A small municipality just west of Kitchener-Waterloo, the Township of Wilmot has been a client of HR Systems Strategies for almost a decade. Initially purchasing info:HR for 200 employees with a interface to the Easypay payroll system, within two years they increased their license limit to 300 employees, where it now stands. Lorena Caprar, Manager of HR for the Township, has been an active user of info:HR since she arrived in 2011. Lorena came with a large body knowledge of info:HR that she gained from her previous employer since 2007, where she was responsible for managing employee data, attendance and reporting.
In her role with the Township she was exposed to more of info:HR and its functionality. Over the years she has become a strong user of the system, continuingly looking for better ways to take advantage of the system in her organization to streamline what were manual processes. Naturally, when the info:HR User Group began in 2014 Lorena was excited to join, saying “What a great idea for smaller organizations – we can celebrate our successes and get ideas from each other.”
This User Group began as a municipal client group and quickly expanded to include many of our clients from other business environments. The group meets quarterly to share ideas and ways in which each client is using the system in their respective organization. The group was started by clients and is run by clients; HRSS was invited to attend group meetings shortly after it began, providing users with immediate answers to questions raised during the meetings. “The group really helped me move forward to purchasing the new modules. It helped me plan out what I wanted to roll out and gave me a great picture of the end result, what I could expect. One of the other members has the exact same systems as I do,” stated Lorena.
In 2016 Lorena began a significant project, with the purchase of the ESS and Timesheets modules and an enhancement to her payroll interface currently in operation. “I was a little hesitant with such a large project at first. But, ESS was easier than I thought it would be to implement; I wish I had done it sooner. It has really helped me save a lot of time. Instead of entering all attendance manually I now simply audit the entries made by employees and approved by management,” she explained. Lorena has superior info:HR reporting skills and is able to use this knowledge to pull the data needed by payroll staff to manually complete payroll.
Lorena is now in the process of implementing the Timesheet Module. Currently she is working on entering employees’ profiles. “This from experience seems to be the most difficult part of the launch,” Lorena commented. As with any implementation the planning is the most important step toward an effective execution. “I am looking forward to the time savings. If ESS is any indication, Timesheets are going to continue to save us more time,” she added. Currently payroll staff is responsible for manually entering paid time into the payroll system. When asked what she sees as a greater benefit she said, “Supervisors will be able to manage their employees’ timekeeping in a more efficient manner; this will also reduce the probability of errors. The system naturally creates audit checks – employees are responsible for entering time and managers for approving, from there we simply need to audit the hours entered”.
The last and final stage of the project is to automatically transfer the data to payroll. At this time the payroll interface transfers basic employee data, which works very well; without this feature there would be a requirement to manually enter employee data into the payroll system. Lorena pointed out, “My goal with the enhancement is that all hours to be paid are collected from ESS and Timesheets and will transfer to payroll. Again, my responsibility will be to audit check, removing the manual data entry of paid hours”.
The project has taken more time than Lorena has liked due to competing priorities, however when asked about the project’s completion Lorena concluded, ”I am excited to see this project complete. Timesheets have been rolled out to our full-time employees and my intention is to have the system rolled out to our part-time employees by the end of this year, with complete data transfer into payroll by early next year.”
HR Systems Strategies provides support in various ways: from email, telephone and webinars to attending user-driven groups. We make every effort to reach out to our clients and assist them in any way possible. When asked about the support options available to her, Lorena enthused, “I have attended webinars in the past, and they are great. This year I will be signing up for any webinar related to ESS and Timesheets so that I can become more comfortable with the programs. They are a great way to get a refresher. The support I have received during this project has been wonderful. I have had lots of questions and I can usually get an answer in the same day. It is really comforting to know there is someone there to run scenarios with and guide me with such large project.”
As always, we at HR Systems Strategies encourage our clients to call on the expertise of our implementation specialists to maximize their use of info:HR, freeing up time to focus on value-added activities within their organizations. Webinars and User Groups are a great way to share the wealth of knowledge and experience of all the participants.