One of the largest trading and collectible card manufacturers in the world was growing fast — and leaning on a rapidly growing contingent workforce to do it. The company’s small contingent team grew to over 1,200 workers per day for just one of its buildings, but the management and operations team needed better tools to support their contingent workforce strategy.

“From the outset, we recognized the necessity of technology in managing the on-site coordination of our expanding workforce,” said one of the company’s senior managers. “This system would not only streamline administration but also uphold the changing contractual terms and planning rules to keep pace with our rapid expansion.”

For light industrial manufacturers like this one, a high-performing, efficiently managed contingent workforce is essential for growth. But the labor-intensive nature of their industry presented numerous challenges: coordinating contingent hires from over a dozen staffing providers at a single location, managing shift changes with hundreds of workers coming and going simultaneously, and ensuring the security of a facility where access to certain areas may be restricted. The company manufactures highly confidential products, which requires a controlled and secure manufacturing environment. They needed a cutting-edge, automated workforce management solution — one that could be deployed quickly.

To overcome these challenges, the manufacturer developed a unique, customized contingent workforce management solution by working with friendlyway, a Germany-based provider of digital self-service solutions with a US office in Norwood, Massachusetts.

While implementing friendlyway’s visitor management solution — which includes kiosks, badging and a cloud platform for clock-in records and process orchestration — the company decided to expand the system to include centralized staffing management. This broader system, configured by friendlyway, provides shift planning, roster management, reporting and billing capabilities. The system also serves as a centralized data point for department staffing coordinators and staffing agencies, extending to timesheets, rate management and deeper integration with agencies’ billing systems.

Streamlining Processes for Operational Efficiency

Historically, the manufacturer had used older generations of technology to track its temporary workforce and visitors, but the company’s growing needs exposed these systems’ limitations. Each of the more than one dozen staffing firms supplying contingent labor to the company had its own time clock, leading to increasingly complex cross-checking of each company’s billing information. The company needed a streamlined, automated process capable of centralizing data across the company and all staffing agencies. Enhanced safety, security and operational efficiency were among the other requirements.

The solution friendlyway provided included hardware such as check-in kiosks and turnstiles as well as numerous software modules, such as:

  • Contingent labor management. Automates scheduling and centralizes contingent worker data with access for staffing agencies.
  • Visitor management. Allows visitors and contingent workers to check in and print photo ID badges at self-service kiosks and then integrates with security turnstiles to automate access management.
  • Reporting. Analyzes workers’ attendance, tardiness and time spent on premises, giving each staffing agency access to its team’s details.

The resulting solution is built on the friendlyway Cloud Platform. It also includes an integration module that connects with third-party hardware and software; a permanent workforce management module; integrated physical access management; digital signage for the production floor that can display local news and weather, employee announcements and emergency notifications; and an integrated manufacturing safety and emergency response system.

“By taking our off-the-shelf solutions and modules, adding new features and leveraging friendlyway’s extensive partner network, we were able to launch this unique solution as a scalable and flexible platform supporting the client’s growing business,” said Dmitry Koshkin, managing director of friendlyway USA.

The solution is operational in about half a dozen of the company’s buildings today, with about the same number set to come online over the next several months. Eventually, they plan to roll it out to all their facilities worldwide.

Automated Processes Support Company Growth

The friendlyway solution has helped the company meet its business objectives: controlling costs, improving security and managing the growing contingent workforce while continuing to expand.

The system has helped them realize numerous benefits:

Cost management. The system makes administrative functions such as billing and scheduling more efficient, and it has allowed the organization to streamline the process of converting contingent workers to permanent roles. It also helps ensure that employees are working the correct hours, and it offers better visibility and control over workforce allocation.

Safety and security enhancements. The system allows much greater control over who enters which parts of the facility, making it easier to meet customers’ high security standards. They can promptly change an individual worker’s access to different parts of the facility. And in an emergency, workers can scan their badges at muster stations outside the facility, quickly showing who may be still inside.

The system also enables the company to track worker activity on site — preventing, for example, a contingent worker who was fired by one staffing firm from returning via a different company.

Workforce performance optimization. Having accurate information about when workers arrive and leave the facility is useful not only for cost control and security but also for tracking problem behaviors such as tardiness and other measures of workforce performance. This can help identify issues at both the individual worker level and the agency level.

Contractual terms validation. The system enables seamless enforcement of contingent workforce contracts by automating billing from staffing firms.

Custom-Built for Manufacturing

The friendlyway solution “was a huge game changer,” the company’s senior manager said. The customization friendlyway offered was a key selling point. “They think like us, and they’ve been very flexible. We’ve been able to customize it to our needs.”

One challenge during the implementation was getting the staffing firms on board since they were being asked to use the company’s system and data.

“It took a while, but now we hear from many of them that they prefer to go to our system,” the senior manager said. “We simplified the work for a lot of agencies that might have relied on manual work or a semi-automated system.”

The implementation has automated what used to be a lot of manual work — allowing managers to focus on the higher-value aspects of their job.

“I want my time and focus to be on the growth and future of the company: taking care of our customers and continuing to grow our business,” the senior manager said.

Friendlyway’s customized solutions can help your company automate visitor and contingent workforce management. To learn more, visit or contact friendlyway at today.