Beacon Foods supplies responsibly sourced, lovingly prepared food to manufacturers, service industries and small independent companies from their 36,000 square foot BRC Grade AA factory in the heart of the Brecon Beacons. The company has won a number of awards, from Great Taste ‘Gold’ to ‘New Sandwich Ingredient of the Year’.
The company employs roughly 160 people and has been using Tensor for more than 15 years. Beacon Foods recently upgraded their old 16-bit access control and T&A clocking stations and software to the latest WinAC.NET (Access Control), WinHR.NET (Tensor Personnel) and the flagship WinTA.NET (Time and Attendance) products, whilst at the same time deploying the Tensor mobile phone app, called SSM (Self Service Module).
WinTA.NET Time and Attendance is Tensor’s flagship product. It gives total control over the creation of working rules, Access Control, Job Costing and System Security, ensuring that the company remains compliant with legislation such as the European Working Time Directive.
Thomas Powell, Systems Coordinator, was one of the Beacon Foods staff trained on the new upgraded Tensor system. Asked to describe the quality of the training, Thomas answered, “Very in-depth. A trainer from Tensor visited our site and went through all the required aspects of the system, such as setting up the Access Control permissions and the Working Time Directive.”
When asked for the main ways that Beacon Foods used the Tensor system, Thomas replied, “Access Control, HR and management tasks, like approving holiday and keeping a log of employee skills and training”.
The Self Service Module has also been a great hit with the workforce. With everyone carrying a mobile phone these days, SSM is often the best and easiest way to communicate with people. For booking and approving holidays, clocking in/out, booking on/off jobs – SSM is simple and easy to use.
An additional feature used by Beacon Foods is the integrated fire roll call function in WinTA.NET. Here, automated reports, triggered by the fire alarm system, are printed of all people registered on site. So far, Beacon Foods has only had to use this for fire drills.
The Tensor Personnel Human Resources Module (WinHR.NET) has been put to good use by the management of Beacon Foods. According to Thomas, “We mainly use the HR module for document creation and storage, and for managers to keep emergency contacts up to date.”
The Tensor Personnel Human Resources Module allows a company to record large amounts of personal information, including SAYE schemes, course attendance, medical health records and much more, whilst all the time complying with GDPR.
When asked what he liked most about the Tensor system, Thomas replied, “It’s easy to use and low maintenance.”
He added that the .NET upgrade has brought about numerous improvements in the speed and efficiency of the company, including holiday bookings and approval which are now significantly faster.
He also praised the “stability and intuitiveness” of the new .NET versions compared to the older product versions.
It is worth noting that the speed of use of Tensor’s smart cards and key fobs (which do not need to be removed from a wallet or purse to be used) is still cited as one of WinTA.NET’s most appealing features. Like many Tensor customers operating within the food industry, Beacon Foods uses the blue version of the Tensor smart card. Thomas noted that the cards were “Very easy to use.”
Our reporter then asked Thomas about the quality of Tensor’s after-sales service. “On occasions, we have needed to call the helpdesk and sometimes we have needed engineers to visit and repair an element of the system” said Thomas. “The overall service quality was good.”
When asked how Tensor could improve its service to Beacon Foods, Thomas replied, “There’s always room for improvement, but you’re good!” For this reason, it should come as no surprise that the Beacon Foods is looking at extending the Tensor system to the main reception, and also adding biometrics, so that they can be reassured that only the right people can gain access to specific areas.
Summing up Tensor in a few words, Thomas concluded: “Tensor is a friendly company which reacts quickly to problems.”