Wakefield and District Housing has completed its six-month implementation of a new HR and payroll system from Cascade.
Wakefield and District Housing became the largest single LSVT in 2005, taking over 31,000 properties from Wakefield District Council and now employs 1450 staff. Louise Muirhead, senior business analyst, Wakefield and District Housing, explained, “The service level agreement with the local authority was due to expire at the end of March 2009, after which WDH would have no payroll service. There was also a need for a system to give WDH a central data source for all employee data, with the ability to query complex statistics and reports.
“The key objectives of the project were to deliver efficiencies and, have a direct relationship with a single supplier to provide a fully-integrated HR and payroll solution which was web-enabled and accessible anywhere at anytime.”
Following a full OGC tender, Cascade was chosen due its HMRC-accredited product’s user-defined workflows, intelligent self-service functionality for WDH employees, integration between the HR and payroll systems and bespoke screen design.
Muirhead said, “Data migration took one month using in-house expertise. We were lucky that I had worked on the legacy system in my previous role so I had a clear understanding of the data structure in the legacy system. I was then able to match that against the data template Cascade provided.”
A critical part of the project was to ensure a smooth switch over to the Cascade system so the first six months of the project were spent carrying our parallel runs of WDH’s existing payroll system alongside Cascade. Four runs were completed, with 96 per cent reconciliation between the two systems; the 4 per cent difference was due to specific configuration differences between the two systems.
Following the first live payroll run on the new system when all 1450 employees were paid correctly, WDH has implemented further HR elements such as learning and development, health and safety, recruitment, and grievances and disciplinary actions. Self-service functionality has been introduced for annual leave, payslips and sickness absence recording.
Muirhead added, “We are now running an efficient in-house’ payroll service and by meeting our project deadlines, we saved paying a £37,000 invoice to our previous payroll bureau service provider.”
WDH and Cascade started the project in October 2008 with the first parallel payroll run carried out in January 2009. Following two further parallel runs, the Cascade system went live in April 2009.