1610, one of the largest providers of leisure facilities in Somerset, Dorset and North Devon, has significantly reduced its use of paper and man hours, after using automated HR and payroll software from Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced). OpenHR and OpenPeople has enabled the introduction of e-payslips and streamlined reporting.
1610 is a not for profit (NFP) leisure trust that formed six years ago when the management of leisure services was devolved from Somerset County Council. Since then it has grown to employ more than 500 people and now has a turnover of more than £8 million and 19 leisure facilities in Somerset, Dorchester and North Devon.
Following this growth, the Trust recognised the need for more efficient, automated HR and payroll processes. Advanced was chosen from a shortlist of three software providers based on its experience within the NFP and leisure sectors and its knowledge of legislative changes within the sector, such as Pension Auto-Enrolment (PAE). The software’s ability to manage complex staff contracts was also a key factor in its selection.
OpenHR is an online HR management system used by 1610’s staff to produce monthly reports on trends such as sickness and absence and to maintain staff records including contact details, holidays, salaries, performance appraisals and benefits. OpenPeople is used to run the payroll every month as well as to compile detailed management reports quickly and accurately.
Prior to implementing OpenHR in September 2013 and OpenPeople in January 2014, the organisation’s HR and payroll processes were paper-based. Whenever staff information and figures were requested by senior managers or the Department of Work and Pensions, the HR team would use spreadsheets to manually calculate the answers. Now, these figures can be accessed at the click of a button.
Enita Andrews, HR Manager, 1610, says, “With one online database in OpenHR we can access all our people information instantly. We are also confident that the information is accurate and up-to-date, which is not always the case if you are using multiple spreadsheets and manually importing and copying data.
“Prior to using the software we could not always supply the information requested by managers or it would take hours to complete what should have been a simple task. Now, we can just run a report at the click of a button, so it has massively increased our efficiency and improved our ability to support managers to make informed decisions.”
Before implementing OpenPeople, the Trust’s payroll was managed by an outsourced accountant and involved sending paper payslips. Now it is run through the software with payslips being issued electronically – saving more than 500 pieces of paper and several hours every month, as well as costs.
It has also streamlined the pension administration, as rather than needing to wait for the accountant to send back the information, the Trust is able to run a report that extracts the details from payroll and automatically populates a spreadsheet. This is then uploaded online to the pension administrator.
The Trust implemented the software at the same time that it introduced Pension Auto-Enrolment and since then the number of staff who are pension members, since the Trust was set up independently from the council, has risen by 252% from 34 to 120.
Andrews adds, “Many of our partners are schools and councils, and to maintain and win contracts with them we need to be able to provide specific staffing and financial data. Advanced’s software gives us instant, easy access to that data, along with the reassurance that it is timely and accurate, which is invaluable.”