In early 2009 Hallett Retail already had 220 employees in 150 different locations. Winning the New Look business in late 2008 meant rapid organisation expansion throughout 2009. With additional new stores and employees, this growth brought a greater challenge on the administrative processes.
Business challenge for Hallett Retail
The business’ national scope requires Hallett’s employees to work in outlets in different cities. This means that they have most of the country as workplace, which is challenging when tracking employee time and preparing payroll.
Hallett Retail supplies resources and services to other retailers which means that they don’t own the outlets where their employees work but instead rent floor space for trading. Because of the nature of their business it would be impossible to implement a Wide Area Network and software across all their store locations and therefore Hallett looked at alternative solutions.
“In 2008, we were facing challenges when growing,” says Kevin Hallett. “We needed to find a more effective way for gathering timesheets and processing payroll. The administrative process was already intensive and time-consuming and we didn’t want this getting out of hand.”
Hallett Retail’s organisational structure comprises of several tiers with employees and managers often situated in different locations. This makes the timesheet submittal and approval process necessary for payroll preparation time-consuming and tedious. Because of the rapid growth in business it was not manageable to continue handling a payroll process manually.
A typical Hallett outlet may have 2-5 employees working different schedules, and Hallett’s growth plans for 2009 would be to rollout 500 more stores/outlets. The hardware and communications equipment necessary for setting up a Wide Area Network and installing a traditional software system over so many locations would be too expensive and difficult to maintain.
“We chose QBIS because it addressed our needs for automating our payroll process. All our employees can report time from anywhere and our managers would have total control. QBIS fitted our needs perfectly as we could pay for the service according to our growth and we did not need to invest in software licenses or hardware.”
QBIS provides a flexible and cost-effective time-reporting software solution that can be used from anywhere. It requires no investment in new Server, client PC and communications equipment infrastructure and instead uses a combination of readily available technologies such as web-browsers, internet and mobile telephones. For Hallett Retail, using QBIS provides an automated time management system that reaches out to all employees regardless of their location. The employees are able to submit timesheets, and managers can view and approve by using any web-browser or a mobile telephone in a quick and easy fashion. QBIS can be connected to any payroll or business system, and Hallett uses Sage for payroll processing, so all approved timesheets go directly into it eliminating much manual effort.
QBIS is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution which means there is no software to install, implement and maintenance costs are minimal with the rollout timeframe being so much quicker than traditional installed software.
Benefits Gained by Hallett through using QBIS
Before Hallett started using QBIS they had 2 administrative resources handling the payroll process, one being an internal resource and one an external consultant. At this time Hallett had 220 employees distributed over 150 outlets. Within 12 months they had grown to 900 employees and 650 outlets and also reduced their administrative resources to one internal employee handling all the payroll by using QBIS.
“We have been able to grow our business while reducing our administrative costs and processes by 75%. QBIS has been a major factor in helping us grow as quickly as we have, from 220 to 900 employees within 12 months.”
Hallett’s salary preparation is much more accurate now and has greatly reduced the manual errors. QBIS now automates the whole administrative process. Timesheets are entered by the employees via their mobile telephone or a web-browser, approved by their managers and thereafter go directly into the payroll system for processing. Additionally, Hallett has benefited using QBIS for resource planning. Employees can submit time-off requests and management easily overview their department and make approval. Hallett has now a better communication between management and staff through using QBIS.
“QBIS is an excellent tool in helping us to produce an accurate payroll. It is very friendly to use, informative & easy to generate reports from. We have seen that it is easy to grow with the system without losing any performance.” says Kevin Hallett.
Hallett did not need to invest in servers, PCs and software licenses and could keep costs minimal. Their employees make use of already owned mobile telephones for time-reporting. All software is hosted on QBIS’s own secure servers. The QBIS support team takes care of the servers and software upgrades and the customer always has the latest software version.
“We didn’t require any heavy training to get a good grasp of QBIS. All it took was a short online training session for a couple of our super users and then we could train all our staff fully through a number of one hour sessions which we carried out by ourselves internally.”