Cascade HR: HR software case study: SLP Solicitors
SLP is actually the trading name of Ellistons LLP which is a long established solicitors’ practice operating from newly extended and modernised headquarters in Stanmore. It consists of three other offices; in Watford (serviced by sister practice Bernard Elliston Sandler & Co), Harefield and Brentwood. The firm employs over 120 people with some 40 admitted and nonadmitted fee earners and 80 support staff.
SLP make continuous and substantial investment in the latest IT and quality systems and Cascade HR joins a range of other business systems designed to ensure, both for internal and client facing activities, SLP leads the way. The practice has a bias in favour of property law; in respect of commercial and residential conveyancing on the one hand and its specialist, secured lending offices on the other. Moreover, the recently strengthened commercial property department is able to undertake work of all types, ranging from the acquisition or disposal of large scale investment properties to more routine grants and renewals of leases on behalf of landlords. Whatever work is undertaken; our objective is always to deliver a cost-effective service of the highest quality and at the fastest possible speed to our clients and subsequently our employees are paramount to the success of our business. Cascade HR has proven to be an essential tool allowing us to ensure that our employees are best equipped to deliver our services.
SLP outlined their aims and objectives in advance. Understanding precisely what they were seeking before selecting a system was an essential step in achieving the goals set out by the business for HR Management. As SLP had recognised a need to evolve and develop its HR function it was essential that the system was easy to use. The most powerful features are useless unless they are easy to use and accessible. As a modern, professional business SLP have a culture of taking advantage of the latest proven technologies to ensure they maximise their effectiveness and deliver the best possible service to their employees and clients. In this case a key requirement was the facility to use the full functionality of the system from any location, be it the office, other offices, mobile or from home. SLP also needed to put procedures in place to standardise everything and wanted a system that would help to do this. A busy professional services organisation like SLP has a multitude of processes occuring constantly every day and managing these processes, not just to ensure that they happen but also, crucially, that best practice is followed, is core to the effectiveness of the organisation.
Planning for the future and implementing new systems and skills in response to ever changing needs supports the drive for change and improvement. This applies to the HR system also and SLP recognised early in their sourcing project that they must have a system that could grow with the company as their requirements changed. This growth would be two fold. Firstly the system must be well supported by a dynamic supplier who had a culture of investing in new technology and developing ever increasingly useful functionality based on client feedback. Secondly it was absolutely core to the success of the project that SLP would be able to configure the system throughout themselves to realise the specific needs of their business.
Collating all of the HR data into one system rather than multiple spreadsheets and then miantaining it accurately is a means to an end. This delivers data which allows accurate and informative management and ad hoc reporting which in turn will allow HR and Management to take real world action to improve and concentrate the business. Previous reporting was time consuming, innacurate and unreliable. SLP also wanted a system with powerful security and features but they had to be easy to use so that HR could setup and change them without help from their IT and the supplier. All employees use a computer so makes sense to get rid of paper where possible.
SLP selected Cascade’s range of browser based .Net HR solutions to meet their requirements after considering various suppliers in the market As the system is browser based two key objectives were met immediately. The ability for all employees to have access to the system as well as Managers to have access to look up their own teams records has been achieved and access is available to all functionality (dependent on security) for HR and other users from any site including home access. Managing processes, a key objective and advantage for SLP, couldnt be easier than with Cascade HR. Although a comprehensive yet easy to use Workflow system is provided with the system, simple processes such as holiday requests are extremely easy to configure and roll out using Authorisation Routes. All holidays are now requested through the system for example with Manager authorisation. A sickness absence procedure is also now in place using the absence screen and workflow. All employee data is held in one central place including documents which means that standard reports and queries are now produced easily for management meetings ensuring that management are better informed and can act appropriately. SLP have set up Standard Document templates to help standardise them accross the business ensuring best practice. SLP and Cascade have developed an excellent working relationship which will help to ensure that SLP’s investment in Cascade continuies to deliver results and benfits for many years.