Store managers are now able to submit their payroll data online. And because we are able to preview each month’s payroll we can eradicate errors before they have a chance to make an impact. Working with Trace felt like a partnership from day one. It still does.
- Sue Evans, Head of HR
Gant is a lifestyle brand with an American sportswear heritage, offering modern high-quality casual wear with a European touch. The company’s values are based on it’s authentic American East Coast heritage, dating back to 1949. Today Gant is a true global lifestyle brand offering a full range including menswear, womenswear, kidswear, and homeware.
“We were using a very manual system,” says Sue Evans, Head of HR, Gant. “Payroll was completed by keying into spreadsheets and forwarding those spreadsheets to a small payroll company. It wasn’t an efficient system. It was time-consuming and mistakes were easy to make”.
Sue knew that things had to change and began a tendering exercise for a payroll services supplier. Of the final four shortlisted, Trace Payroll Services was the successful candidate, with a competitively priced, powerful web-based solution that helped make life easier for people across the Gant organisation.
“Store managers are now able to submit their payroll data online. And because we are able to preview each month’s payroll we can eradicate errors before they have a chance to make an impact. It means our process is far more streamlined and everyone has a far greater degree of responsibility and involvement, while the overall workload is reduced. Payroll is no longer something that happens to us – it’s
something we play an active part in.”
Despite the clear advantages, ‘go live’ of the new service in April 2011 brought apprehension.
“I think it’s true of any change of service,” says Sue, “There’s a good deal of anxiety when you run payroll for the first time with a new provider – but we needn’t have worried. It really was so seamless. We expected far more errors and issues – and they simply didn’t materialise.
“I think the reason for that is we took the time to understand each other first. We wanted Trace to clearly understand who we are, and what our requirements were. Trace listened, and together we developed a tailored payroll that gives us precisely what we need.”
Gant signed a 3-year contract with Trace for fully managed payroll, with an integrated HR module a key part of the service.
As with the payroll, the shift to the new online HR service has helped Gant make life easier for many of its store and regional managers.
“The history of our actions is now available to us immediately,” says Sue Evans. “I don’t have to phone store managers to ask questions about their staff. I can see the whole picture from here. Store managers have immediate access to the pay, hours, sickness and promotion details of their people. Information is easier to access across the organisation, so it’s easier to make decisions quickly.
“We’ve also seen a welcome end to the double keying between our payroll and HR functions. Stores now input more of the information – and they need only do it once – which means our information is right first time and consistent across payroll and HR.”
For Gant, the journey to streamlined, accurate payroll and HR has been built on Trace’s personal service.
“I like the fact that when I submit my payroll it’s always acknowledged, so I know they’ve received it. Also, having one regular officer handling our payroll each month makes a big difference. Gant’s relationship with Trace is still relatively new and every month there’s something we haven’t seen before and need to query. I really value having the same person at the end of a direct phone line. It has meant the understanding between us has developed far faster than it otherwise might.
“Working with Trace felt like a partnership from day one. It still does.”