Advanced’s HR software is key to Chestertons Global’s efficiency gains and time savings

15 December 2014

Absence administration time reduced from three days to 20 minutes per month

Chestertons Global (Chestertons), one of the UK’s leading property consultancies, is saving three days every month by automating employee absence management reporting, using OpenHR from Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced). The saving has been achieved through the introduction of self-service timesheets which enable employees to record absence information electronically.

Chestertons’ eight-strong HR team are now able to complete absence related administration and reporting in 20 minutes per month, enabling them to dedicate more time to strategic projects and supporting senior managers. 

The HR team uses OpenHR to manage the records of more than 650 employees across 45 regional branches. Information ranges from basic contact details to records of attendance, holidays, training, salaries, commissions and benefits such as pensions and healthcare. The solution is also used by Chestertons' IT team to stream photos, job titles, phone numbers and location information to the company’s intranet. 

Helen Adams, Associate HR Admin, Systems and Fleet Analyst, Chestertons Global comments: “OpenHR is a simple and intuitive system and as a result, we have been able to design and roll-out the self-service timesheets ourselves. Having eliminated the need for HR staff to enter and collate data manually, we are now able to focus more time on personnel development and providing senior managers with the information they need to make decisions.

“The support and training we receive from Advanced is consistently excellent and has enabled us to modify OpenHR ourselves, tailoring the system to suit the way we work. When we do need help, I particularly like the fact that I get to speak to the same people each time I call. Advanced’s support team know our system inside-out and I think of them as colleagues as opposed to supplier employees.”

Chestertons originally implemented OpenHR in 2008 to replace multiple spreadsheets which were used to manage personnel records - a system prone to duplications and errors. Having successfully streamlined its efficiencies by centralising all personnel information within the system, the company decided to deploy the OpenPeople payroll solution in 2010.

In its first year of using the solution, the company saved £44K in annual payroll service bureau fees and since then has saved an average of £27k per year by using the software. 

Both systems were key to facilitating the recent de-merger of Chestertons into two separate companies; a major project completed on April 1 2014. OpenHR and OpenPeople were used to manage the separation of all personnel and payroll records whilst continuing to provide services and support to all 650 staff.

“The fact that both systems are seamlessly integrated means we only ever need to enter employee information once and it is automatically shared between both systems. This has been key to reducing manual data entry and improving the accuracy of our information. This was especially important during the recent company de-merger” concludes Adams.

In October 2014, Chestertons Global was announced as outstanding team of the year in Advanced’s annual Halo Awards in recognition of their achievements in developing the new self-service timesheets in processes. 

The Halo Awards recognise best practice for customers’ use of Advanced’s finance, human capital management, supply chain management, not-for-profit and ticketing solutions.

Advanced Business Solutions is part of Advanced Computer Software Group. In 2014, the Group won Tech Company of the Year in PwC’s UK Tech Awards and was ranked in the Deloitte UK Technology Fast 50, which recognises the 50 fastest growing technology companies in the UK.

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