We caught up with Huw James, CEO of Clarendon Care Group and Redwood Healthcare, to see how they are getting on with Alpaka. Clarendon Care Group is an independent company dedicated to providing luxury care homes in the UK. Formed in 1999, Clarendon Care Group has grown to have seven care homes in its portfolio, providing a full range of care for its residents. Redwood Healthcare has an additional seven residential care homes.
Alpaka has given us peace of mind; we now know we will have the appropriately skilled staff in the right place at the right time. Care provision is never over or understaffed, so our service users get the best support possible. We have also seen fewer unauthorised absences, which means greater consistency for our residents and reduced staff churn.
From a manager's point of view, the time saved is priceless. The teams in our homes run more smoothly now. The software does what we expect it to do and provides us with the data we need when we need it. For example, with Alpaka, time and attendance is automatically cross-checked against the rota, so we no longer have to check manually.
Alpaka also deals with sickness and absences, meaning employees can request leave with automated sign-off and clash alerts, making the decision easier for managers to approve or reject the holiday. Business processes are more logical and predictable now.
Employees say Alpaka Presence is easy for clocking in and out of work. Feedback also confirms that employees find the digital schedule convenient, and booking annual leave is more straightforward than it used to be.
Yes. Like any process change, we were apprehensive as change can involve teething problems and take time for staff to learn a new system. However, with Alpaka, it was mostly painless. We began with one care home, implementing the staff scheduling and Alpaka Presence to monitor time and attendance. The staff and administrators progressed so quickly that we rolled out to all our homes after only four weeks and removed the safety net of paper timesheets and rotas.
We are now six months in and fully operational. The Alpaka team have been quick to respond to support queries. They are easy to contact via the built-in live chat. The support videos are helpful, as they provide a great refresher on the functionality. We find the reporting invaluable, using it to benchmark homes, staffing, sickness and absence, giving us detailed insight into our homes and how they operate.
We were already using different software for HR, but we became frustrated with a lack of support and interest in our needs. We knew we needed to change. The concern was switching to a system that might not fulfil our requirements again. However, when we met with Phill from Alpaka, it became clear that working with Alpaka wouldn't be like working with our existing provider. For example, we wanted hours and holiday downloads to report differently; rather than being told, "that's not how the system works", or "we'll have to check and get back to you", we were told, "Ok, we can do that for you". We are yet to set Alpaka a challenge for which they have not found a solution.
Since Alpaka is web-based, it can be accessed from anywhere, meaning staff can still use it while working remotely. Also, as employees can log their entry and exit from work using a QR code using Alpaka Presence, the risk of cross-contamination is reduced, maintaining our standards of clinical hygiene in the workplace.
We are about to start using Alpaka to communicate with prospects in our recruiting - hopefully shortening the process and raising our conversion rate on putting candidates in position as soon as we have all the information we need.
“We are finding Alpaka really responsive, and we've yet to set them a challenge that they can't find a solution to!”