Cezanne HR drives remote digital operations for leading energy solutions provider, EDW Technology

In need of a solution that supported their enterprise-wide operations, EDW Technology Holdings adopted Cezanne HR, streamlining their people management and enabling the organisation to save time, stay connected and support their remote team.

As a leading integrated energy solutions provider, EDW Technology works with large-scale electricity companies to facilitate accurate and efficient customer management and billing. Their innovative Electronic Retail Software (ERS) is supported by the recent launch of their market leading CSS Adapter solution for Faster Switching. Lead by CEO, Simon Miles, the group includes sister company TEAM Energy, an energy and sustainability management consultancy, that supports organisations in achieving their utility consumption, carbon emissions and sustainability goals.

Since successfully moving to remote operations in March 2020, the group were looking to digitise their system to improve capabilities and facilitate long-term operational plans; and so looked to cloud-based Cezanne HR for the solution. Here, Simon discusses why, after exploring the options, Cezanne HR proved to be the right system for them.

What were the main HR challenges EDW was facing when you went to market for an HR system?

When we started to look for a HR system, we wanted a solution that would give us a view of our whole workforce across the two companies. We needed help with absence management so we could see what people were doing at any given time, and we wanted a central database with all our HR data that could also be accessed remotely.

Our HR team is spread out. In the past we had a system that one or two HR team members could see, but it didn’t give everyone the view we wanted. We needed managers to be able to easily stay connected to staff work, leave and absence and to have access to HR information on their teams.

Why did you choose Cezanne HR as your HR system?

We wanted an easy-to-use, but powerful and secure system. As an IT business we have a keen understanding of, and investment in, IT security. Having gained ISO 27001 Information Security Management certification, we needed a solution that met our security requirements. Unfortunately, a lot of the HR solutions we were looking at on the market just didn’t have the level of security we wanted. We then started to look at some of the big players, but soon realised that Cezanne HR offered a good mix of everything we needed, including security.

Once we had a shortlist, we chose Cezanne HR because, as well as being secure, it felt more intuitive, easier to use, straightforward to implement, and had a wide range of capabilities.

What was the implementation process like?

We did ask for some assistance with implementation due to Cezanne HR’s complexity and sophistication. We wanted to set it up correctly from the beginning and we were happy with the help we received. We had some online sessions, mixed with time on our own to experiment with its functionality – this combination worked well for us.

We’re now navigating the system ourselves with the assistance of Cezanne HR’s support notes. When we have had questions, they have been quickly resolved by the support team.

Can you tell us how the People (core) and Absence modules have worked for you so far?

For the People module, we did an upload from our existing database and found it relatively easy to get all the information into Cezanne HR – it was a very straightforward first step. What we found most helpful is that it really made us think about our organisation structure, including line management, job titles and departments. Using Cezanne HR, we now have a good visualisation of the whole organisation, which was time consuming to achieve in the past. It is also much easier to share this information with everyone in the business.

We were really happy that Cezanne HR could handle the data for our two companies; we wanted to be able to see everyone in one space.

The roll out of the self-service functionality in Cezanne HR has gone well – our staff are definitely using it. And it’s great to be able to get e-signature acknowledgement of documents back from staff, too. We have just refreshed our employment contracts and staff handbook for the whole organisation. We used Cezanne HR’s document upload capability, sent and tracked the documents, as well as asking for an e-signature. Cezanne HR has a powerful capability to manage processes like this.

We have been using the Absence module for booking holidays, logging sickness and managing overtime and TOIL. It’s working really well. People are finding it easy to use and it gives us good visibility of where everyone is at any one time.

Pre-COVID-19, we had two offices. Once things get back to ‘normal’, we’ll continue to embrace flexible working and move all our operations to one office. Having Cezanne HR to keep track of who is working will really help with making this flexible approach work.

You’ve recently added the Performance and Time modules – what were the key drivers for doing this?

We wanted a performance solution that would help us streamline the way performance is managed across the group. Historically, appraisals have been managed in a variety of ways across the two companies – we needed to standardise. We also wanted to ensure performance related data was more secure (to keep it out of email inboxes) and visible for the right people when they needed to see it. Cezanne HR’s Performance module, which we’re currently in the design phase with, will manage the whole process for us, and give us the visibility and control we’re looking for.

We have also just added the Time module. Previously, we had an on-premise time management system, but we wanted to consolidate HR systems. Moving our time management to Cezanne HR’s Cloud solution makes sense for us.

How has Cezanne HR helped your business manage COVID-19 challenges?

The visibility that Cezanne HR gives us of our workforce has really helped us manage our staff throughout COVID-19. It’s also been very useful in communicating and sharing information with our remote teams – being Cloud-based really helps. Cezanne HR has kept everyone connected, from an employee and management perspective.

We have also found the flexibility of Cezanne HR to be a real asset. Being able to manage, for example, our processes, notifications and document management all in the one system makes our HR function so much slicker.

Our employees seem to be comfortable with using the system, and our managers and directors have been very positive about the visibility they now have. Given we implemented the system while working from home, we have been very pleased with how smoothly it has all gone.

Simon Miles, CEO of EDW Technology Holdings