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Encore invests in cloud-based HR software to support continued growth

Voted the Best Company to Work For 2013/2014 and winners of the Best People Development Award 2012/2013, Encore places employee engagement, reward and development high on its agenda. But having experienced 50% growth last year – and with mirrored projections for the 12 months ahead – this 150-strong organisation soon found its previous software system was inadequate.

To date Encore has relied on a simple personnel database and spreadsheets to store employee data. But with little proactive management of information, the time-intensive processes associated with this approach were inefficient and ineffective.

An initial audit of the marketplace found 22 solutions could potentially fulfil the recruitment specialist’s needs. Six were reviewed in detail before Cascade’s cloud-based HR system – with self-service, workflow and expenses modules – was chosen.

Commenting on the reasons behind the decision, Encore’s company business manager Cindy Gunn said, “In a sector crowded with vendors, finding the best-fit solution was no mean feat. In fact we thought we’d chosen the right system for us, but, upon sourcing client references, we discovered that the technology couldn’t truly fulfil our needs.

“Cascade, on the other hand, was only slightly more expensive, yet it contains all of the functionality we require. Self-service will enable us to empower managers with the click of a button, freeing up our HR team’s time to concentrate on business critical processes and employee support. If we devise best-practice processes in the workflow module we’ll create additional administrative efficiencies, which be ever-more important as we continue to expand.”

A 16-week implementation and training phase is now well underway, ahead of the solution being rolled out to staff by July. Gunn continues, “I look forward to us being better positioned to support managers and branches throughout the UK. This is crucial if we are to maintain the employee and client standards for which we’re renowned, as we further our growth plans.

“Cascade’s inbuilt reporting capabilities will also facilitate sophisticated HR data analysis at board level, something we’ve struggled to do without an element of guesswork until now.”

Considering the project from the outset, Gunn believes the importance of rigorous due diligence should not be underestimated. “Of course products should be benchmarked on the basis of the features they deliver,” she said. “But the ongoing level of customer support is equally as crucial. We were keen to know our chosen supplier would excel in terms of responsiveness and service level agreements (SLAs). The assistance of a dedicated account manager is the icing on the cake.”

Commenting on this new client win, Cascade’s Head of Marketing Andy Court said, “It’s great to see such a progressive company placing the wellbeing and nurturing of employees in such high regard. Encore looks set to have an exciting few years ahead and we’re delighted that Cascade will form a key part of that journey. Who knows – we might even help them win one or two more awards!”

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