By Sherrice Gilcreast, Chief Administrative Officer, Community Care, Inc.
Choosing an HCM technology partner is no simple task. There is a plethora of providers in the market today, some well-known and some less so. Before any organization makes their selection, it’s important to thoroughly assess each vendor in consideration. It’s critical to determine whether they have the capabilities to address the needs of the business and how each vendor will offer continued support if and when you need it the most.
When my organization, Community Care Inc., started to look for our new HCM technology partner, we went through a detailed and meticulous process of assessing, questioning, and critiquing vendors that we thought were potentially a good fit for us. During this process, we received demos that showcased features and functionality. We had extensive conversations with each vendor to better understand how they treated and supported their customers. At the end, we were quite impressed with some and with others, not so much. Eventually, Community Care selected a provider that we felt best understood our business needs and offered the necessary support to help us in effectively managing our human capital even after our go-live.
So what important questions did we ask to better gauge each vendor and determine whether they were the right fit for us? Here are 3 key questions that any business should ask when they’re looking for a new HCM technology partner:
1. What makes your technology the best fit for our specific needs?
For Community Care, this was an important question for us. We needed to find a solution that offered technology that would help us efficiently manage a large workforce. It was also important that the new technology would enable our managers to have greater control and visibility into their scheduling costs. Additionally, another one of our key requirements was that we needed to have a solution that would enable us to stay compliant to complex regulations like Wage and Hour and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Many of the vendors we reviewed describe their solutions in such a way that made it sound like they could meet our needs, but in actuality when we dug deeper, they couldn’t all solve the problems the way we needed them solved. One avenue that can help is through peer-to-peer validation. If a vendor can provide customer reference calls, participate. Listen to what other customers have to say about how that solution has helped and their overall experience.
2. What’s your business strategy in setting this project up for success?
Ask each vendor if they can provide you with a plan. Do they follow a cookie cutter approach or is it customized according to their customers’ requirements? Have them outline each step of the process. From conducting a full needs analysis, to how implementation will be executed – phased or full roll-out – to the testing phases of the solution before go-live; these are all important steps that need to be defined, established, and communicated. In order to ensure success, it’s important to set key milestone dates and work towards them collaboratively.
3. What levels of service or support will be provided before and after go-live?
It’s important to know how much help will be provided to you by the vendor. How will they help during the implementation process? How much support will be provided after the solution goes live? Will a dedicated service manager be assigned to help in handling any escalations or concerns? It’s the vendor’s responsibility to help guide you through the process and to address any risks or challenges that may be encountered along the way.
Remember, when you’re making an investment of this size, you need to make the right choice. After all, you want to see a return on your investment in the long run. When Community Care selected Ceridian and Dayforce HCM, we made the right decision that fit our needs and found a partner we could work with!
Sherrice Gilcreast has worked at Community Care, Inc. since 2008. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Health Services Administration from Wilberforce University and holds the management designation, Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and SHRM-SCP as well as her Masters of Arts degree in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix.