Enabling Technology

Marching HR Into the 21st Century

CASE STUDY: The March of Dimes follows the path to a paperless HR department.

by Rick Martino

Cost savings are important to every business,  and non-profits are no different.  Many of these organizations rely solely  on donations to provide services to  those in need. The mission of the March  of Dimes, a non-profit organization founded in 1938, is  to ensure that every baby is born healthy. The bulk of  our financial resources are directed to our missionrelated  initiatives. Our goal is to continue to find the  most efficient and effective ways to run our organization.  Improving our use of technology is an important  part of that.


Recognizing that the HR Department of the March  of Dimes was doing most of its HR and payroll processes  manually for more than 1,400 employees in more  than 150 locations nationwide, my team and I  researched ways to automate these processes. The  March of Dimes did not have the resources to remedy  this problem in-house. Most of our technology investments  were going toward improving IT infrastructure  and the March of Dimes presence on the Internet. 


Having multiple locations was a significant challenge  to overcome. HR paperwork was being received  from multiple locations. We then had to distribute  paper forms and information throughout the March of  Dimes chapters across the United States. It was a highly  inefficient process. We were getting bogged down  with the manual process of printing forms, stuffing  envelopes, and mailing all our forms and pay-stubs. 


Seeking a solution, we were directed by Ceridian a leader in information services for human resources,  transportation, and retailingto a company based in  Seekonk, Massachusetts. The company, iEmployee,  offered a suite of Web-based applications that automates  business operationsHR, benefits, time, expenses,  and employee self service.  Using iEmployees HR module of the HRIS has cut  down on time and expense of the paper process.  Employees are now able to download all forms online  as well as submit their information online. When forms  change or need to be updated within, administrators are  able to easily replace the outdated forms with the new  forms. This means that there is no more trying to figure  out who has what version of which form.  This self-service, online tool for employees and managers  allows the HR team of the March of Dimes the  freedom to focus on more critical issues. 


Based on our experience with the HR module, were  now looking at ways of streamlining other processes. For  example, currently our timesheets are processed manually,  and we have no efficient way of running reports  or analyzing data. The March of Dimes is looking into  adding the timesheets module to our HRIS in the near  future.  Internet-based employee and workforce productivity  applications, such as the HRIS that we are using,  represent essential and evolutionary technology that  will dramatically improve the way our and other organizations  manage their processes and their workforce.  These new technologies will transform the business  and help us become more efficient and competive in an  Internet economy. 


By not creating new paper processes and by converting  incoming paper to electronic files, the March  of Dimes is realizing significant economic savings.  When one truly looks at both the hard and the soft  costs, the gains quickly become obvious. Business owners  and outsourcing experts say that outsourcing allows  companies to concentrate on what they do best, their  core competencies. It enables them to have other functions  performed more efficiently at a lower cost and  higher level of accuracy. 


The more cost effective and efficient our internal  processes become, the more our financial resources  can be dedicated to our core competencethe  mission to work toward a day when every baby is  born healthy. 


Rick Martino is Senior VP of HR & Administration and  Chief Administrative Officer for the March of Dimes.     

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