Do You Really Need a New System or Vendor?
HR and payroll professionals often become frustrated by the limited support they receive from payroll and HR system vendors. In fact, vendor support challenges are the primary reason that most companies seek out new systems. But an expensive and time consuming decision like changing your entire HR system is not always the solution.
Many companies are ready to jump to a new HRIS system before they explore the reasons why their current system isn’t working. Sometimes expanding the system, adding on, or learning more underutilized features is enough.
WHEN SUPPORT ISN’T SUPPORTIVE
Should frustrations with Support provide a valid reason to change systems? Potentially not. Your current HR and payroll system may be exactly what you need, but you just don’t realize it yet. Knowing whether you need a new system, or just to understand expectations of support, and your expectations of the system itself. It’s natural to want the best from the system that you have. But to understand if you’re zeroing in on the root cause of your issues, you must step back and take a broader look at what is truly the issue with your current system and what your ideals are.
IS SUPPORT THE ISSUE?
When the current system isn’t meeting a company’s needs, the initial reaction is often to assume that support is inadequate. When the system isn’t performing as expected, it’s easy to wonder why a simple call to vendor support can’t point you in the right direction is to look at your expectations of vendor support.
Do you think that the support rep should be able to solve any problem that you have? It may mean that they can’t answer any question you have, especially when it comes to areas of the system that you may not yet know exist or aren’t using. You can’t ask questions about what you don’t know exists, and they won’t know to tell you unless you directly ask. Vendor support reps are usually trained to understand a system as it comes and nothing more.
The unfortunate drawback of this is that, if your question isn’t asked in the exact right way, Support may not know how to answer it effectively. Vendor support reps are so tuned in to answering specific “frequently asked” questions that they often don’t or can’t look any deeper.
It’s not unreasonable to expect Support to provide…support. But tempering your expectations about what kind of assistance they can provide is a step toward understanding if the issue is about your system, or about how you’re using and understanding your system. You must begin to think more deeply about what your company is trying to accomplish, and why the system isn’t doing what you need in the first place.
FINDING THE CAUSE OF YOUR SYSTEM ISSUES
Putting some time and effort into examining your needs can save the burden of getting a new system only to find yourself having the same issues as with the last. To look at what’s causing your problems, take a step back.
Ask the following questions about your current system:
- Can your current system perform the actions you need?
- What are your frustrations?
- What areas of the system do you feel are causing inefficiency?
- How and where are you working around the system (using spreadsheets and other manual tools)?
Is there really a support issue after all? Or does asking these questions uncover other issues? Maybe it’s actually the everyday use of spreadsheets and manual workarounds that’s the bigger issue, or your systems just aren’t working well together.
Nailing down these specifics will paint you a clearer picture of the root causes of your system pitfalls. It’s really about finding out what needs to change and then working from there. Maybe it’s a process that needs change, or maybe it’s just time to get help with user-training. Getting a new vendor or system won’t help when training is what you need.
However, if you find that your issues are based on known system limitations, then you have found your starting point to looking at a new system. If not, then you can save your company a lot of money and future trouble by sticking with your current system— and learning to work with it rather than against it.