Eco-friendly packaging specialist Vegware is streamlining its people processes with the help of an online HR software solution from Cezanne HR.

The Edinburgh-based company develops and manufactures an award-winning range of catering disposables and food packaging.  All its products, which are sold globally, are made from renewable or recycled materials and are completely compostable.

Vegware’s team grew rapidly from 2 in 2009 to over 50 in 2014, and the HR needs changed dramatically in this time. In particular the software managing annual leave was no longer fit for purpose, leading HR Co-ordinator Emma Young to look around for a replacement. However the search led to unimpressive results in terms of the cost and functionality of what was on the market, so Emma expanded her remit to systems that could manage a range of HR processes.  A demo of Cezanne HR’s Cloud-based system convinced her it would be the perfect fit for the business.  “The core HR and absence modules do everything I need for now – and there is scope in the future to take up other modules as the company grows, rather than paying for things we are not immediately using,” she says.  “I was also able to get a full HR system for the same price as other products that only covered annual leave.”

A system that would link seamlessly with the Google calendars used across the business was essential to Vegware.  The software developers at Cezanne HR were able to build in some additional functionality (which is now available to all users) so that annual leave booked via the HR system is automatically updated on Vegware’s annual leave Google calendar.

“We have a field based sales team so it’s vital to keep track of who is off when, and have this information feed into other systems that we use” says Emma.

Emma did some initial training with Cezanne HR and then launched the system with a small test group.  Staff found it intuitive and easy to use, and the system has now been rolled out across the business.  Reaction from managers, who now have oversight of absence in their teams, has been positive and Emma has also found the system is helping her cut down on time-consuming admin.

“It is helping us keep all the data in one central place and the ability for team members to self-manage makes it easier to ensure the information we have is up-to-date,” she says.

Vegware is also beginning to see the benefits of improved management information.  It is able to run off regular reports on headcount, for example, and can monitor sickness absence to see if any trends are emerging.  Looking further ahead, Emma believes they will also find the training and development and performance management modules useful.

“It’s definitely a system for the long term as there’s so much you can do with it.  The support team have also been absolute stars and have been really thorough and quick to respond.  I can’t recommend it highly enough and in fact I’ve already recommended it to an ex-colleague who is looking for a new HR system,” she says.