Allied Pickfords takes delivery of HR efficiencies

Supplied by: Greentree International
30 June, 2011

While this global household moving company delivers its customers’ precious belongings on time and intact, Greentree ensures the HR numbers stack up for future growth.

Business Benefits

  • Overtime is now monitored and authorisation is now strictly controlled, reducing unpaid leave liabilities.
  • Weekly payroll processing virtually fully automated, saving ½ a day every week.
  • With Greentree’s automatic back-ups, time is saved further.
  • Succession planning in Greentree removes the need for external recruitment costs.
  • Staff are empowered by Greentree’s HR system, allowing them to change their own details, such as leave entitlements, and plan their own holiday leave.

Business situation

After over 20 years of service, the New Zealand operation of Allied Pickfords had clocked up many business miles on its faithful, but overwhelmed, CBA system. When first installed, staff numbers were a modest 15, but this has since grown to over 310.

Graham Sutcliffe, Managing Director, says "CBA simply couldn’t provide the detailed HR reporting information the business needed. In fact, it was providing very little HR reporting and what we were able to get, had to be manually generated. We needed to vastly improve our HR data capture ability and analysis, eg: sick leave, head counts, annual leave entitlement, family trees, to ensure company protocols were being adhered to, management of variable costs, especially wages, etc."

New system criteria

In the payroll system, overtime needed to be monitored and its authorisation strictly controlled. HR users needed the ability to change their master file details and complete leave forms, while management had to be able to assess recruitment issues (eg: age, gender, qualifications, education, training, KiwiSaver), and to electronically file records.

Sutcliffe explains that although AD P is used by Allied’s sister company in Australia, management determined that in terms of comparative price and flexibility, Greentree better met the needs of the NZ operation. The other systems evaluated were IMS, Datacom and PayGlobal, which were eliminated due to cost and/or limited flexibility for customisation.

Why Greentree?

Greentree was chosen because of its adaptability to mid-sized organisations with multiple locations/ offices. Sutcliffe was impressed by Greentree’s ability to be customised for specific data extraction purposes and in his view, it seemed easier to use with greater control and flexibility.

"The Greentree Business Partner also seemed more adept at comprehending Allied’s specific customisation needs and the need for these to be completed, tested and working flawlessly to ensure business timeframes would be met, eg: payroll data needed to be extracted by midday on a Monday for payment on Wednesday."

As Managing Director, Sutcliffe was particularly interested in Greentree’s ability to help management keep a finger on the pulse of the company’s biggest contingent liability – unpaid leave.

Leave forecasting helps manage biggest HR contingent liability

With limited reporting capability in CBA and a growing workforce head count, "we really needed to keep unpaid leave under control to avoid it becoming a significant liability for the business".

Since leave accumulates on the number of hours worked, branch managers now get an automatically generated overtime summary report, so they can see what hours have been worked on specific jobs along with any associated overtime hours. This enables more accurate forecasting and planning of projected leave entitlements on a monthly basis. As a result, management can take a proactive approach to managing this by asking staff to get leave up to date, and at the same time, staff can plan holidays ahead of time.

Payroll customisation produces time and cost efficiencies

Kerry O’Regan, Payroll Administrator, reports several benefits since Greentree was implemented. The stand-out for her is that the preparation of weekly payroll has been reduced by an hour each week. Previously, O’Regan received timesheets by email which needed to be manually entered into the payroll system, then sent back to branch administrators for checking. This took approximately half a day each week, but she expects that when the Greentree Business Partner has completed the current customisation, this process will be almost fully automated, saving even more time.

Another time-saving advantage is that Greentree backs-up automatically – "no more time-consuming manual back-ups". O’Regan is also delighted with how quickly and easily she can access data in response to requests for information from government departments, and she finds the overall simplicity of use "refreshing". She concedes that once her fear of mucking something up subsided, her confidence has been building and she’s more inclined to try new things in Greentree. With less time spent on manual back-ups and payroll data entry, O’Regan now spends more productive time supporting the finance team.

Succession planning helps avoid unnecessary external recruitment costs

Marita Nunez, HR & Quality Advisor, has been impressed with Greentree’s transaction tree analysis. This allows her to see information by function, position type, etc. and to undertake a skew search. This immediately presents all those employees with the training, experience, qualifications and skills to be potentially promoted to a vacant or newly-created role. Nunez says this effectively avoids the need to engage the services of expensive recruitment agencies to find external staff. She has no doubt this saves the company a lot of money.

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