No system can do it all. That's why companies will often implement multiple solutions from different vendors — such as payroll/HR, time-and-attendance, and ERP. Integrating these systems gives you a strategic benefit from the unique capabilities each application provides. When it all comes together, you have functionality that no single "all-in-one" application can provide.
Achieving those results requires proper planning and coordination. Each vendor's application needs to be set up to meet your business needs AND reliably exchange information between applications.
You can't afford to issue incorrect paychecks, and you definitely don't want to deal with employee or union disputes. So this integration better get done right.
What should you expect when implementing a best of breed solution? While every project is unique, here are a few things to know.
Handpicked related content: Will You Regret Building Your Own Payroll Integration Software?
How Long Will Implementation Take?
You need to go live with the new systems by a certain date. Working with multiple vendors' timelines adds some complexity to meeting that deadline. Be sure your system vendors and integrator discuss details for the overall project timeline and dependencies so you can launch on time.
Whatever solutions you're integrating, expect the overall process to take months, not days. If your company has several complexities to manage — such as union rules, incentive pay, job costing, or unique salary pay rules — the implementation project will require more time. It may look different for you, based on your industry.
At the same time, you can keep the timeline as short as possible by being responsive and available to your vendor's implementation team. The more quickly you can respond, the quicker the project will go.
What Kind of Implementation Support Will You Get?
System and process changes can be intimidating for users, even when they're looking forward to an improved system. You want good assurance that everything will be okay, and that you'll get the answers and the support you need.
What should you expect from your systems integration provider? While every vendor has their own process, there's a basic flow that you can expect.
During the discovery process, your sales consultant will likely take what they've learned about your needs and pass it along to the implementation team. The implementation team will probably ask similar questions, too.
Don't get frustrated by going over the same information again — your implementer is actually doing their due diligence to ensure they have the correct information and fully understand your needs. This is a good sign that you're getting what you need.
The implementation team is your partner to ensure your overall integrated solution meets your company's specific needs. They're your trustworthy partner who's there to help you do this successfully. Choosing vendors with a proven track record of working together is a huge benefit to ensuring a successful outcome.
What's Your Responsibility?
Integrating an HCM & ERP system is a hands-on project for both you and the vendors, but it doesn't have to tyrannize your time. Here are some keys to making the process as smooth as possible.
Routinely check the communication from your implementation team, and be responsive to requests for information. Avoid canceling or postponing meetings, which can quickly throw off the go-live date.
Make sure you're communicating with your internal personnel as well — everyone who will be affected by the integration. Pull together all stakeholders and solicit input from them. Find out about the needs of Finance, HR, and Payroll.
How Does Testing Work?
Once the systems have been implemented, you'll need to run some dummy payrolls, job costing and GL reports to check for errors. It's extremely important to test before going live to ensure that you get the results you're expecting.
Use your implementation team as a resource to know how to set up a good test plan, then ensure that the test plan is accurate.
Identify and document testing scenarios , based on your company's unique complexities. Also work with your IT group to ensure your environment is ready for the implementation.
For example, IDI recommends testing for 1 to 2 pay periods before going live. If you didn't receive expected results, document any error messages and the results, and share them with your implementation team.
After 30 years of implementing integration solutions, we've developed an efficient process that will go as smoothly as possible for you. We understand how valuable your time is.
Integrate with Confidence
Implementing a standout solution doesn't have to be a scary process, if you know what to expect — and if you have a partner who understands your unique payroll needs.
Implementing a fully integrated system is a major step. Know what you're getting into and you'll put your organization in a position to grow successfully.
Get more payroll expertise delivered to your inbox. Subscribe to the blog.