Automotive Manufacturer Fuels Product Innovation with Streamlined HR

April 28, 2023

Learn how Team 1 Plastics uses Paylocity to streamline and simplify their complex HR and Payroll needs.

Behind the billion-dollar automotive giants there’s a network of manufacturers producing the key components that ensure their vehicles run smoothly. One of those key suppliers is Team 1 Plastics, a Michigan company that specializes in plastic injection molding for automotive lighting, powertrain, and electrical systems.

While much of its portfolio focuses on products for traditional internal combustion engines, Team 1 Plastics is also looking ahead to 2030 and beyond. Increasingly, the company invests in state-of-the-art production capabilities for components used in hybrid and electric vehicles.

This spirit of innovation runs deep at Team 1 Plastics, and HR is no exception. Rob Clothier, HR Manager, explains: “We have around 70 people in the company, but a HR team of just one. That means I am always striving to improve process efficiency and save time. My goal is to find new ways to make life easier for our employees and deliver greater strategic value to the business.”

For many years, Team 1 Plastics built its own systems to manage its HR processes. But when a key systems administrator retired, the company changed course and deployed ADP. Within months, problems were mounting—there were payroll errors and frequent downtime. Another shift in direction was needed. This time, the company turned to Paylocity—and it hasn’t looked back since.

“HR is typically seen as a cost center rather than a source of real business value. We’re shifting that view with Paylocity and bringing much more to the table, such as data-driven insights for our decision-makers.”

Rob Clothier, HR Manager


The Challenge

Lightening the Load on HR’s Shoulders

ADP wasn’t delivering on its promises, and spreadsheets were slowing key processes. Team 1 Plastics wanted a fresh approach to HR management that would help counter high turnover.

Unreliable HR Systems Lead to Payroll Errors 
The move to ADP created headaches for both Rob and other Team 1 Plastics employees. Tax errors emerged in payroll, and Rob spent hours on the phone with technical support. The clocking in system often went down, leading to missed punches and extra work. “The system became unpopular very quickly, especially when people couldn’t clock in and out for their shifts,” says Rob. “We simply lost trust in the vendor.”

Manual Processes Take Time and Increase Risk 
For many processes, Rob relied on spreadsheets and paper forms that were time- consuming and difficult to use. For example, to compile annual Affordable Care Act (ACA) reports, Rob spent a week manually working through care plans and building spreadsheets. Likewise, onboarding and benefits enrollments involved sitting with employees for hours, filling out stacks of paperwork, before entering data into separate systems. It was tedious and error-prone work.

Curbing Attrition for Entry-Level Roles 
Beyond technology and processes, Team 1 Plastics faces an ongoing battle to retain talent. “We do really well on skilled and technical positions, but recruiting for entry- level roles is a nightmare,” adds Rob. “We are surrounded by other manufacturers offering similar positions and compensation. We even have people ghost us after we hire them.” To minimize attrition, Team 1 Plastics therefore looks to create a great working environment and employee experience.

“When I looked at a demo of Paylocity, I loved the platform immediately. It was so much easier to use than ADP, and the communication from Paylocity was so much better. The implementation went very smoothly, and Paylocity has worked really well ever since.”

Rob Clothier, HR Manager


The Solution

Shifting Gear for Greater HR Agility

Team 1 Plastics uses Paylocity to inject flexibility and efficiency into its HR processes, automating labor-intensive manual working and delivering insights into turnover and diversity.

A Robust Solution Simplifies Time Collection 
With Paylocity, Team 1 Plastics now has a reliable HR platform. The Payroll module maintains paycheck accuracy, while employees access Time & Attendance via the Paylocity Mobile App or a kiosk tablet to clock in and out, with geofencing ensuring only those on site can punch timecards. “This has been huge: the Paylocity platform is always available for people to record attendance,” adds Rob.

Making Life Easy for Employees 
Clocking in via mobile keeps things simple for employees, and Paylocity’s Employee Self-Service enables them to check paychecks and request paid time off (PTO) remotely. “Simple things like viewing paychecks or holiday balances from your couch make a big difference,” explains Rob. Team 1 Plastics also uses the Paylocity Surveys tool to monitor employee satisfaction, and to arrange corporate events that help build team spirit.

Digitalized Processes Replace Clunky Spreadsheets
Inefficient spreadsheets and paperwork are now a thing of the past. New hires enter their details online in Paylocity’s Onboarding module, and data flows straight into their HR and payroll records. During enrollment for health insurance coverage, employees use Benefits Administration to view and select plans. “It’s as simple as completing a few online forms, and the system automatically shows how plans will impact their paycheck,” adds Rob. Team 1 Plastics leverages Paylocity’s Flexible Benefits, which helps maximize third-party administrative (TPA) benefit offerings such as health saving accounts (HSAs) and flexible spending accounts (FSAs).

Tracking Key HR Trends and Metrics 
With Insights & Recommendations, Team 1 Plastics generates regular reports on employee turnover and diversity and inclusion. “I really like using the Paylocity analytics tools, and will use them a lot more in future,” says Rob. “They’re so useful for filtering data from employee and customer surveys, or for grabbing a snapshot of departmental headcounts or gender and demographic trends.”


The Results

Motoring Towards a More Successful Future

With Paylocity, Team 1 Plastics has accelerated onboarding and benefits enrollments, made life better for both HR and employees, and gained more time for value-add strategic work.

Improved Employee Experiences Cut the Risk of Turnover
Team 1 Plastics now offers employees a frictionless working experience that helps to increase retention. Rob explains: “Around 60% of our workforce doesn’t use
a computer, so the mobile app is so important. People just love using the app, especially for clocking in and out. They don’t have to wait in line at the time clock at shift changes.” The self-service model cuts Rob’s workload, too, as employees can now change direct deposit details and W-4 forms themselves.

Generating Huge Time and Cost Savings
Using Paylocity to automate processes such as calculating insurance deductions
has unlocked massive time and cost savings. Onboarding now takes no more than 30 minutes, saving an hour and a half per employee. ACA reporting is now more than 99% faster, while benefits management workloads are lower by at least 80%. Rob confirms: “The benefits process has gone from extremely cumbersome to taking barely any time. Conservatively, I’d say we save as much as 50 hours each year.”

Turning HR Into a More Strategic Function
With more time available and stronger data analytics capabilities, the role of HR at Team 1 Plastics is shifting, too. Rob now focuses more on strategic work for the company rather than data entry. “I have so many plans, such as building HR performance scorecards, and analyzing first year retention and labor costs per dollar, which will help us build more robust business processes,” adds Rob.

“Preparing ACA reports used to take one week every year when we used paper forms and spreadsheets. With Paylocity, we’re done in 20 minutes. Plus, we know the system will get things right. It’s a massive time and cost saving for us.”

Rob Clothier, HR Manager


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