By Gustav Anderson
Nov. 9, 2021
Back in 2016, GreenForce Staffing recognized an opportunity to revolutionize an emerging cannabis industry within the state of Oregon.
“There was a gap. So, there was an opportunity. The industry needed it. The state needed it,” reflects CEO and founder, Ryan Rosenfeld.
A full-service staffing and temporary employment agency based in Portland, Oregon, GreenForce provides cannabis farms across their state with trimmers, packagers, and harvesters. They have now grown to 200+ staff covering 50 job sites – and they aren’t done yet.
“I think ultimately, we’re in an interesting time in our industry,” says Rosenfeld. “I think we’re going to be a great solution. [The cannabis industry] is going to create a lot of jobs … we want to contribute to that in any sense possible.”
Unlike with most other organizations, the lifeblood of a staffing agency is found within its decentralized labor. “One of the things that makes GreenForce unique but is also a challenge is that we manage a mobile remote workforce across the entire state,” says Rosenfeld. “So, there’s a lot of layers that go into scheduling and getting the right person for the job.”
For GreenForce, the ability to dispatch employees with speed and accuracy to job sites is a top priority. Eventually, however, they found that remotely managing a vast array of employees and clients like this proved to be extremely difficult.
“I think one of the biggest challenges is always going to be having enough people to fulfill our labor requests,” says Anne Daniel, the director of operations for GreenForce. “Our industry moves fast. We get labor requests in each week. That means we need to rally 200 employees and get them scheduled and get information out to them as quickly as possible.”
Management often found themselves struggling to efficiently fulfill labor requests, having to juggle variables like employee certifications, labor costs, and shift preferences. Even after sending out schedules and dispatching employees, GreenForce faced the problem of not having real-time visibility and control over frontline employee issues.
“We need the ability to pivot if there is some sort of absenteeism. So, for us, the ability to flip a switch and be able to activate our labor force in a fast fashion is of the utmost importance,” says Rosenfeld.
GreenForce knew it needed a solution that would unify and organize its entire workforce management process. It needed something that provided better tools for fulfillment, scheduling, attendance tracking, and timekeeping. Moreover, due to their favorable position in an emerging industry, they were looking for an extremely scalable provider.
Together, GreenForce and Workforce.com are breaking ground in staffing management. Workforce.com provides a powerful cloud-based platform that can handle increasingly large numbers of remote employees and locations while also keeping GreenForce compliant in an emerging industry.
“Workforce.com has given us the ability to conduct the movement of information on a large scale, but with still being able to pay attention to the minutia of the intricacies of each individual and each job site,” says Rosenfeld.
It is in this minutia where GreenForce now thrives. The agency has successfully streamlined all its scheduling and attendance operations into a single system, empowering them to efficiently deploy workers and directly manage them in real-time. This success stems from having access to granular employee, client, and cost data.
Since partnering with Workforce.com, GreenForce has made major strides in efficiency within its staffing operations. Here are only a few examples of areas where they have improved:
GreenForce can now retrieve employee shift preference data regarding where and when they like to work. Most of this information is collected via the shift feedback tool as well as patterns seen in past scheduling habits.
“We can pull reports on employees to see where they’ve worked successfully,” says Daniel. “We can do it monthly and just have those sites show up in their profile. So they’re automatically matched to the sites.”
Beyond this, GreenForce can also view employee certifications to make sure they are properly qualified to perform specific jobs for clients.
All stakeholders are united on a single, cloud-based platform. Because of this, it is easy for everyone to see in real-time when and where people are working. GreenForce has many teams and locations set up in Workforce.com to further organize how they distribute their labor among clients.
“Our clients also have backend availability to look at the employees scheduled,” says Daniel. “They can log in, see who’s coming to their site each day.”
On the employee side of things, they have the ability to clock in and out from their phones directly on-site. Field managers can also approve timesheets through the app.
Workforce.com’s custom-made report does all the heavy lifting for GreenForce when it comes to gathering data for invoicing.
“Workforce.com was able to build out an invoicing filter report for us, which has been really awesome because it comes up with the billing rate and our profit margin,” says Stephanie Yoo, an administrative assistant for GreenForce.
The custom report streamlines the whole process, eliminating previously monotonous work that slowed down how quickly GreenForce could bill clients.
GreenForce can quickly create schedules and publish them live on Workforce.com for both clients and employees to see. This has resulted in 10 hours saved in operations a week.
“We’ve used Workforce.com to schedule probably 4,000 to 5,000 shifts, which will rapidly grow month in and month out,” says Rosenfeld. “It’s been a great partner and platform to quickly dispatch information to both our partners and our clients.”
Utilizing GPS location on the mobile app, GreenForce can accurately see where workers are clocking-in. This functionality helps them pinpoint potential time theft and where they are overspending on labor.
Additionally, their custom invoicing report lets them view labor costs compared to client billing rates.“We see how much we’re paying each employee … and we’re able to compare that to what we’re actually making from billing the clients. It’s a great tool,” says Yoo.
In light of the pandemic causing many people to reassess their career paths, GreenForce has noticed an increased interest to enter the cannabis farm industry. Their goal is to provide people with as many opportunities during this industry reshuffle as possible.
“I think having a happy and supported workforce makes people want to grow with us because we’re such a rapidly growing company in a rapidly growing industry,” reflects Alyssa Philbrick, a recruiting coordinator.
Together, GreenForce and Workforce.com have worked together to ensure these workplace values are upheld.
“For other staffing agencies, I would definitely suggest Workforce.com,” says Daniel. “There is a benefit to having a flexible system that’s able to quickly retrieve information and data that’s needed to support your operations and your staffing.”
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