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HR Communications Tools Help Navigate a Jam-Packed 2014 Calendar

Posted by Raj Misra on Nov 29, 2013 1:00:00 AM

HR management software can help keep you compliant by automating certain tasks, making employee communications more efficient, and capturing the needed “paper trail” more easily.

It can also free your HR team from rote tasks, leaving more time for strategic partnership initiatives to help drive up talent quality and productivity.

But you still have to drive your HR system by programming in all the tasks and writing and scheduling all the needed communications.

To help with that responsibility, here is a link to a typical HR “event calendar” that can serve as a starting point for scheduling out events for the next year: http://www.workforce.com/ext/resources/Resource-Center-Downloads/WFM_Assets_CPL/SHRM/WFM_CPL_SHRM_CA-HR-Calendar-2014.pdf?1384794964

This particular calendar is for California, but many of the listed events are national, like Employee Health and Fitness Month in May, or Native American Heritage Month in November. Depending on how centralized your HR functions are, you would revise this to create state-specific calendars or a master calendar for administrators to follow. This also becomes the planning template for your HR communications calendar, which flows into how you set up
your software to support your action plan for each event.

This is not just a burden, either. Each event gives you the opportunity to support employee engagement by clearly communicating benefits, development opportunities, and actively supporting diversity in your workplace.

How has your HR technology solution aided or hindered your ability to keep on top of all the important events on the HR calendar? Do you think you have taken full advantage of all its tools in building effective employee engagement initiatives?

 

 

Topics: HR planning, SHRM, HR calendar 2014, Compliance and diversity, SutiHVM

On Thanksgiving – We Give Thanks for the Clients Who Put Their Trust in Us

Posted by Raj Misra on Nov 26, 2013 1:00:00 AM

As 2013 draws to a close, we pause to acknowledge the organizations who have made this year such a success for us. Our clients have made important investments in improving their business processes using SaaS-based online software, and chose to entrust the provision of those critical services with us.

For this we are deeply grateful, and recommit ourselves to continuing to deliver the high level of customer support and product customization that has kept our clients with us.

Whether you work with us to automate and digitize expense reporting, procurement, human capital management or document signature-capture and archiving, you expect a solution that fits seamlessly into your other digitized processes (internal and external), and is easy to access and use by your employees. We are pleased that we have been able to meet these challenges
for all of you.

We look forward to more and deeper relationships with you and organizations like you in 2014!

Have a wonderful Holiday Season, however you celebrate the end of this year and the dawn of the next.

Topics: Thanksgiving, SaaS business process software, SutiSoft

Recruitment: Treat All Job Candidates Well to Improve Employer Brand

Posted by Raj Misra on Oct 16, 2013 12:12:00 PM

While attending the recent HR Technology Conference in Las Vegas (#hrtechconf), we got connected by a fellow attendee to a blog by Joanna Weidenmiller on blogging4jobs.com that shared a disturbing trend uncovered by Harris Interactive research: Poor treatment of job candidates by firms seeking to fill positions.

The key data that chilled us:

  • 75% of candidates surveyed reported hearing nothing back from employers after applying
  • 60% of the job seekers surveyed responded that they did not hear back after interviewing

When you treat someone poorly, they walk away with a negative impression of you. Since candidates could also be customers, or future hires for a better-fitting job, why would any company put their brand reputation at risk? More specifically, how hard is it to maintain your employee brand in the marketplace by treating all your job candidates well?

Technology now provides automated tools that can nurture your candidate pool constructively even if you are under-staffed and cannot respond to each application personally.

All you need to do is adopt a mindset that job applicants are not abstract entities, but real people who are trying to connect with you, and need to be treated with respect whether or not they fit your mold as a candidate.

Here are some simple steps to take:

  • Create standard e-mails that your system can issue to every resume (person!) submitted that their submission has been received (lots of companies do accomplish this first step, by the way.)
  • Create a second e-mail that informs all applicants that are not selected by your sorting software that you appreciate their interest, even though they have not been selected for the second round. Encourage them to keep in touch, and apply again! (This second e-mail is adjusted to go to every candidate who fails to make it past a particular step in the process.)
  • A third e-mail goes to candidates who are selected for further consideration, letting them know their ongoing status as an active candidate.
  • Every contact from the candidate (inquiry e-mails, phone calls) receive a similar acknowledgement. This step is the hardest, because busy recruiting officers must log in the e-mail or voice message to that candidate’s file, and trigger the acknowledgement message.
  • Every personal interview (no matter how brief) is followed by a personal e-mail of thanks from the recruiting officer. Management consultancies have made this standard practice for years, and swear by it as a relationship builder.

Every chance you have to make a good impression, even with people who clearly are not qualified, helps you maintain and grow your employee and consumer brand. Do not abdicate this responsibility because you “don’t have time.” If you want to continue to attract the best quality candidates, every candidate must have a quality experience when they choose you as a potential employer.

Topics: HR technology, job candidate management, recruitment process management, job applicant experience, quality job candidates, effective recruitment techniques

What Does a Bad Hire Cost the Company?

Posted by Raj Misra on Oct 15, 2013 11:37:00 AM

You want to motivate your CFO to budget more funds to upgrade your HR recruitment software tools. Or you want to take the next step and integrate recruitment and onboarding processes to make your tools more productive.

But the CFO needs financial justification, and general statements about improving the quality of hire and raising retention rates aren’t closing the deal. You need some hard figures to open their eyes to the financial impact of investments in better hiring practices.

Here are some that you can build on, courtesy of a study run by CareerBuilder, which you may have missed because they chose to release it right in the middle of the holidays last December:

  • 69% of the 2,500 hiring managers surveyed said
    they had suffered bad hires
  • 41% of respondents estimatedthat the negative
    impact of each bad hire was over $25,000
  • 24% estimated the negative impact at over
    $50,000

Negative impact is amplified, of course, by the level of compensation, but the hiring process does not change dramatically from entry-level job to executive suite job. Candidates need to be sourced, screened, interviewed and offered regardless of level.

How can you profitably use the above data to win approval for HCM investments? Run a simple calculation that leverages the objectivity of the survey data.

  1. Forecast the cost of software selection and implementation. Include training and sustaining budgets to get employees fully engaged in the new tools.

Example: $20,000 annual budget for 500-person firm

  1. Select the relatively objective estimate from the CareerBuilder survey that best fits your typical hire.

Example: $25,000

  1. Divide the proposed investment in step one by the number in step two, and set the result as the number of bad hires you need to avoid to break even on the new investment.

Result: One bad hire cured in the recruitment process each year covers the expense. Two bad hires converted to good hires deliver 2x ROI, and so forth.

  1. Relate that to the number of people typically hired by the firm annually.

The CareerBuilder survey also offered data about how the badhires negatively impacted productivity, giving you areas to discuss with operating managers how the new software tools can help fix some of those process issues.

What do you think? Can an upgrade to HCM help improve hiring results? Have you seen such initiatives in action? What were the keys to the successful implementation?

Topics: HCM recruitment software, CareerBuilder survey, talent acquisition software ROI, bad hire costs, HR software ROI

Why do SMBs Fail at Process Improvement? A Lack of Focus, and Impatience

Posted by Raj Misra on Oct 9, 2013 12:05:00 PM

Here is the Big Catch-22 for SMB managers: They have a clear need to adopt time-saving tools, but struggle to dedicate the time to implement them properly. Fancy new processing tools languish because it takes too much effort to change employee habits to use them properly.

Our advice: Curb your enthusiasm and pick a simple place to start. There are a lot of processes that could benefit from being automated, but you must find the one that you and your staff see as most promising.

Here’s the trick, though: You must be strong! Don’t allow folks to backslide into old habits. Down that backsliding path is lost time and money. Stay on top of the employees who are supposed to be benefiting from the improvements. Cheer their successes! Do not add another implementation before the first one proves its worth by becoming second nature.

Jason Busch, who edits a site called Expense Matters, suggested that SMBs keep it simple by also choosing new process tools that integrate well with existing systems: “it could be a provider that offers tight connections into existing small business accounting systems (such as QuickBooks) as well as a broader platform for the management of receivables and collections…” (Find the article here.)

Starting small also gives you the chance to prove that new tools work, which should build enthusiasm among the staff for the next step. Then you might even be able to let someone else champion the second project.

You are strapped for resources, and you wear six or seven “hats” within your company. Automating some of your processes can help find that extra time to be “strategic” but to achieve that goal you will still have to pick your spots and prioritize where to focus your energy.

What do you think? Are you a small or mid-sized business that has struggled with implementing new processing tools? What hindered your success? On the other hand, what successes have you had that taught you useful lessons in how to break the Catch-22 and get new processing tools fully adopted?

Topics: SMB procurement tools, SMB business processing tools, mid-sized business procurement software tools, SBM procurement innovation, Small business procurement software tools, SMB vendor and supplier management tools

Vendor Innovation Can Solve All Your Problems

Posted by Raj Misra on Oct 8, 2013 1:21:00 PM

Software providers do a lot of “keeping up with the Jones.” If their competition adds a feature, they do to. Then each trumpets its innovations as different (somehow) from all the others.

This follow-the-leader mindset may keep a vendor in business, but it doesn’t really do much for its clients: The “innovations” are not based on client input, and may not actually address the client’s specific issues.

Cap Gemini, a management consultancy, made a big effort a few years ago to create a strategic role for procurement within any enterprise. Within that initiative was hidden a real gem of a KPI that deserves more attention. I will grossly simplify the core findings of the twenty-page report:

“Innovation in procurement processes happens best when suppliers are involved in the project.”

We wrote recently (link to previous post) about how procurement officers need to be fully involved in creating strategic relationships with suppliers. In this post I am turning that advice around a bit: Procurement also needs to include vendors/suppliers in its own creative initiatives to improve processes and supply-chain structures.

How does that work? At its simplest level, view your vendors (software, materials, warehousing, shipping) as sources of innovation. Ask all of your vendors how they can help you become more efficient or effective! This has two very real advantages:

  • Vendors work with a wide range of clients, and can cross-pollinate great ideas.
  • Once a vendor gets to know your business better, it can help you solve problems.

Vendors wish you great success, because that is the foundation of our success!

Have you drawn vendors into your creative brainstorming about how to do what you do better? How did that work out? What lessons did you learn? How would you do it differently next time?

Topics: procurement vendor collaboration, procurement productivity tools, cloud-based software tools, strategic procurement planning, Procurement software, procurement innovation, procurement supplier collaboration

Are You Connected with Your Employees and Customers?

Posted by Raj Misra on Oct 8, 2013 1:15:00 PM

HR managers at mid-size companies often don't have access to many of the typical tools that their counterparts at larger companies take for granted. Do you have tools to automate your company’s administration, employee management, training, projects and other HR activities -- all using one integrated platform? If not, how do you keep your sanity in this ever changing HR landscape?

Whether you are a mid-size business or a large enterprise, it is essential for you to be constantly connected with your employees and easily manage routine HR activities. Our HR
management solution - SutiHVM - addresses this critical need. It allows you to easily manage various HR processes such as recruitment, workforce, project planning, goals, KPI, on-boarding & off-boarding tasks, leaves, time tracking, payroll, self-service, and more using one unified platform. Furthermore, it has an integrated advanced analytics module (with several intuitive
dashboards) that allows for better decision making at different stages of the HR management process.

Besides offering best-in-class HR management capabilities, SutiHVM has some unique features that are typically not found in many solutions. These include:

  • Real-time integration with resume databases
  • Fingerprint authentication for secure access
  • Support for retaining and rewarding valuable talent
  • Seamlessly integration with document management and eSignature      solutions
  • Support for various mobile platforms including iOS (iPad / iPhone),      Android, and other smartphones
  • Global time and tax calculations

See an online demo today[r1] .


 [r1]link to SutiHVM demo request form

Topics: HR manager, mid-size companies, employee management, recruitment, resume, attendance, on boarding, termination

Why is Procurement Ignored as a Strategic Partner?

Posted by Raj Misra on Oct 8, 2013 1:02:00 PM

Ever since Just-in-Time manufacturing processes took the manufacturing world by storm in the late 20th Century, relationships between suppliers and their customers have become a strategic imperative for enterprises that wish to continually innovate product and process development.

Somehow, though, the folks running the day-to-day relationship between the two parties keeps getting left out of the conversation, which may be one reason “strategic supplier partnerships” don’t always work out.

Consider this post on the Harvard Business Review, that makes the point rather clearly:

“Every single innovation conversation I’ve had recently with business unit leaders, product managers and/or marketing executives invariably focuses on the importance of partnership and collaboration with their best suppliers and vendors. If anything, they wish their suppliers came forward with even more actionable and innovative ideas.  Conversely, I have not had one conversation with a procurement executive or officer for whom an innovation partnership with vendors was mentioned as a corporate priority. What a disconnect!”

The author, MIT’s Michael Schrage, goes on to use words like “schizophrenic” and “dysfunctional” to describe this situation. He is right: If CPOs don’t have a seat at the table when supplier relationships and joint projects are worked out, how can the company benefit from the intimate supplier knowledge the CPO has, and how can the CPO support a collaborative relationship without understanding how it was built, and how it is to be paid for?

Procurement is leveraging cloud-based interactive and collaborative tools just as much as any other department to make itself astronger supporter of the organization’s mission. Without clear understanding about how the supplier relationship has changed at the top, however, it will keep plugging away at beating down the supplier to keep costs down, which ends up working against the “innovative collaboration” being fostered upstairs!

What has your experience been? Is Procurement considered an operational tail wagging on the corporate dog, or have you been relied on to help manage suppliers strategically? How has that opportunity played out?

Topics: cloud-based software tools, strategic procurement planning, Procurement software, procurement innovation, procurement supplier collaboration

Multi-Receipt OCR: Toss the Receipts, Bring a Souvenir Instead

Posted by Raj Misra on Sep 30, 2013 11:13:00 AM

Are you the typical business traveller frustrated by the piles of crumbled expense receipts waiting to be classified, filed, and submitted at the end of every trip? Or perhaps you have an expense solution that allows you to scan your receipts but only one at a time.

Well, there is good news! Multi-receipt optical character recognition (OCR) is an emerging technology that allows you to scan multiple receipts at the same time. It then converts the scanned images into text and automatically populates your expense report. As a result, you save a lot of time and frustration, not to mention the additional space in your bag that you can bring a souvenir in. And, no, unfortunately that one can't be expensed.

SutiExpense has been consistently at the forefront of innovation in the cloud-based expense solutions space. So it comes as no surprise that we were one of the first companies to introduce a robust multi-receipt OCR feature. Click here to view a quick video demo.


Here are some key features that SutiExpense has and which you should be looking for as you evaluate the OCR capabilities of your expense solution. 

  • Intuitive, easy to use interface with high level of automation
  • Robust and consistently reliable scanning
  • Works with a variety of devices including smartphones, tablets, webcams, fax machines, office scanners, and desktop PCs
  • Multi-platform (iOS and Android) and multi-device (smartphone, tablet, PC) support
  • Ability to map receipts to individual line items on the expense report     

 Watch a quick, 2-minute demo.

 

Topics: expense management integration, expense management software deployment, Expense report approval flows, Expense Categories, Expense GL Codes, expense report management software, expense visibility, expense management software, expense policies, Expense report software flexibility, expense report software

Doing Homework: What Does SaaS-Based Expense Report Software Cost?

Posted by Tim Stainken on Sep 25, 2013 2:10:00 PM

Expense Report Software ROIWe were presented with a comparison chart from a competitor by a prospective client recently (who is considering our SutiSign product). The chart certainly attempted to present their product in the best possible light, but it motivated us to explore what we felt were skewed assumptions that did not help the client truly assess the ROI potential of SaaS-based online software solutions.

(See also our white paper on "Why SaaS for Small Businesses.")

We do agree with this competitor on the basics: The implementation of an expense report software solution should:

  • Speed up important business processes (in this case the processing and archiving of expense reports and data)
  • Secure the data collected by these business operations better than old paper-based methods
  • Reduces costs dramatically in most cases
  • Save a lot of employee time
  • Give the organization a competitive advantage over competitors who have not yet adopted the new technology. 

Challenging Competitive Cost Assumptions

(For reference, here is our base pricing.)

Traditionally, there are two ways to achieve the benefits listed above: An internally placed and managed software solution, or an outsourced solution delivered as SaaS.

Putting aside the practical issues of a hybrid system, here are our areas of disagreement on their financial assumptions:

 

Their Assumption about SaaS

Our Rebuttal

Set-up costs

$10,000 minimum (for 100 users) Higher for larger user populations.

We have never charged as much as $10,000 to set up a user.

User Fees

$50 annually per user for 100 users

$33 annually per user for 1000 users

This may underestimate what we see in competitive pricing for larger accounts.

Service Fees

$25,000 per year

We charge no annual service fees.

Their Results vs. Our Results (assume 100 users):

Three-Year Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
for their system (their estimate)

Under $120,000

SaaS-based system TCO                (3-year, their estimate)

Over  $300,000

Our actual average SutiExpense Three-Year TCO for 100 users

Under $35,000

View SutiExpense Product Tour

The bottom line: Do your own homework, and suspend judgment before launching your investigations, and ask hard questions about all the costs involved in the multiple types of electronic signature solutions available to you.

You may not choose SutiExpense in the end, but as long as we had a fair review, using numbers and testimonials that truly reflect the TCO you will experience, and the quality of our service levels, we cannot complain!

Contact Us

Topics: ROI, expense report management software, online expense report software, TCO, SutiExpense, SaaS-based expense reports

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