week’s E-HR

It pays to outsource pay

Case study: Loughborough University

About the organisation

is one of the country’s largest educational establishments, with 12,000 students
and 3,000 employees, spread across a 386-acre campus.

The aim

implement a new HR and payroll management system that would cater for current
and future requirements. The university had specific criteria for the supplier
company. As well as  an organisation with which it
could build a long-term relationship, the supplier had to have a track record
in HR and payroll management in higher education. The service it provided would
not involve a third party for consultancy needs, and, ideally, the supplier
would be UK-based.

also had to meet the challenge of funding," says Val Blackett, the university’s director of corporate
information services. "The problems of lack of money within higher
education are well documented, and we needed a highly cost-effective solution."

System supplier

Midland HR & Payroll Solutions is an established provider of HR management
and payroll applications. It also offers bureau and managed services and
processes more than 82,000 payslips every month.

The approach

implemented its Trent integrated HR and payroll system, and put Loughborough
through a number of parallel runs before going live in April 2003.

payroll and HR used to be managed on separate systems, a whole raft of administrative duties were called
for," explains Blackett.
"Codes and processes were different for each and there were many
associated logistical problems."

The solution

system now pays all the university’s 3,000 employees, and runs three payrolls:
one monthly, one four-weekly, and one for claims.

systems have merged into one and staff can be better deployed," says Blackett.

payroll information such as payments and deductions, grades and pension scheme
memberships may be inherited from within the organisation structure. These
inherited items can then be overridden or entered at any level. The system
retains a full employee pay history.

The bottom line

know we’re doing something right when the bursar tells me that he is very
pleased because he can now get better information thanks to Trent,
and that he can get it more quickly," says Blackett. "The HR department can look at far
more strategic issues that deal with the university’s policies, rather than spending
time on administration.

no product delivers everything specifically that a customer would wish, Midland
has worked with us to achieve our objectives. We have built a partnership that
we look forward to further developing as we incorporate additional modules and
roll out facilities to the whole university," adds Blackett.

Product of the month: HR Dashboard

What is it?

A computer application that creates a portal
which can extract data from various HR systems and information sources and
create reports from it.
Designed to mimic a car dashboard, with
your main key performance indicators set up as dials, an alert system
identifies problem areas, enabling HR to be more proactive.

Who developed it?

HR profession played a huge part in the creation of the product. An HR manager
within IT resourcing
company KPC was complaining to sales director Paul Finch that it took too long
to get information on headcount, leave of absence and employee turnover. Finch
put together a team to realise his HR manager’s wish list, and HR Dashboard
(the company and product) was born.

What areas can it help me in?

employee turnover, performance review, training, recruitment, holidays – pretty
much every area of HR, in fact. It makes it far easier
to share information and helps demonstrate HR’s impact on the bottom line.

How much does it cost?

will be based on the number of users.

to www.hrdashboard.com

Research snapshot

Online jobseeker salaries soar

average online jobseeker is just under 34 years old (33.6, up from 31.9 in
2003), has 12 years of work experience (up from 10.6 in 2003) and earns £34,594
on average (up from £22,494 in 2003), according to the summer 2004 National Online
Recruitment Audience Survey (Noras),
produced by Enhance Media, a training and consultancy company specialising in
online recruitment.

survey features information from the website of recruitment consultancy Blue
Arrow, which is the first high street agency to participate in the study.  The release of the results coincides with a relaunch of the Noras website, where you can now
download the latest and previous results booklets as free pdf (portable document format) files direct to your


Data mine: Pensions

Occupational Pensions Regulator Authority

Online presence for the body that supervises
legal requirements of occupational pensions.
It features a
special section on stakeholder pensions and also has a facility to trace a

Department for Work & Pensions (DWP)

a subject that’s hard to find your way around in the real world, the DWP has
done a good job when it comes to navigation on its website. Lots of cross-linking with other government-related sites.

National Association of Pension Funds www.napf.co.uk

principal UK
body that represents the interests of the employer-sponsored pensions movement. Members can enter the discussion
area and the ‘local groups’ section tells you about initiatives and activities
in your area.

Pensions Ombudsman www.pensions-ombudsman.org.uk

Might not sound like the most enticing site on
the worldwide web, but it’s an important one.
It explains the
ombudsman’s powers  and how the procedures work,
and there are some useful download documents.

Pensions Advisory Service www.opas.org.uk

More for pension holders, but some useful
The ‘press release’ area will help keep you up-to-date
with developments and the ‘FAQs
give some insight as to the main pension concerns of employees.


County Council has become one of the first local authorities to implement
specialised training and development software to help manage training for its
16,000 employees. It has implemented a tailored version of Snowdrop System’s
Foundation for training administration and employee development, and Fountainexecutive for performance
management and succession planning. www.snowdrop.co.uk

creating a blended learning programme incorporating e-learning, telecoms giant Equant has been able to train
more than 8,500 employees globally and save $6.5m (£3.6m). It integrated
elements of instructor-led training with generic and company-specific
e-learning, and then supplemented it with an around-the-clock expert mentoring
service. Equant partnered
with e-learning provider SkillSoft
for the mentoring service and generic e-learning content. www.skillsoft.com

Top resource

the full-blown version doesn’t go live until December, HR professionals can
check out a Beta version of Emerald Publishing’s new management resource centre
now. The company claims Emerald Management Xtra will offer the biggest and most comprehensive
collection of peer-reviewed management journals and support resources. www.emeraldinsight.com/emx 

Comments are closed.