HR Systems Strategies been proud to work with Goodmans since the spring of 1999. We began our relationship with info:HR, which housed and organized all of their employee information, and an interface to their payroll system. In the past year they have become very active in searching out other HR solutions to assist in streamlining various functions.
Goodmans began researching options with a goal to automate and streamline the entire entitlements tracking and benefits administration processes. With info:HR already in place the question was, “Can info:HR do what we require?” The answer was a resounding “Yes!”, we are able to provide Goodmans with the assistance they need to accomplish their goal. A 3 stage project began in early 2012.
The initial stage, adding the Employee/Manager Self Serve (ESS) module, went live in mid-2012, allowing employees to view vacation and sick time balances, and submit vacation and other time-off requests to their supervisors. Prior to ESS, all vacation requests for Goodmans’ employees were received in a vacation email in-box. Wilma Lata, HRIS Administrator, would manually enter the vacations into info:HR. ESS has made the use of this in-box obsolete and eliminated the manual entry of vacation, sick and other time off.
The next phase of the project was to activate and use the benefits function in info:HR to track all employee benefits, dependents and beneficiaries. ESS also helps here, by allowing employees to view their beneficiary and dependent information online. “Providing the visibility to employees allows them to notify HR if any changes are required to keep the information accurate and up to date,” says Shaundra Moniz, Benefits Administrator.
The third and final stage was to create an interface to the benefits provider, to send benefits data electronically to the insurance carrier for processing. This enables Goodmans to streamline the benefits administration process, eliminate a significant amount of manual effort, and make info:HR the main source of all HR-related data.
Shaundra has been with Goodmans as Benefits Administrator since May 2011. Shaundra is responsible for administration and management the benefits for over 500 employees. Prior to this year, Goodmans was relying on the benefits carrier for data integrity by updating changes to employee information in the carrier’s web-based application. Over this past summer Shaundra and her team began using the benefits function within info:HR, with the goal of making these changes in-house and ensuring full control over the integrity of the data. “Maintaining data integrity is the top priority. Having info:HR as Goodmans’ sole source of data removes the possibility of human error through mass data entry,” adds Shaundra.
Shaundra worked closely with Chief Technology Officer Jerry Rowland on this project, beginning with a 2 day training session to learn how benefits would be calculated in info:HR and how to set up the benefits properly to ensure correct calculations in the system. Shaundra thought the training was “great” and she felt confident she knew how to proceed with the setup after the session. “Benefits in info:HR are new to us and Jerry made it easy for us; he knows his steps and any questions we might have, I know he is just an e-mail away.”
Working with Jerry, Shaundra was able to complete a mass upload of dependents and beneficiaries into info:HR. The system holds and calculates their health, dental, LTD, and life benefits. Now, with the information being held in–house, staff can view their personal information and benefits on-line from the comfort of their work stations. This empowers employees to make their own adjustments when necessary, ensuring the most current and up to date information. Shaundra says, “It’s easy for the employees to view their information on-line with ESS. We have had some employees make changes to their information because they can see it now. It is not out-of–sight, out-of-mind anymore. When you can see that information, it makes it a lot easier to manage.”
This is Shaundra’s first experience working with info:HR and she says “it is really working for us”. She is very pleased with the system and its capabilities. Shaundra is looking forward to the final stage of the project, currently in its testing stage and scheduled for full completion in early 2013.
“Completing the benefits integration enables Goodmans to transfer employee data to the benefits carrier on a biweekly basis” thus removing the use of the carrier’s web application and allowing Goodmans to take advantage of a self-billing option with the carrier. Coming to the completion of the project, Shaundra says, “This is so exciting, I can’t wait to see the results our project; the real time saver will be when we are able to achieve self-billing.”
With the completion of the project, Shaundra looks forward to spending much less time on clerical work and focusing on more key administrative tasks.
One of Goodmans’ future goals will be to complete the equivalent project with their payroll system, where deductions for employee-paid benefits are passed to payroll, rather than being entered manually.
With the success of this project, we look forward to assisting Goodmans in their future endeavours, to further streamline their HR processes by using the technological solutions available with info:HR.