Unifying your HR and ERP

Posted: March, 05 2016 00:00:00

A match made in heaven – or why unifying your HR and ERP makes perfect sense

In the past months our blog was all about the development of our new office. I don’t know about you, but as the news roll in, seeing the construction progress and the interior design pictures and ideas explained, I am getting very excited to soon work in this new, cool and fun environment.

While this is a huge topic given the milestone it means in the growth of our company, it is time to start again to talk about some product and services- related topics. Today, I want to draw your attention to another ‘big thing’ we have accomplished over the last few months (and the reason this blog has been a little bit on the backburner). Thanks to tremendous efforts of our ERP team, we have managed to bring the re-development of our ERP solution for SaaS to the point of release, and more than that, we have also been able to unify our SaaS ERP and HR solutions in a single platform.

Since Paul Hamerman at Forrester Research said in the paper “Consolidation and Innovation Transform the HRM Vendor Landscape” from November 2012

“A company needs to know on a cost level how many employees they have and what it’s costing them, along with turnover rates and analytics to help them make decisions and understand the essential talent that makes the organization successful.”

The trend in our industry has been going towards a marriage of ERP (or Financial Systems) and HCM. Because, that kind of knowledge thatPaul Hamermanis quoting can only be achieved if operational data, financial data and HRM data are synchronized, which in turnis only possible with a single, unified platform.

So; true to its pioneering spirit, it has been DataOn’s focus and strategic objective to merge both its HR and ERP solution into one for the past three years. And today we can officiallyintroduce our SunFish SaaS product combining people, sales, operational,and financial information with built-in analytics and reporting across any dimension of the business.So from now on, our SaaS customers can pick relevant modules from both solutions to connect these adjacent business processes and can gain a never-before possible insight into how much their people truly impact the company’s operational numbers, leading to a much more accurate analysis of business health.

This integration seems to be naturally the next step in the evolution of business applications as Finance and HR are inherently connected in a business sense as well as from a systems sense. On a business level they are intertwined because a majority of most companies’ costs and investment (especially in the service sector) are workforce related; and measuring, improving, optimizing peoples’ and processes’ performances are always tied to increasing revenues and profitability. Just imagine the accuracy of an integrated ERP and HRM on your HC budget planning: after defining your hiring plans and setting your annual budget, the HR data give you the average time and cost to-hire which means you now can automatically assign your projected hiring costs to the right month in the budget period. But not only that; you can also more accurately budget replacement recruiting costs because you have immediate access to turnover numbers by business unit, region and job grade. And looking at performance, how often are ERP data such as time/services billed, sales or service target achievement, revenues, profit margin the basis of performance reviews and support planning efforts on an individual, team and departmental level. Or let’s assume you sent your sales staff to a new training program - now, you can actually monitor its effectiveness by seeing whether sales orders went up or not thereafter. Other examples for the power of combined data are that your company would be able to find out:

  • Whether high employee turnover rates in certain regions impact revenues; or
  • Whether a strong sales quarter is due to a one strong sales manager or because of a good sales system; or
  • Whethera decrease in revenues isn’t due to product or customer issues but rather lies in the fact that you have unfulfilled sales positions for quite some time.

There is hardly a way to manage business outcomes without analyzing operational, financial and HR data together quickly and deliver that analysis to decision makers at the right time.

On a system level ERP and HR share many enterprise level objects such as work unit, location, people, etc. and a similar demand on the system architecture: from widespread user access to managing regionally different regulatory requirements. With unified platform and consistent user interface, companies achieve even better transparency and productivity across their multiple business functions as managers and supervisors can perform manifold tasks – from tracking work and off-days to approving sales orders while monitoring sales volume development – without having to log onto multiple systems.

Ultimately, companies that have a strong interest in optimizing their workforce cost and investment as well as their internal efficiencies at the same time, need to start bridging the gap between HR data, overall business information and data analysis systems in order to yield meaningful results and are the key for a healthy business strategy.