Frederick's IGA Jamberoo uses Deputy’s shift-swap and roster sharing features to free up management time and help grow the business

  • Jamberoo, Australia
  • retail
  • Scheduling

At a glance

Shift-swap feature saves 3-6 hours / week
Flexible rostering supports busy employees
Automation of repetitive tasks has freed time to improve business

The Story

Sometimes a shop is more than just a place to pick up supplies. ‘Freddo’s (as the locals affectionately call it) has been the social heart of Jamberoo for nearly a century – there’s been a Fredo behind the counter since Ernest Fredericks set up shop 100 metres along Allowrie Street in 1924. So there’s a bit of history in the place.

In 1991 Trevor Fredericks bought the title from his grandparents and soon went into partnership with his wife Carmel Goldsmith. The store survived an arson attack in 2012 and to date, competition from national supermarket chains in nearby towns because the locals love it:

“People were over the moon to have the town’s unofficial meeting spot back in business – it’s the return of the social hub of Jamberoo,” Lesley East, local volunteer at the reopening party for the rebuilt store, told the Illawarra Mercury.

Reopening the store meant a new fit out, including a neat addition to the accounting system that Carmel says makes managing the workforce a lot easier:

“My son was working at a major accounting firm and said ‘Hey mum, you’re on Xero, you should really look at Deputy because it connects to Xero and you can do all your rostering’.”

People were over the moon to have the town’s unofficial meeting spot back in business – it’s the return of the social hub of Jamberoo.
The machinations of working in with our staff when they said ‘Oh, you’ve put me on Friday and I can’t do it’, so I’d have to ring someone else and see if they can take the shift’ – and that used to take u a lot of time over the week.

The Challenge

Fredericks IGA Jamberoo now has 22 people on its roster, including students who want to work after class and on weekends.

Trevor used to spend time every week speaking with every employee about their availability, then methodically drawing up the next week’s roster and displaying it in the office. Every employee would then have to visit or call the store to find out their shifts – and try to sort out any changes.

“In the past we’d work everything out on a paper spreadsheet: names on a list and the days of the week. Underneath we had a section they could sign on and off,” recalls Carmel. “Then at the end of the week, we’d have to check everyone’s sign in/sign out times, and calculate their hours so we could pay them.”

The Solution

Deputy handles all kinds of repetitive tasks that used to keep Carmel and Trevor away from working on the business creating rosters with the right number of staff per shift in the right roles:

  • optimising wage costs per shift and week
  • helping to organise shift-swapping
  • checking payroll against hours worked and awards
  • tracking who has read each News Feed item

“Deputy makes it simpler to manage and frees you up to better use your time: now we have more time for our kids and more time to plan.”

Employees at IGA are big fans of using Deputy on their smartphones to check the roster – and they especially like its shift-swapping feature.

While most employees are fairly diligent about reporting their regular availability, Deputy helps employees quickly request shift adjustments to suit their life outside work, such as exams and family events.

“Once the roster is published you start to see the reshuffle,” reports Carmel. “It’s taken a lot of pressure off that time we used to spend on the phone trying to move people around and change shifts. For any business those time savings are great.”

Deputy’s shift-swapping feature also allows managers to set rules for who can fill each role if a shift is open. Carmel notes Frederick’s IGA adheres to liquor sales legislation with a rule that adult employees can only swap with another employee old enough to sell liquor.

It also helps manage wage costs for each shift, ensuring employees swap with people at the same or similar award rate.

“Deputy saves us three to six manager hours per week, so if you calculate what your time is worth that is a savings of thousands of dollars over a year. Trevor can spend more time working on the business instead of in it: drilling down into the performance and really making the business work. It has come ahead in leaps and bounds – and it’s still one of the main social connections in town.”

Deputy is better organised, it’s more methodical and you can then put more time into other parts of your business. The value is exponential.