Designing and implementing your organization’s HR platform is like the blueprint of a house and the engineering schematics of the foundational infrastructure like running water pipes and electrical lines. Cutting corners in the present is almost certain to lead to future pain – and the vast majority of pains we hear about can often be traced back to a prior relationship that was a bad fit from day 1. Nobody enjoys moving but sometimes a new house is necessary because the present state is not workable for evolving needs. And as such just like when moving it’s absolutely critical you do a thorough analysis of core requirements to make sure the pain of the move is worthwhile in the long run.
Some of the most common mistakes we see organizations encounter:
- Poor system back end architecture gets overlooked because the front end of the software looks good.
- Implementation and support teams that are not in-house
- ‘Sale and bail’ techniques from national companies who spend a lot more on their sales teams than on their support teams, run incentives to sell certain products over others based on their bottomline, and leave customers feeling baited and switched as they open up help desk tickets or call 1-800 numbers.
In-house Expert HCM Implementation
Having seen the downside to poor implementations on platforms with bad back end architecture, Paypro developed a business model that flips the script. We allocate more resources than any of the other organizations in our space on expert, in-house, long term support relationships with our clients. We haven’t completely reinvented the wheel, we just put more time and resource into making sure your organization is investing in a blueprint that is a) the right fit and b) supported with experts every step of the way.
Outsourced HCM Implementation
Not all outsourced implementations are bad – we’ve actually been contracted as an outsource implementer by our national software partners specifically because they knew we were going to do the best job in those specific use cases. But what’s critical is that you need to know ahead of time who it is that’s handling your implementation, what their level of experience is in implementing organizations with similar needs, and what their level of support will be beyond the initial implementation period. Reference checks are critical.
Key Decision Making Factors – Pros and Cons
The #1 factor we observe in successful HR platforms are products with a strong back end architecture. This is extremely hard to discern during a demo without an expert who knows what to look for because most companies spend millions of dollars to make the front end of their programs look good enough that nobody wonders what’s lurking under the hood. The reality is that this is an industry with a lot of M&A activity so most of the software platforms out there are like Frankenstein on the back end. So why does that matter? When a platform is actually a number of different platforms integrated together on different architectures on the back end, it is going to be far more error prone. Like extensions bolted onto an existing home, there are going to be infrastructure points that need to be re-routed and sometimes run from a completely separate grid. Making updates to that software more complicated and infrequent by the developers needing to update each separate system. There is more opportunity for vulnerability, duplicative data entries at the user level, and difficulty running reports. The amount of complications avoided by installing a quality engineered product on a single back end database is exponential and there are no tangible cons except aesthetic preferences.
The #2 factor is support, and the only ‘con’ to higher quality support is that for national providers it’s the easiest area for them to start cutting costs if they are in a competitive situation and want to get a deal done, so it could appear to be more expensive. By cutting hours out of an implementation they can make a proposal look more attractive and also make it appear that the onboarding time is quicker than it really should be. This is a false positive that ends up being penny wise and pound foolish. It’s also why there is generally a lot of “churn” among national providers.
We Do What the National’s Can’t
Credit where it’s due to the nationals, they survive on a business model that would put us out of business. They are able to create enough sales to grow topline revenue even as they are losing 2-5x more of their clients as a percent every year. That works for them because they are public companies responsible first to their shareholders who first and foremost care about selling as many software licenses as possible to grow revenue. They are software companies first and support is a secondary concern post-sale.
At Paypro we don’t have investors so we answer to our customers. Our business model is to have an industry best retention rate (currently 96%), and to do that we employ a team of expert support staff to support our clients in a personal way that nobody else can match. Our support teams average 5+ years at Paypro, we have tax, compliance, benefits, and industry specific specialists that we make available to our clients, and our executive team members have each been at Paypro for more than 2 decades. We are all in on being a great partner and delivering as much ROI as possible for your business.