Times remain uncertain for all, and during these seasons it is important that medium-sized businesses adopt HR and payroll solutions that address their shifting financial, operational, and compliance requirements. Additionally, flexible, and tailored solutions will help manage growing complexity, and scale to meet future growth.
Clark Fourie, director and co-owner of XFour Solutions — HR & payroll implementation specialists, says that Sage 300 People is the ideal solution. It offers an agile, reasonably priced, innovative solution with best-in-class capabilities, that is scalable, efficient, and compliant, ensuring accurate payroll, no matter how complex an organisation’s needs.
“It also helps businesses to get a better picture of their work forces, helping them to unlock powerful insights, to better shape their business strategy, and transform the entire experience with web-based self-service,” he adds.
However, it’s not just about the product. Having a good partner to help with implementation, bridge the knowledge between the HR department and the chosen solution, management and updates, is key.
“This is particularly true in unprecedented times, such as the COVID-19 pandemic that has changed the face of businesses across the board,” he says. “What we did well was adapt to the virtual ways of work, providing continuity in our service delivery in a time when our clients need it most. This ensured that our clients were not only legislatively compliant throughout the pandemic but able to implement peripheral functionality to monitor and manage the change in how employees engage with colleagues and customers. A simple example is the ability for an employee to apply for a permit to travel across borders during lockdown on the organisations self-service portal via their PC or mobile device.”
Being fully informed and up to date enabled XFour to offer exceptional customer support during this period. “Our support desk was up and running, our door was always open to provide handholding and guidance. Servicing customers for life is a core value at XFour, as such we have invested and matured our support department prior to the pandemic struct. We were already geared to provide remote support so the transition, for us as a business, was seamless and without teething issues.”
Fourie says although XFour Solutions adapted easily to remote working, some organisations, depending on the sector of the economy, found the transition difficult. They required additional support on their HR and Payroll platform, particularly for issues that speak directly to employees, such as Employee Self Service (ESS). “Sage, like any large software vendor focuses on the needs of the many employees and on the generic strategy, so our niche is creating bespoke, custom features to meet our customers’ specific needs.”
One of the reasons Sage is so compelling, is that it is open to this integration, he says. “Instead of trying to create a closed system, Sage is producing a solution that can integrate with existing third-party applications, and supplement them where they lack, which is extremely forward thinking. Sage up-skills and supports its partners to assist their customers in any areas in which they fall short.
Being a massive conglomerate comes with a trade off in the form of structural inertia. They perfect their general solutions quickly, and then able their partners to write custom solutions for niche requirements.”
Citing an example, he says there are generic functionalities such as the ability to update personal details, review and download payslips or IRP5s, or even apply for and approve expense claims. “When it comes to enhancements, we have had clients in the mining sector who required us to update their travel requisition module to enable employees to book flights or accommodation, and added specific requirements around COVID and the associated travel requirements.
“We have also made it possible for HR administrators and even employees to fill in large portions of the on-boarding process and instead kept them up to date through the ESS portal instead of using a generic approach.”
Over and above the technology, what differentiates Sage is its focus on keeping customers for life. “It’s not just about making the sale or doing quick ‘hit and run’ implementation. It’s about taking a journey with the customer as their business changes. As the ecosystem changes Sage is really quick to adapt too.
All the directors at XFour Solutions worked in relatively senior positions at Sage, breaking away from the company to start the business with the ideal skill sets and a multi-faceted outlook, Fourie explains. “This isn’t only from a Sage implementation perspective, as we are an exceptionally strong technical company, which is a huge differentiator for our business.
We not only have strong HR and payroll expertise, but also the ability to host for our customers to get their infrastructure up and running, implement their integrations, write custom reports and offer bespoke development.”
Another aspect that that differentiates XFour Solutions, he says, is its commitment to the customer. “We are HR and payroll specialists. We didn’t dilute our business to focus on accounting, or other sectors of the business, we were born and bred HR and payroll and that’s where our focus is and will remain.
Moreover, our journey as implementation partners for enterprise customers, has given us the knowledge and experience to advise our customers on what others in the industry are doing, so instead of walking the journey from scratch, we can piggyback on what we know works in the market, and adapt it to their unique needs,” Fourie concludes.
Behind the scenes – XFour Solutions -The world of HR and payroll is complex – now more so than ever with an event like the global Covid pandemic. XFour offers expertise based on years of experience in implementing and managing HR and payroll solutions, specifically designed to meet South Africa’s stringent legal requirements. In addition, their extensive international experience allows them to provide relevant input on cross-border solutions for those South African companies who are trading in Africa and the Middle East. They offer a complete suite of management consulting, project management, professional services, bespoke development, training and support, tailor-made for any business.