November 5, 2020 HCM System Support, HCM Technology, Implementation Support

Implementing a New HCM System – Should it be Part of Your 2021 Strategy?

Purchasing and implementing cloud-based Human Capital Management (HCM) software is a huge investment. Many organizations that delayed 2020 HCM implementations because of the pandemic might have benefitted from using the technology to help guide critical decisions during the crisis. For those looking to make the investment in 2021, Wise Consulting’s President and COO, Steve Grem, who has stood at the helm through many HCM system implementations in his career, offers insight.

Cloud-Based HCM Systems Provide Critical Tools to Facilitate Accessibility & Improved Workflows

Grem was in the Human Capital Management field long before it was called Human Capital Management. Prior to joining Wise, he specialized in leveraging systems and technologies to help organizations drive transformation resulting in process efficiencies, reduction of compliance burden and empowering employees through the value and benefit of HR.

For many organizations, how work gets done has been significantly impacted by the pandemic. With more remote working and distanced scheduling protocols, systems that meet the evolving needs of HR and employees alike have become essential. “There are a couple of things about solutioning for an organization’s success that a cloud-based Human Capital Management (HCM) system can support,” says Grem. “Number one is accessibility for the people including employees, managers and HR team access to the information they need in handling all of the processing that goes with new hires, job changes, salary changes, employee data changes, etc. Accessibility and ease of use is critical. That is where a cloud-based and smart HCM software solution makes an impact. It has been a game-changer for several years and is even more recognized now because the workforce in 2020 has become so much more remote and dependent on technology.

“Second, another area big for utilization and for efficiencies in an organization is workflows. HR Operations can automate workflow with the features and functionality that modern HCM software solutions provide. By automating a workflow, you can pass information back and forth very easily. That means you can make decisions based more on fact and decrease the amount of time spent engaged in those processes.  Then, the output of that is the data itself that has been captured accurately, which is then used to help in auditing for accuracy and also for decision-making in the larger sense. The data becomes information for the organization to use to assess the issues they are experiencing, how they can address those issues and what the outcomes of the decisions they make are.”

HCM Analytics as a Tool for Better Decision-Making

Grem believes that organizations that have been collecting and analyzing data throughout the pandemic have an edge in measuring lessons learned and rebounding more quickly. “Many organizations will be using technology to help in navigating what the COVID impact has been to their business and their people. The data captured by a modern HCM system is going to go a long way to helping provide information about whether the decisions made during or after the pandemic are having the desired impact. Data on flexible schedules, product development, sales, customer service, and a variety of different factors could be used to determine how specific decisions have made a difference. I think that organizations analyzing their data will come out of this era recognizing what the key components of their organization are that are most important to build their recovery plan around. Scalability is another factor in investing in a new HCM system. Looking at the product for scalability and how it can support the internal growth of an organization as well as the employee experience during growth in the months and years ahead is vital. The system fundamentally needs to be able to expand in support of organizational goals and continually improving the employee experience.”

How Can the Price Tag of a New HCM System be Justified?

For many companies, investment in new HCM software is a major decision mostly due to the initial cost of software and implementation services. For Grem, it comes down to evaluating key areas such as increasing employee engagement, improving automation, workflows, reporting and analytics and of course, mitigation of compliance risk. If the measure of a return on investment (ROI) is high, it’s well worth the price. “I think for an organization to justify the expense of a cloud-based HCM system, they can look at the factors that have affected results throughout the pandemic. Accessibility, remote workforce and analytics are some areas that organizations will be looking at to see where efficiencies can be gained and compliance risks can be addressed more easily as well as where they can increase the employee experience to keep employees engaged. So, I think the systems and technology will be top of list to get in place because that will create the greatest gain and reward for an organization and justify the costs. They can measure that because the return on investment is about reducing the time employees spend on things that are outside of their day to day job, allowing them to focus on generating revenue and client satisfaction. It is also about the employee experience. If employees are satisfied and comfortable in their jobs, they are more likely to stay put.  HCM technology solutions and comprehensive implementation attention can go a long way toward making an organization progress to its next phase of development.”

Achieving Optimal ROI Through Professional HCM Implementation Support

Many companies find that they improve ROI on a new HCM system significantly by optimizing the features of their cloud-based software product. The single best way to do this is through expert implementation. It is tempting to think that savings will be made through doing the implementation 100% in-house, but for many organizations this leads to problems and frustration down the line. Grem knows from first-hand experience as the client implementing new software and from a deep understanding of professional implementation services that springing for expert implementation help pays dividends.

“Wise is an employee-owned consulting firm and we translate that ownership into providing the best experience and outcomes for our clients. We want to make sure that clients not only gain the benefits of what we do for them but also with the learning, training and knowledge transfer during the process so that they understand why it was done the way it was done and how to problem-solve moving forward. It is great when clients come back to us for more work, but it is even more powerful when an organization looks back and says, ‘it’s because of Wise Consulting and how they trained and educated us on how to do it that we can drive additional efficiencies inside our organization.’ That is a big point of differentiation and reward the client recognizes.

“Wise Consulting is unique in a lot of respects and it has to do with the history of our consultants’ practitioner experience. We bring to the table not only the technical knowledge and skills associated with HCM and payroll services but also the hands-on experience of having been in our clients’ shoes – this goes a long way in the development of your product configuration and leveraging your use of system modules, features and functionality in a way that derives a real benefit. Our consultants are very familiar with the employee experience and help to influence organizations in making transformational changes through technology to ensure that the employee experience is positive. We want our clients’ employees to take advantage of all the technology features and functionality of their new HCM product so that their organization can move forward and operate optimally in supporting change and growth.”

Reach out to our Wise implementation team by sending an email to, calling 800-654-4550 or visiting


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