With the intention of reducing costs, Linde Gáz Magyarország and its two partners decided to implement a time and attendance system, and also outsource their payroll operation. András Gazdag, Head of HR talks about the details of the project.
How did your payroll and time and attendance administration formerly operate?
We used a payroll software application developed for our own needs and had our own team to operate it across the three companies, while time and attendance was almost completely managed on paper. We ran a simple database management programme at one site, but the applications were not integrated. As there was no interface to the payroll software the data was consequently processed on paper, which resulted in quite a long process as well as a higher error rate.
Why did you elect to migrate?
While implementing the SAP HR module, we realized the importance of integration between the payroll and time and attendance applications. Maintaining standards while reducing resources and costs is a crucial requirement for the company’s achievement. Further, the system used earlier could not be synchronised with the SAP module. Finally, we decided to outsource our payroll.
What was the process of selecting the provider?
Having completed a really thorough requirements analysis, we invited detailed payroll outsourcing proposals from suppliers.
In the course of the evaluation process, NEXON came out on top in several respects.
In addition to their proprietary payroll and time and attendance software, their experience in developing interfaces, their nearby regional office and the warranties they offered in the contract were all of paramount importance for us. I would like to point out the fact that before making up our minds we had contacted HR experts from other companies that were working with NEXON, who provided positive references about the company. Finally, the quotation was also a decisive factor.
You worked to very strict deadlines, didn’t you?
We signed the service agreement in February 2009, in which we specified a go-live date of 1st April. While the negotiations were still ongoing, specialists from both sides were already preparing for the contractual services and obligations in the background. There was no option for us but to go live on 1st April, with a service that satisfied both the Hungarian and the international Linde management. The implementation of NEXONtime at our site in Répcelak was also planned for this date.
Did you experience a smooth transition?
With outsourcing we made a really confident start, which reflects the excellent preparatory work carried out by both parties. From the very beginning we managed to keep the number of errors really low, which far exceeded our expectations.
Through the implementation of NEXONtime we replaced our paper-based administration with a strictly defined software system. Naturally, we placed great emphasis on providing sufficient information to the stakeholders, and we implemented a parallel test run of the former and the new systems.
What advantages could you sum up for the NEXONtime implementation and payroll outsourcing?
The only manual time and attendance related task now required is to check the working time data entered into the system, which takes no more than a few minutes a day for the 500-550 employees. Further, an immediate result of implementing a time and attendance system was a drastic reduction in overtime costs. In introducing the new system, we also revised the work schedules. In the meantime we developed our web-based cost distribution system, and we added the shift scheduler module - necessary for the definition of special work schedules - to the system as well. As a result, the changes taking place in shift work are easier to track.
As far as payroll is concerned, the only task left up to us is to export time data to payroll and to process bank transfer files prepared by the provider. All the payroll processing is done by NEXON.
All in all, we have increased efficiency in terms of both costs and time.
How did the integration process go between the ERP system and the NEXON systems?
We needed to take special care with the interface as we also implemented the SAP HR system during the first quarter of 2009, in parallel with the payroll outsourcing procedure. It meant that two relatively new systems had to be synchronised. On top of that, one of the three companies that had its payroll outsourced used a different HR system, for which we had to develop another solution. It is important to emphasise that the working language throughout the interface development process was English, in which regard NEXON’s employees also managed very well.
How satisfied are you with the project and NEXON?
Nearly a year has gone by and, looking at it from every angle, I do find it to be a successful project. Our relationship with the employees of NEXON’s head office as well as the Veszprém regional office is excellent, the cooperation is smooth and there is mutual assistance between us. Both cost-wise and professionally, we have received what we had expected from the project.