Enabling Technology

It is unmistakable that the HR technology industry has been revolutionized. Cloud-based HR systems are now available from many of the largest vendors in the market. These systems integrate payroll, HRMS, talent management and analytics processing into a single cloud-based service. Many HR leaders are challenged with mobile tools and new social recruiting systems that are making many of the legacy HR systems obsolete.

Switzerland Inn Picks The Castleton Group for HRO

Asheville, NC Jim Stilgenbauer, Vice-President of Client Services at The Castleton Groups Asheville office, has announced that the firm has been chosen to provide comprehensive human resource outsourcing services for Switzerland Inn, located in Little Switzerland, North Carolina

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Case Study: Lifestyles of the Rich and Outsourced

Multi-million dollar Anderson Companies still likes to save money through HRO.

by Marsha Kendall


The Anderson Companies are a real estate development operation focusing on recreational and residential communities. Founder Lyle Anderson defined this market in the early 1980s with the creation of exclusive golf communities in north Scottsdale, Arizona. Current properties are located in Santa Fe, New Mexico; on Hawaiis Kona coast; east of Phoenix, Arizona; and Scotland. With a variety of business interests in luxury homebuilding, golf-related enterprises, and investment properties, the HR department had to juggle numerous employees in different regions and with different needs. It made Anderson the perfect candidate for outsourcing.


Our employees serve a very sophisticated clientele, explained Bill Siwek, executive vice president and chief financial officer for the Anderson Companies. In choosing an HR provider it was critical that we partner with an organization that understands our business as well as treats our employees the way we expect them to treat our members.


Andersons initial needs were the consolidation and standardization of accounting and payroll functions. However, after re-evaluation, the opportunity for full service human resources and payroll outsourcing was present. In late 2002, Anderson partnered with Core3, Inc., a provider that specializes in human resources, payroll, finance and accounting, and information technology outsourcing for the mid market, with shared service centers located in Phoenix, Arizona and Delhi, India. The company chose Core3 because it provided every level of service from field support for the Anderson Companies employees and management to strategy, recruiting, training, and transaction processing, as well as access to a Phoenix-based shared service center.


This is a unique delivery model in that the client wanted to maintain employee visibility to HR on a daily basis, while improving the quality of the function and reducing costs. The provider has on-site staff who are committed to employee and management support, while all strategy, development, and the majority of transaction processing are handled on a centralized basis at the providers shared service center.


The first-year results were impressive. Employee satisfaction with HR grew from 74 percent at the start of the relationship to 92 percent by the years end. Accuracy in benefit administration rose from 64 percent to 100 percent in the same time frame, and payroll accuracy has consistently exceeded 99 percent each month.


Special projects during the first year included the introduction of a standardized HR Policy Manual, new employee handbooks in both English and Spanish, new hire orientation, customized trainings, and the standardization of job titles and job descriptions, thus reducing titles by more than 20 percent. In addition, through a combination of field and support staff, the service provider was able to successfully partner with two Anderson Companies properties and increase staffing by more than 30 percent to handle the seasonality in the business. Equally important, the outsourcing relationship contributed to the reduction of HR/payroll costs by more than 20 percent, and impacted other related costs, such as a 40 percent reduction in legal fees and tighter controls for severance and relocation packages.


These accomplishments were driven by the providers combination of HR expertise, experience with global models, and comprehensive set of delivery tools. Core3s familiarity with global delivery allowed it to take the model a step further and understand the challenges and opportunities surrounding the support and management of thier own employees placed at client sites. Daily calls, weekly phone conferences, and regular site visits, are some of the tools they have has utilized to create a sense of team with its HR staff assigned to this relationship. In addition, through tools such as CoreSupport, the HRO companys new issue identification, management and resolution tool, Core3 has up-to-the-minute access to employee issues and concerns. This information allows them to ensure a timely and consistent response at the property level, report to client executives on the specifics surrounding a particular employee issue, plus identify trends for proactive workforce management.


Core3 has enabled the Anderson Companies to focus on our core competencies related to real estate development by addressing all our employee related issues. They truly understand our business and continue to deliver innovative solutions to support our success, concluded Siwek.   

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AAA and RiverStone Group Outsource to Ultimate Software

WESTON, Fla., March 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Ultimate Software (NASDAQ:ULTI) , a leading provider of Web-based payroll and workforce management solutions, announced today that AAA Ohio Auto Club and the RiverStone Group Inc

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The Top Payroll Deals of 2004

Who’s paying who to handle their payroll? The top deals of 2004.

by Denise Doig

HRO Todays annual list of the top enterprise-level and mid-market payroll deals as well as highlights from the APAs current research on the market.  


Its payday, and whether you confirm your direct deposit account over the phone or online, wait on a long bank line to cash your check, use an ATM to retrieve your wages, or run into your local check-cashing site, you have been compensated in some fashion by your employer. With paperless payroll, pay cards, and even traditional printed checks, employees have numerous payroll optionsimportant not only to the employee, but also to the employer. Employers want to find new ways to enhance the payroll experience for everyone involved. And outsourcing enables employers to provide employees improved administrative support and the latest in payroll technology.


HRO Today conducted a month-long survey of companies providing payroll outsourcing services, approximately 65 in all, to find out the major payroll deals of the past year. We focused on mid-market and larger deals, and narrowed the results down to 26 contracts.


Listed are the usual suspects, such as ADP. But we also found some interesting activity amongst less well-known providers and across the waters in Europe.


With all this activity, we also wanted to know how payroll has changed in the past year and where it is headed, so we contacted the American Payroll Association (APA) (see our interview with Andrew McDevitt, Manager of Government Relations, of the APA on page 19). Each September, the APA celebrates National Payroll Week with the publication of a survey of wage earners. This years results showed many employees have confidence in their employers payroll systems, paperless payroll is a desired function, and 401(k) plans are still extremely popular. The most interesting result was that 63.4 percent of the 22,500 respondents said they would prefer to invest part of their payroll taxes in private investment accounts, as opposed to the current social security plan. We at HRO Today, like all things HR related, are interested in how this will play out under the current administration. Were also interested in what trends and companies will be making a splash in the payroll market in the upcoming year, so stay tuned for more coverage in future issues.  

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To Outsource or not to Outsource?

Part two in a series on important HRO questions.

by Naomi Lee Bloom

In last months column, we began a series designed to help HR leaders assess the current state of their HRM outsourcing activities by laying the groundwork in HRM strategy and the related HRM domain model. With that foundation, lets continue our consideration of the current state of HRM outsourcing in our organizations. Here is a list of questions you should be trying to answer when deciding whether or not to outsource.


What are we outsourcing now and to whom? HRM policy/ program design/administration? Litigation support? Software development? Systems integration? Hosted delivery of software? Individual or integrated HRM processes (BPO)? Dont forget: The use of consulting services or software packages are themselves outsourcing.


How satisfied are we with our current outsourcing arrangements and our providers? How confident are we of the continued viability of our providers? Are these arrangements achieving the business outcomes that were the impetus for entering into them? Are there any unpleasant surprises lurking just out of view?


What are the total life-cycle costs and expected benefits of each outsourcing arrangement? Have those benefits been realized? Have costs been exceeded or under run? (Dont forget the costs to enter into and manage those outsourcing relationships, as well as to integrate the results of those outsourcing relationships into our own HRM, HRM delivery system [HRMDS], and business modelsboth current and future states.) For any current outsourcing arrangements that arent delivering the expected benefits, what steps are we taking to bring these arrangements into compliance or to end them?


What other services do our current satisfactory providers offer that may be of interest? Have any of them expanded their services in areas where we now use a separate, perhaps unsatisfactory provider? Is it wise to continue using separate satisfactory providers in place of a more integrated offering from a single provider? Do we know what the potential benefits are of a more integrated approach? Do the benefits offset the risks?


At what point would an integrated approach move responsibility for the bulk of the HRMDS platform and much of the operating model to the provider? Is this an appropriate direction for us? Why or why not?


  What processes arent we outsourcing currently that could be candidates for outsourcing? Why are they presently being done in-house? What would need to change (in our business, thinking, culture, processes, systems, etc.) for us to consider outsourcing these additional processes? Would such changes help or hinder us in meeting business outcomes?


What processes do we consider off-limits for outsourcing? Why? What would need to change (in our business, thinking, culture, processes, systems, etc.) for us to consider outsourcing these processes? Would such changes help or hinder us in meeting business outcomes?


What are our true, fully-loaded enterprise-wide costs for conducting the HRM business? Have we included all of the time spent outside of the HR organization by those engaged in the HRM businesstime spent by managers to understand the practices involved, conduct, record, review, approve performance reviews and staffing interviews, and time spent by employees to understand the relevant business rules, apply for, and schedule vacation time? Have we included all of the conference fees and related travel expenses? Do we know which of these costs and related service levels are addressed by current or possible outsourcing arrangements?


What is the relationship between those costs and various surrogate measures of organizational activity, e.g., headcount metrics, organizational outcomes, and revenue metrics? What is the relationship between those costs and required HRM business outcomes? Would more or less outsourcing affect those costs in a positive way without adversely affecting quality, timeliness, or other important measures of process outcomes or our required business outcomes?


What are the decision criteria for when, how, to whom, and with what service level agreements to outsource each HRM process or multiple HRM processes? What are the criteria for shifting responsibility for the overall HRMDS to the provider? Who makes these decisions and are there any opportunities to influence them? Should we?


Stay tuned for a continuation of this list of questions for assessing the current state of your HRM outsourcing activities and planning for your future state.

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HR-XML Meeting April 11-12 Co-Located With NY HR Week

RALEIGH, N.C., Feb. 16 – HR-XML’s upcoming New York meeting, April 11-12, offers HR decision-makers a unique networking opportunity and unparalleled access to essential information on how cutting-edge, standards-based technology is shaping the future of HR solutions.

HR-XML’s meeting is part of NY HR Week, which also includes TecHR World, HRO World, the HRO/FAO Executive Summit, NY/HR Solutions Conference and the HROA Annual Meeting. Six compelling HR events in one location!

The HR-XML meeting includes education and working sessions for a range of HR-XML Consortium projects, including benefits enrollment, assessments, competencies, and indicative data for benefits and payroll outsourcing

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ACS Awarded $120 Million Human Resources Outsourcing Contract With Delta Air Lines

DALLAS, Feb. 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Affiliated Computer Services, Inc., (NYSE: ACS – News), a premier provider of business process and information technology outsourcing solutions, announced today that it has been awarded a human resources (HR) business process outsourcing (BPO) contract with Delta Air Lines, the United States’ second-largest airline. The seven-year agreement is valued at $120 million.

Under the terms of the new HR outsourcing agreement, ACS will provide a broad range of human resource functions for Delta, including compensation and benefits administration, relocation services, recruiting, learning, payroll, HR Information Services, and employee call center services for Delta’s North American employees and retirees

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Nationwide(R) Signs Business Service Provider Agreement With Ultimate Software

WESTON, Fla., Feb. 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, one of the largest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the world, has signed a business service provider agreement with The Ultimate Software Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: ULTI – News), a leading provider of Web-based payroll and workforce management solutions. The agreement, signed in December of 2004, grants Nationwide a non-exclusive license to use Ultimate Software’s UltiPro Workforce Management solution as a stand-alone or integrated offering for Nationwide customers

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Another Big HR BPO Win For Hewitt- Thomson

LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. –(Business Wire)– Feb. 4, 2005 — Hewitt Associates (NYSE: HEW), a global human resources services firm, announced today it has signed a contract with The Thomson Corporation (NYSE: TOC; TSX: TOC), a global integrated information solutions provider, to provide HR business process outsourcing (BPO) services.

Under a five-year agreement, Hewitt will provide certain HR BPO services in the areas of benefits, compensation, payroll, learning and development and recruiting for Thomson’s 28,000 employees in the United States

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