For years, employers have been leveraging multiple systems to perform various HCM functions, such as payroll, HR, benefits, time and attendance, recruiting, performance management and more. This made sense because it allowed employers to utilize the best individual tools from each category as opposed to single platform solutions which were, at the time, mediocre in comparison. The use of multiple platforms, however, was not without its difficulties, and single platform solutions are no longer what they use to be. Due to recent and continued software enhancements, employers are becoming more aware of the many advantages a single HCM system provides and are actively seeking them out.
Let’s put it this way: Would you choose, on a daily basis, to carry around with you a cell phone, iPod, camera, and GPS, or would you prefer a single iPhone?
Years ago, we likely would have chosen the first option because we either had no other option, or the initial technology that even remotely resembled today’s iPhone just wasn’t up to par. Today, most people couldn’t begin to fathom the use of four or more gadgets to do what one iPhone could do just as well. The current HCM systems are the smartphones of HR. Moving forward, most employers will want to try and do everything using one system, and for those who continue to utilize multiple systems, they will typically have a specific business reason to do so.
While many more exist, here are the top 4 advantages of moving to a single platform HCM solution:
Managing multiple systems, if not anything else, is simply inconvenient. Having to keep track of multiple logins and switch between systems to complete simple tasks or search for information is not something that any employer wants. Employee engagement and self-service are becoming increasingly important, and as we usher in a generation that is accustomed to easy access and instant gratification, convenience is key. Having all necessary HCM functions in one place makes it easier for HR to administer, add or terminate employees, make salary or deduction changes, and run reports. Additionally, an employee requesting time off, looking up benefits information, viewing a paystub, scheduling training all with one login through their smartphone is the preferred way for millennials.
Purchasing multiple systems is typically more expensive than just one, when considering the cost of the system itself, as well as the internal costs that come with getting each system up and running. Plus, working with different vendors can result in overlapping service charges and implementation fees. Before recent software enhancements, spending more on multiple best of breed systems was worth it because the quality outweighed both price and convenience. With the improved single platform systems of today, employers no longer have to compromise.
Money isn’t the only thing that a single system can save you. The efficiency of managing a single system can also be a huge time-saver. While many best of breed systems promote their ability to integrate with other systems, this is not always as seamless or as reliable as we’d like it to be. Juggling the intricacies of each system and ensuring they work perfectly together often results in an expenditure of time and effort, not to mention any actions that may need to be taken if, and when, an error should inevitably occur.
Such errors can occur for a number of reasons, but most often they are due to the entrance of data multiple times into various systems. This is why ensured accuracy is a major advantage of using a single HCM system. Having all your company’s important data entered into and kept in one place minimizes the possibility of errors, such as duplicate or inaccurate information entered by different users in multiple points of data entry. When running reports, you need to be confident that the data is up-to-date and that all new hires, terminated employees, and deduction changes have been taken care of. All departments will have access to the same correct information, and security roles can be applied where necessary.
If you’re beginning to see why a single HCM system makes so much sense, you’re not alone. At ProHCM, we have seen a dramatic shift away from best of breed solutions. In our recent national survey of employers, 85% of participants said they would prefer to implement a single solution, and it seems that they are not all talk. Just 3 years ago, more than 2/3 of our technology consulting projects, which exceed 350 per year, involved best of breed solutions. Today, more than 3/4 of our clients are buyers specifically asking for a single system. It’s apparent to us that this is the direction towards which the industry is progressing, so perhaps the biggest advantage of leveraging a single HCM system is not getting left behind. The thought of implementing a new system may seem overwhelming from the offset, but the many advantages a single platform will provide significantly outweigh any initial effort and will continue to benefit your company in the long run.