• Industry: Professional/Business Services
  • Employees: 3,000+
  • Customer since 2016

About Vertas

Based in Suffolk, with its roots in the public sector, Vertas is a fast-growing multi-service facilities management business. Operating as a private company with more than 3,000 employees, it is committed to putting “staff and customers at the heart of everything.” This goal is supported by the organisation’s 10 strong HR and Payroll team, which is directed by Group Head of HR, Kate Innes.

Vertas’ Challenge

As a multi-service business, Vertas’ ambition is to provide customers with a one-stop-shop for all their facilities management requirements. To complement its core offering, the business has been buying up numerous service companies in recent years.

In fact, on average the organisation has acquired three businesses per year since 2015, and this fast growth was beginning to take its toll on the HR team. Continuously being asked to update HR and payroll systems with new employee information was creating a huge administrative burden. On average, it was taking the team three to four months to get everything in order following each acquisition.

Kate explains: “We were in a position where simply introducing new employees to payroll was, in itself, a full-time job. The whole thing had just become unmanageable with the bespoke system that we previously had in place.”

With the business expanding so rapidly, Kate also wanted a more sophisticated reporting platform, so senior management could see what was happening within the organisation.

“Any new system needed to be able to scale-up as we did, but it also had to help us grow. We needed to get a better grasp of our labour each month and that required a reporting system that would provide us with greater visibility,” Kate added.

The Zellis Solution

Vertas chose ResourceLink from Zellis for its HR and payroll system, supported by the MyView online portal. This system included several apps that would allow staff to see payslips, file expenses and request annual leave from any mobile or desktop device.

Kate said: “I’d had experience of using ResourceLink with my previous employer, Boots, and I understood what a difference it could make. After looking at the toolset covering payroll, we decided to go for the whole kit and caboodle in our first phase of deployment.”

The success of the initial deployment quickly led to phase 2, which involved the roll out of ResourceLink’s training module. This is allowing Vertas to provide customers with evidence that employees working on their sites have the required level of training and are compliant with the standards demanded by regulatory bodies.

“We work with more than 400 schools, which are overseen by Ofsted. Their regulations don’t just cover teaching staff, they also cover support workers, such as the catering team. We needed to be able to show employers that those members of staff were compliant.”

To make the employee experience better and to improve engagement, Vertas is now looking to roll out ResourceLink’s performance and talent management module in phase 3.

The results

The HR team’s goal is to be able to view all information relating to an employee in one location – by pulling together its various systems. This is reducing workload and helping the team to manage complex administrative tasks more efficiently.

With information being automatically fed into a core system, capable of managing all the relevant data, this has reduced any duplication of tasks, removed the potential for human error and improved payroll accuracy.

“As our organisation has grown, we’ve needed to take over payroll from the companies we’ve acquired. At the same time, we could be bringing in around 70 new members of staff each month and managing all the admin around leavers too.

“Previously, this would mean feeding information into five different systems. The amount of administrative background work required was arduous. ResourceLink is helping us to manage that workload and we’ve seen a positive impact on payroll accuracy as a result.”

According to Kate, another noticeable benefit has been the ability to provide senior management with a better picture of what’s happening month by month. She explains: “With Vertas acquiring bigger and bigger companies – the last company we bought employed 300 people, for example – we needed better reporting, and ResourceLink is giving us this capability.

“It’s really important for us to see information across all functions, not just in payroll, though. So, we will continue to harmonise our systems to get the very best visibility, with all information accessible in one place.”