The process of standardizing systems within an organization can be a major exercise. An organization must align their accounts, policies and procedures to become one entity within their information system – including the standardization of how they report their transactions into that information system. Timekeeping and payroll systems are often last to be pulled into the standardization process because they are believed to be the easiest systems to integrate. In the past that may have been true, but it is definitely not true today.
Today it is extremely critical that these automated systems are compliant with federal, state and local labor and payroll rules, in order to minimize risk and pull accurate reporting. It is even more crucial if the specific site has union employees and Collective Bargaining Agreements with companies. Timekeeping and payroll systems are just as important as the front and back office systems because they are the point of entry for all information that feeds those systems. It is critical that organizations give these systems the same level of focus that you give to your financial and manufacturing systems.
If you already have a timekeeping and payroll system, or if you are purchasing a new system to handle the complexities that your multi-location company may have, you need to take a step back and identify those complexities first. When this exercise is not done first during the attempt to merge the businesses and site locations, it will become a costly, long, and difficult project.
Key Considerations for Standardization Process:
1. Consider All Rules and Policies
The timekeeping and payroll systems cover many policies related to the labor force. How many different rules or policies are in place for each element of the system configuration can depend on how many businesses and sites are moving into the one time and attendance system. The sites with unions can even be part of some of these standardization efforts.
Here are some policies and benefits where you can look to standardize:
What hours do they work at each site?
How many shifts?
How about Shift Pay Difference policies?
Are there multiple Clock in and out policies?
Are there multiple attendance policies?
How are lunch breaks managed?
What are the holiday schedules across the businesses?
How many time off policies?
2. Select Subject Manager Experts
During the standardization process, it is very important that there are Subject Manager Experts (SME) for HR, manufacturing, accounting and payroll on your team. The expertise they hold will be key in defining where there are opportunities to standardize labor rules, pay rules, and benefit packages. Bringing in an outside consulting firm can also be a great way to ensure the standardization process is successful. Learn More:
3. There are no short cuts.
By taking the time to standardize all policies and benefits, your organization is creating a Global Standard within the system. There are key elements in the system configuration, which means the more you can standardize the less costly and more efficient your implementation will be. The work that is done up front to standardize rules and policies will provide a solid return on investment in the end.
These are the efficiencies you will gain:
The implementation becomes more efficient.
System support becomes easier.
System Maintenance is more efficient
System upgrades are less complex
Each of these processes are already complex in nature. When there is less configuration and less rules, there is less to be focused on when you attempt to perform any of these activities.
Ignoring the exercise of standardizing labor and benefit policies risks that each unique location becomes its own implementation. Depending on the number of sites your organization supports, this means supporting, performing upgrades, and managing the interfaces will become more complex, timely, and expensive.
Are you looking to standardize your Kronos application? We can help with an IMPROV Assessment.
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