, mostly from Eastern Europe. Earning money is an important reason why they come to the Netherlands. We try to facilitate this as well and clearly as possible with RGGS. In addition, we provide a pleasant working environment. ”
The Schenkeveld Schiphol location is the only location of the company that now works with RGGS. It gives lots of insights. Schenkeveld has a total of five locations. “We can therefore compare the results well,” says Piet. “Compared to the other locations, I think we have a slightly lower turnover of labor and also higher labor performance, although it remains difficult to compare with other varieties that we grow there. I am sure that the use of RGGS for us in the big picture will mainly result in a more stable organization. Costs are stable and the club of people is stable. That’s great if you want to place labor in the bigger picture as a company. ”
A screenshot of the dashboard
Coaching in a more targeted way
The latter also agrees with Erik Groenewegen of Van Veen Gerbera, although he sees many advantages in particular for communication with people on the work floor and in the greenhouse. “It is nice for us to be able to manage the people in the workplace, mostly seasonal workers with whom you do not share the language, with comprehensible information. This is possible thanks to the data that comes from RGGS. Instead of all kinds of files you used to work with, or even the cry in the canteen that the performance should be better, we can now talk to our staff with figures from last week when we see that there is a dip in the performance curve. That way you discover that there are problems faster and you can also help the staff better. ”
And binding longer, which is also important. “By more targeted management, we can retain people for longer, which reduces turnover. This ultimately saves costs, because we have to train fewer people. We try to create a more pleasant working climate for temporary workers with the help of RGGS. After all, it is not for nothing called Result Focused Motivated Collaboration (Dutch abbreviation for ‘RGGS’).
Erik knows that further improvement of the RGGS software is being worked on. “This would make it even easier to perform data quickly and well for everyone to understand. We prefer to do this the day after something emerges from the data. A clear graph will help us to explain to our staff, who often do not speak the language, what we mean. And it also helps us to discover, for example, a dip in performance, which we invariably saw in recent years when there was a lot of new influx of less experienced seasonal workers. And so be able to respond more quickly by taking into account the time it takes to master our way of working. ”
In order for the use of the dashboard to be successful, it is important that entrepreneurs are helped on their way to using it. Willem and Ricardo give the following example. “A fast car with a very nice dashboard is of no use if you don’t know what that red light means when the engine gets too hot and you just keep driving.”
The latter threatens to happen with the ever-increasing flow of data that enters entrepreneurs’ plates. By further developing the dashboard, both software specialists overcome this impending problem. Ricardo: “Power BI is a tool that makes complex data from various sources transparent in tables or graphs in just a few clicks. This makes it much easier, for example, for the labor manager to make the work per stem or per bunch (vegetables) visible at a glance for the management, which in turn can determine the course of a company faster and better on the basis of this. ”
Willem adds: “Consider, for example, temporarily having to sell below cost price and the question of how long this can be sustained. In the enriched RGGS dashboard you now see a trend line and it is easier to relate labor and costs to sales. But it also helps communication with staff. ”
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