Building a Seamless Pipeline Between HR and FinanceJune 30, 2023
See how HP Piping is using Paylocity to save thousands of dollars a week with automations and more efficient processes.
The Texas oilfields are a tough environment, and the infrastructure used for extracting oil and gas needs to be tough, too. HP Piping plays a key role in keeping workers safe by supplying rugged, high-quality pressure piping, storage vessels, and gooseneck assemblies, as well as custom welding services.
Every year, thousands of custom builds and repair jobs pass through the company’s workshops — some requiring only a single weld, others potentially taking hours or days of a skilled technician’s time. To ensure clients are billed correctly, the company must meticulously track labor costs for each job, down to the minute.
That was a problem for HP Piping’s HR and finance teams, as Stacy Miller, HR Manager, explains: “When I started here, everything was manual. We manually entered time into QuickBooks, and it took two and a half days to get a week’s worth of time in there. Then we just got bigger. We almost doubled in size during my first year, and we figured out we needed to do something more automated.”
After a first attempt to automate payroll and job costing with Paycor failed, HP Piping went back to the market to find a vendor that could cope with tracking time and labor for dozens or even hundreds of jobs simultaneously — a journey that ultimately led to success with Paylocity.
“HR is in a much better place now. When I come to our executive team with some fun idea for what we can do next with Paylocity, they're all for it.”
Making the Business Run Like Clockwork
Manual clocking, time-tracking, and costing processes caused headaches for technicians, supervisors, HR, and finance teams at HP Piping.
Manual Processes Can’t Scale
To keep HP Piping’s business running smoothly, two things need to happen. Technicians need to be able to turn around jobs as quickly and efficiently as possible for clients. And the company needs to track the time its technicians spend on each job accurately to ensure clients are billed correctly.
Early in the company’s history, it made sense to ask technicians to log their hours using time clocks on the shop floor. From there, the finance team entered the data manually into its QuickBooks accounting software. But as the business grew, these manual processes became increasingly burdensome.
Wasted Time Impacts Productivity
“It used to take a lot of time for a technician to leave their area, find their next piece, find the time clock, clock into the job, and go back and get started,” says Stacy. “Those wasted minutes added up to thousands of dollars a week.”
Moreover, different employees took different approaches to assigning the time spent moving between jobs, which created inconsistencies. Supervisors spent hours making manual updates to fix these issues. And each week, a member of the finance team spent two and a half days just assigning time and costs to each job in QuickBooks.
Broken System, Broken Promises
To automate this process, HP Piping deployed a solution from Paycor to handle payroll and time tracking — but the results didn’t live up to expectations. “It took a lot of manual entry, probably a whole day just for our controller to fix the data so that she could pull her report into QuickBooks,” says Stacey. “Nothing was matching up. Paycor was supposedly working on it the entire time, but it was never completely right.”
The final straw was when HP Piping discovered that the solution wasn’t handling taxes correctly, which posed an unacceptable business risk. The company decided to go back to the market and replace Paycor with a different vendor — and that’s where Paylocity came in.
“I can pull up any job and Paylocity will tell me who worked on it, with a breakdown of all the labor costs including taxes and company benefits. So, we have the correct overhead costs for everything. It's perfect.”
Automating Time & Labor
With Paylocity, HP Piping has streamlined its labor time and costing processes, saving hours of work and thousands of dollars per week.
Transferring Jobs with One Tap
Today, instead of leaving their work area and waiting in line at a timeclock, employees at HP Piping use the Paylocity Mobile App to clock in and out of their jobs. “The ability to transfer between jobs with a single tap on the screen means there are fewer punches and less room for error,” says Stacy. “It saves time too. They just pull their phone out of their pocket, transfer into the next job, and boom, they're ready to start working.”
Calculating Costs in Seconds
Unlike the other vendors that HP Piping approached, Paylocity was also able to solve the problem of calculating accurate costs for hundreds of jobs each week. “With Paylocity, all we have to do is run a custom report after every payroll and it pulls all the job costing information into QuickBooks,” says Stacy. “I can pull up any job and Paylocity will tell me who worked on it, with a breakdown of all the labor costs including taxes and company benefits. So, we have the correct overhead costs for everything. It's perfect.”
Fast Paperless Onboarding
While Time & Attendance was the main reason for choosing Paylocity, HP Piping is also getting value from several other features of the platform. “Onboarding is helpful because we have a location eight hours away in West Texas, and I can't easily get out there to get them hired on,” says Stacy. “It makes the process so easy, our new hires breeze right through it.”
Strengthening Workplace Culture
Because many employees don’t have company email accounts, the HR team now uses Community as a broadcast network to keep everyone informed. “Community is like our company Facebook page,” says Stacy. “I put announcements, company events and contests on there. And we encourage our employees to give shout-outs to one another, which they’ve started doing a lot.”
Fully Integrated Benefits
Finally, Paylocity’s Benefits Administration integrates with Employee Navigator, which HP Piping uses to manage benefits. “It's much easier for me, because I don't have to figure out all the totals and deductions,” says Stacy. “And when employees make a change in either system, it flows over into the other automatically. We were blown away that the systems can talk to each other so easily.”
Transforming the Role of HR
By streamlining and automating administrative processes, Paylocity frees HP Piping’s HR team to focus on innovation.
Measurable Efficiency Gains
Switching to Paylocity has delivered measurable efficiency benefits for HP Piping’s HR and finance teams. Entering job costings into QuickBooks — previously a two-and-a-half-day task — is now fully automated. Running payroll only takes an hour, and onboarding is three times faster. And employee productivity is up too, saving thousands of dollars per week by eliminating downtime between jobs.
Service Aligned to Business Needs
Besides the smarter technology, HP Piping also appreciates Paylocity’s commitment to customer service. “If there’s an issue two minutes before I run payroll, I call Paylocity, we get it fixed, and I'm always on time,” says Stacy. She adds: “It’s a big deal to have good service from a vendor who truly understands our needs. I know I'm going to save money overall when I have processes in place that really work for our business.”
HR that Adds Value
The success of the pivot to Paylocity has changed the whole perception of HR within HP Piping. Stacy concludes: “HR is in a much better place now. People aren't scared to come and talk to me or come to me with issues. And the executive team is very open-minded because they’ve seen how much it helps the bottom line when you can automate things. So now, when I come to them with some fun idea for what we can do next with Paylocity, they're all for it.”
“If there’s an issue two minutes before I run payroll, I call Paylocity, we get it fixed, and I'm always on time. It’s a big deal to have good service from a vendor who truly understands our needs.”
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