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As a teenager, Steve Caunt, owner of C1 Speed Indoor Karting, loved nothing more than tearing it up at his local go-kart track every weekend. In fact, this nascent passion went on to fuel Caunt’s career on the Australian sprint car racing circuit.
No stranger to the thrills and spills of competitive racing, on a trip to the US in 2012, he got behind the wheel of a new age electric go-kart where he enjoyed an unexpectedly adrenaline-pumping ride.
The experience gave him the idea to bring these new high tech and green vehicles to Australia. Once back home in Wollongong, New South Wales, he set about turning his vision into a reality which was realised in 2014, when Caunt and his wife Dee-Ann opened C1 Speed Indoor Karting in Albion Park Rail, NSW. It was the first facility of its kind in the country.
Housing a quarter-mile racetrack, and kitted out with track chicanes imported from France, and a fleet of 28 state-of-the-art electric go-karts from Italy, each of which can reach speeds of up to 50km/h, this go-karting racing centre has quickly become an entertainment landmark within the region. As well as offering high adrenaline, eco-friendly racing thrills, C1 Speed Indoor Karting is equipped with an in-house catering facility, cafe and function rooms, and hosts exciting corporate and team building events. It’s also a popular birthday party venue for big kids of all ages.
Open twelve hours each day, seven days a week, Caunt employs more than 60 local people to run the business. In addition to the experienced professionals, many of the staff members are young workers from the Illawarra, who perform duties on the front counter and track-side as well as handle kitchen duties and events/functions management.
While the business had opted to run its accounts and payroll on Xero from day one, at the time the business opened, Caunt had given little consideration to adopting new technologies to manage time and attendance. “In our other businesses, Dee-Ann had been able to handle rostering, and time and attendance with just spreadsheets,” recalls Caunt.
“But in this business, because we had relatively few full-timers compared to a large number of casuals and youth workers on the weekends, Dee-Ann was spending something like 30 hours a week just managing this.
“To say this was not a great use of her time is quite an understatement. Even handling cover for staff members that called in sick was a struggle and highly time-consuming.
“We wanted to establish and grow a successful business,” says Caunt. “Not grind ourselves into the ground running it. We knew there had to be a better way.”
Caunt did not have to look far to find it.
“We also use Xero for our accounts and payroll, I had a look at their partner add-ons. I wanted my payroll to be fully integrated with the time and attendance platform, so it made sense to choose a system that integrates with Xero out of the box.
“Dee-Ann trialed Deputy for a few weeks and loved it.”
Almost overnight C1 Speed Indoor Karting had saved two days of admin work each week. “Dee-Ann handles all the rostering for the business which now takes just a fraction of the time that it used to. With all the data had her disposal, she can adjust shifts and ramp the workforce up and down depending on the forecasted requirements.
“Once she finalises the roster, she simply broadcasts it to all our staff via the Deputy platform and each individual gets a text message to alert them that the roster has been published and when they’re next scheduled on.
“Any changes can be made pretty much straight away, with revisions also communicated via the platform.”
“In addition, with the requirement for all our staff members to login and log off by taking a snapshot of themselves on the iPad, it’s imbued in everyone a sense of professionalism to start and complete their shifts on time. As the login system directly populates our staff members’ timesheets, they know that it’s in their own best interests to be on time. I think this is especially good training for our younger members of staff, as this is their first experience of having a job.”
“This system also means that we don’t need to worry about things like buddy punching and falsified timesheets. It just can’t happen with Deputy.
“As a cloud-based system, we can access that data any time, anywhere, and place. On a practical level, this allows us to keep a close eye on the business and yet not actually be on site. In fact, Dee-Ann can be overseas yet still export the timesheet data from Deputy to Xero to do the pay run on time.”
Caunt also loves Deputy’s messaging tool.
“Keeping staff up-to-date with messages and announcements used to be a big issue for us, particularly when we would only have a handful of staff on during any given shift. With Deputy, whether it’s messaging one individual or the entire team, communication is simple. Any messages broadcast from the Deputy platform are automatically diverted to each individual staff member’s mobile device, so they are always in the loop.”
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