In the February 2009 issue of “Human Resources”, I wrote a cover story with the title “Saving Strategies for the Economy”. I read the article and agreed with most of what I said, until I got to a chapter about technology and contact management.
The following are chapters that I pay serious attention to.
Technology and contract management
Your mailbox may be flooded with software advertisements that the provider says you can’t buy. But unless a vital system lingers on the brink of collapse, hold on.
Three options to weather the storm and limit the cost of new purchases:
Open the door. Reduce software license fees by switching to a free “open source” alternative. For example, Google Docs allows users to create documents with spreadsheets, and store documents with online partners.
No special requirements. Before asking suppliers to customize ready-made tight products to fit your existing processes, please think twice. It increases the cost of the front-end, and may cause failures that will endanger future services.
Bargaining hard. Establish a policy of re-contracting all supplier contracts and leases. During the recession, prices and payment terms and timetables became negotiable. Be careful when designing all-inclusive solutions: additional components may cost you. Involve suppliers in the development of proposals – they may provide tips for saving money.
Human Resources Magazine, February 2009.
My general focus on one part of this article is that it completely lacks any details, substance or value. The article is about 8 pages long, with almost two paragraphs devoted to saving technical funds. I think the author seriously miscalculated the importance of technology to Hr. I want to know if it has ever been transferred from a company that provides the required technology to the human resources department. If you have, I believe you know what I’m talking about.
“Open? Can you provide me with a list of free “open source” software alternatives for companies that handle time and attendance, handle hiring, process review, handle benefits management or process manual orders? Wait; no . I don’t know how any human resources department can use Google Docs to meet these mandatory requirements. I have written a few other articles and put forward arguments against open source HRIS solutions.
“No special requirements”? Excuse me, I smiled for a second, so I can’t type. Okay, I agree that customization does increase the front-end cost of the project, but to be honest, in my previous business, most of the time, we customize the system, which creates interfaces between various systems. This type of customization may significantly reduce the number of manual input hours and reduce the possibility of manual input errors. As for customization that causes “failures that will endanger the service later”, I don’t know what this means. I am interested in hearing the author’s real life examples.
Can I bargain hard? On the surface, it is a good suggestion, but it is extremely unlikely to succeed because the terms of the support or lease contract are exactly the contract. If you buy a new tight system, the author says that you should stick to it, or you can bargain for a slightly lower cost, but I don’t think it works with existing contracts. “Be careful when designing all-inclusive proposals: additional components may cost you costs. Involve suppliers in the development of the proposal-they may provide tips for saving money. I will comment on this sentence, but I don’t know what it means.
Listen, if you want to save money on human resources technology, you can. Frankly speaking, the book can be written on this exact subject. If your company is laying off employees, including employees in the human resources department, it may be important to add technology to enable the department to run more efficiently. There are articles and studies that show how human resource software can actually save the company money. There is a good example.
I recently wrote a post about saving money by looking for alternatives to national labor companies. In a real life, my previous consulting company saved $250,000 for a 1,200-employee manufacturing company for the labor cost of the next five years. At the same time, we provide companies with more functions, such as employee self-service and custom interfaces between various applications. We do everything without having to use the document. My point in this post is that you can increase functionality and reduce costs by looking for alternatives to national payroll processing companies. For this company, it is wise not to retreat and wander around.
I wrote another post about saving HRIS technical support fees. One of our suppliers wrote another article with the title “Powerful and Affordable.”