Enabling Technology

Upgrading Payroll Services

When payroll became unpredictable, engineering firm Hamon found changing its vendor enabled the New Jersey-based company to better handle the uncertainty.

by Phyllis Kaesler

Editor’s note: Mid-market Momentum is a new column in which mid-market buyers—the fastest growing segment of the HRO market and defined by HRO Today as those with 500 to 5,000 employees—discuss their outsourcing efforts and the effect on their organizations.

Hamon Corporation
Address: 58 E. Main St., Somerville, NJ 08876
Phone: 908-685-4000
Web Address: www.hamonusa.com
Number of Employees: 350
Description of Primary Products or Services: Environmental Engineering
Date of Service Commencement: 01/01/06
Provider: CheckPoint HR

Please describe the circumstances that led to your company turning to outsourcing of your payroll, benefits, and HR services?

Hamon USA specializes in the design, engineering, fabrication, and construction of chimneys, heat exchangers, heat recovery, and pollution control systems. As one half of a two-person human resources department consisting of an HR director and myself as payroll/benefits administrator, we need to rely on our technology partners to augment our small HR team while still providing efficiencies.

Our previous payroll vendor could not handle our union employee payroll needs. On a given week, we could have 200 workers at different project sites in three different states, and the next week 50 at a New Jersey location, so our selected solution needed to be flexible, versatile, and scalable to accommodate various calculations under different scenarios of hours worked/hours paid. Cost was also a factor. We used to outsource hourly payroll to a leasing company and that proved to be a costly process. We can have one person working in three different states in one week, and that presents tax challenges
We also needed to simplify our reporting requirements with regard to workers’ compensation, EEO, etc. In addition, we were also in the process of implementing a web-based timesheet process and required assistance on vendor selection and how the two systems correlated.

What were your initial concerns and worries about engaging external services?

We were initially concerned with transition problems and errors and knew that our selected vendor needed to address and manage the diversity of our employee population. With a large number of hourly union employees working in multiple states, we needed the assurance that wage earnings would be reported appropriately. We also needed a system that was flexible, versatile, and scalable.

How did you decide on this external service?
We were dissatisfied with the services of our previous payroll vendor, and their report writing was a very cumbersome process. When exploring a new HR provider, we met with several companies and generated a comparative analysis of services provided. Evaluating the simplicity of their software was an integral aspect of employing a new HRMS.

How did you decide which provider was best suited for your needs?

We selected CheckPoint HR as our provider. The company’s payroll solution allowed us to integrate an internal system used to run the fringe reports and deduct the correct amounts that need to be sent to the various unions. Moving to CheckPointHR was an easy process and there were surprisingly minimal issues. Their ability to handle our requirements proved to be challenging, yet their implementation team was very supportive and provided personal guidance for several months after the transition period. When we call CheckPoint HR, I can rest assured that I will speak with an implementation manager who serves as our single point of contact. We were also impressed with CheckPoint HR’s report writing feature that allows for export of data from the
system in any format we desire. Plus, CheckPoint HR customized their HRMS to handle our intricate wage calculations under different scenarios of hours worked/hours paid.

Our first payroll with CheckPoint HR occurred in January 2006 and we haven’t looked back. Prior to that first payroll, we sat down with employees and trained them on the new system. It is refreshing to see a preview of our payroll before we submit it. This allows us to correct any errors; that is the best part of their system. Besides providing access to a user friendly payroll system, CheckPoint HR offers utilization of many HR tools such as benefits administration, recruiting, background checks, etc.

What advice do you have for other similarly sized and type of companies considering an external solution?

Do your research, reach out to companies offering payroll/HR services. You may be surprised with the inadequacies of your current vendor.

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