TFC Ltd – one of Europe’s leading suppliers of technical fasteners – is improving the efficiency of its people management processes with the help of on-line HR software solution Cezanne HR.

The business operates globally with a UK workforce of around 100 staff operating from a number of TFC locations in the UK and Germany or interfacing directly with customers wherever required. It has seen rapid growth in recent years and as a result had outgrown its previous system of managing HR processes across a series of spreadsheets.

Operations Director Eve Davis recognised the need for a system that would allow TFC to hold all its employee data in one central place and ensure people management was being approached consistently across the business. “Managers on different sites were all managing areas like holidays and absence in their own way, so I felt we could benefit from a software solution that would help us take a more uniform approach,” she explained.

Cezanne HR appealed both because of its easy-to-use and intuitive format and the flexible pricing model. The product is offered on a pay-as-you-go basis with monthly fees being adjusted up – or down – to reflect the number of employees being managed each month. “The pricing was a key attraction for us,” said Eve. “We simply wouldn’t have had the budget available to set up our own system up and keep everything up-to-date.”

Cezanne HR has been fully up and running for around three months now and the business has already seen a significant reduction in the admin time associated with managing annual leave. “We used to have a paper-based system for holiday requests and were wasting an awful lot of time answering queries about how much holiday people had left,” said Eve. “Now, thanks to the self service element, they can simply log in and see for themselves exactly where they stand.”

Cezanne HR has also helped to improve accurate recording of sick leave. “The previous system for logging sick leave was open to inaccuracies and abuse. People weren’t necessarily recording time off properly – if at all – and it was difficult for us to know exactly who was off at any one time,” says Eve. “Having a central, automated system has helped us ensure not just that sickness absence is transparent, but also that the process is being managed efficiently and consistently.”

TFC plans to start using the performance management module available within Cezanne HR in the near future – and believes that it will help to reinforce the importance of managers holding regular performance reviews with their people.

“We are constantly trying to impress on managers the need to do regular performance reviews and although some do this, the information isn’t always recorded properly – and there are others who constantly have to be chased up,” says Eve. “We are hoping that Cezanne HR will help us embed performance management into the ethos of the company.”

The system has been extremely well received by managers across TFC – a fact that has come as a pleasant surprise to Eve. “Managers at some of the sites have previously been reticent about doing things ‘HQ’s way’, but they have just picked this up and run with it and they absolutely love it,” she says. “The reality is it has made their life so much easier, which in turn means they are more likely to comply with the way we want things done.”

The company MD has also become a fan and is now regularly using some of the analytics available within Cezanne HR to produce the information he needs for company presentations. “We put company background into our sales packs and in pitches to prospective clients and it means we can now extract the data we need straight from the system and import it into presentation in the form of an attractive graph,” explains Eve.

One of the other unexpected benefits of Cezanne HR has been its ability to make sales people who are working remotely feel more connected with the business. “It brings people in and helps them feel part of things and less isolated,” says Eve.

Eve is also complimentary about the level of support she has received from the Cezanne HR team – both during the start-up phase, which came at a particularly busy time for the company – and on an ongoing basis.

“They organised a training day for us which was really helpful in terms of getting to understand the system properly and also supported us during the implementation, which was taking place at a time when our resources were really stretched as we were also bringing in new sales software,” says Eve. “Moving forward, we also like the fact that the system is constantly being updated with new features and to keep pace with changes in employment law. We have already suggested a couple of additional features which would be useful to us and they have been really receptive and I am sure we will see them coming to fruition further down the line.”