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How D+1 keeps payroll woes at bay

The Singapore-based F&B business behind the Yolé frozen yogurt chain has consolidated its payroll data into a single database powered by Unit4’s HR management system

As a fast-growing food and beverage (F&B) business that has expanded to 90 stores across Asia within a year, Singapore-based D+1 was facing the growing pains of managing payroll for multiple brands such as Yolé frozen yogurt and Tapas Club, each with its own payroll database that had to be reconciled every month.

It did not help that the finance team had to manually perform data entry work for payroll processes, including data extraction, which was time-consuming and prone to errors as the company expanded rapidly. Adding to the complexity was the fact that workers could be working for multiple brands at multiple locations.

“It was very difficult – and manual – to merge the data held in different databases, and combine the hours worked for each employee,” said Iñaki de Olazabal, chief financial officer of D+1, which was using human resources (HR) software from Sage. “We were thinking of upgrading our Sage system, but it was expensive and did not have too many options for us.”

In early 2018, D+1 flipped the switch on Unit4’s Prosoft HR management system after receiving recommendations from employees and job candidates who had used the software in their previous jobs. Hosted on Amazon Web Services, the system runs on a single database, making it easier to reconcile payroll.

“We used to spend five days to process the payroll, but now we spend just one day to do it,” said Olazabal. “We’ve also been able to avoid human errors that had led to missed payments,” he added.

Data migration and implementation

D+1 has since moved its employee records from the Sage system to Prosoft, and implementing the project took about three months with the help of Unit4’s consultants who worked with the company to customise payroll reports and consolidate its databases into a single system.

A key challenge faced by D+1 during the migration process was tied to its decision to continue using the hardware being used by employees, such as biometric readers, to record their attendance, in a bid to avoid additional costs.

Olazabal said this had complicated the project and presented challenges during implementation – even though Prosoft was eventually integrated with D+1’s hardware using integrated circuit interfaces.

So far, the Prosoft system has been well-received by employees who found the software interface easy to use for tasks that they had been unable to perform, Olazabal said. “Our people are super happy with the system and the training was straightforward and easily understood,” he added.

Although Prosoft comes with recruitment, appraisal and training management functions, D+1 has not implemented those yet. Olazabal said it will do so later this year as it is still in the midst of fine-tuning its existing implementation, such as improving payroll reports to include more granular data points.

That employee data is being hosted on the cloud is not an issue for D+1 as far as security is concerned. Unit4 said it has attained the ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 certification for utmost data protection, confidentiality and continuity assurance.

The certification includes technology, processes and premises to host the data so Unit4 can ensure that employee, payroll and other sensitive data is secured and encrypted.

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