Founded over 100 years ago, ScS is one of the UK’s largest retailers of sofas, carpets, occasional furniture and dining furniture.
Their Head Office is based in Sunderland and they have 95 stores and 10 distribution centres nationwide. ScS employ over 1500 staff and are focussed on delivering excellent service, value and quality through passionate and caring people.
Their customers are paramount and they pride themselves on selling high quality products supplied by leading manufacturers. Their experienced and approachable sales teams are focused on delivering specialist knowledge on all of their products. They also work with suppliers to develop their ranges and product offerings in line with current trends in style and fashion.
ScS were looking to upgrade their Enterprise Business solution to cover their entire operation. They implemented Microsoft Dynamics NAV to run their stores, warehousing, orders, delivery and much more. When it came to choosing a payroll and HR solution, their key requirement was that it needed to be integrated with their main business solution – Microsoft Dynamics NAV.
They needed an integrated solution to ensure the payroll and HR functions were not isolated from the rest of the business.
They wanted to be accountable to ensure they could provide planning, analysis and financial data. Payroll and HR data can be very sensitive and without an integrated solution, ScS felt data could be pushed from one system to another leaving them open to errors which could be difficult to catch. They also did not want to have to change the same data in multiple systems.
ScS also considered that IT resources could be shared across the business with an integrated solution, reducing training and implementation costs. They also wanted the visibility that an integrated solution could provide.
Choosing a Solution
Prior to using MiraclePay, ScS used a payroll solution which they found very slow and the more employees they took on, the harder it was to meet their payroll deadlines. In fact if they have continued to use it, they would have had to recruit additional payroll staff.
Choosing the new payroll solution was fairly straight forward for ScS. They had already chosen Microsoft Dynamics NAV as their main business solution. The Miracle Solution was recommended by their reseller as it was the only truly integrated Microsoft Dynamics NAV payroll and HR product available on the market and which was recognised by HMRC.
ScS also felt very comfortable with Miracle as a company and after various demonstrations and workshops, a strategic decision was made at board level to go with Miracle. At the workshops, ScS described how they used their old system, what they didn’t like about it and what they needed the new system to do. Due to the flexibility of the Microsoft Dynamics NAV technology and Miracle’s experience of Payroll and HR, the new system was able to meet ScS’s exact requirements and much more.
Implementation and Go-Live
ScS appointed Project Managers in- house to ensure a smooth transition to Miracle. They felt their appointments were vital to ensure testing was carried out and timescales were kept to. The Project Managers covered their respective areas of Payroll and HR. Both Miracle and ScS realised the benefits of having Project Managers on both sides to ensure the project was driven forward from both the customer and supplier perspective.
After the workshops were completed, Miracle and ScS agreed on the development required to ensure a successful installation. Miracle completed most of the development by working with the ScS Project Manager in around 4-5 weeks. ScS and Miracle agreed that they would run parallel for 3 months to ensure any errors were eradicated and the system was thoroughly tested. ScS wanted to go-live at the beginning of the new tax year, so ran parallel in January, February and March. Miracle provided training for the ScS team to prepare for the go-live, which was nerve wracking but very successful. There were a few teething issues, but these were resolved quickly and efficiently by the Miracle Team.
ScS are running the payroll solution as well as HR, Recruitment, Training Course Management, P11D, Reporting and Edocs. All members of staff are salaried, any overtime is input weekly. ScS keep a separate file for bonuses and commission which is imported directly into MiraclePay, saving a considerable amount of administration time.
Processing times have also been dramatically reduced using MiraclePay. Prior to the implementation, Linda McKenna, the Payroll Manager of ScS would have to go into each employee record and run the payroll individually! Of course with MiraclePay this is done automatically for all employees, which now saves Linda over 4 days a month. The reporting and importing functionality has helped the payroll department achieve much more in a shorter timeframe. For example, ScS recently worked with a Miracle Consultant to set up some data imports whereby the Branch Managers bonuses could be automatically input into MiraclePay. Prior to this the Payroll Manager would import from a spreadsheet, total up the figures and check to see if the amount in payroll was correct, now this is all done automatically.
ScS have recently implemented Edocs, which provides a secure means of sending electronic payslips, pension letters, P11D’s, P45’s and P60’s. ScS used to print their payslips off manually, they were folded and sealed using a machine and then posted out in bulk to each store and distribution centre. Staff frequently move between stores and without much notice so payslips were going to the wrong store and getting lost in the process. Edocs has not only solved that issue, but has saved ScS a considerable amount of time and money. Postage costs, machinery and printing costs have been dramatically reduced.
The payroll department were also getting many requests from staff for copy payslips to apply for mortgages, these requests are now easier and quicker to deal with and are less often as staff tend to keep copies of emails.
Miracle and the Future
Linda McKenna feels comfortable working with Miracle. With the recent legislation introduced by the government, Linda felt reassured that Miracle would be able to provide them with the necessary functionality to ensure compliance.
Linda was very anxious about RTI, “I was dreading RTI, however after the first submission, I thought I must have done something wrong as it was so easy! This was all down to Miracle, they put so much work into upgrading the system that it made RTI so much easier for me”.
ScS have also successfully gone live with Auto Enrolment. Again this was made easy by the functionality Miracle included in the upgrade and the pension training provided. In fact ScS try to attend various Miracle training courses to keep them up to date and to learn about new functionality introduced in the year end upgrade. They also work closely with the delivery team to introduce new ways of working with the system, helping them with time savings and efficiency. Linda McKenna said “We recently had Lisa Tilburn and Alison Ward of the delivery team with us, they showed us different ways of using the system, which has proved immeasurable”.
Linda also enjoys working with the Miracle helpdesk. “The support desk gets back to us virtually straightaway, they are good at explaining things and providing clear step by step instructions. They don’t just tell you where you need to end up, they tell you how to get there, their help is invaluable”.
ScS have been working with their Miracle system for a considerable time now and they are still realising new benefits.
They like to keep up to date with what’s happening in the Payroll and HR arena, which Miracle help them with by providing training, regular newsletters, consultancy visits, access to a customer area on the website, regular communication from Miracle and by attending the annual Miracle customer conference.
ScS have benefitted from significantly quicker processing times, increased efficiency and therefore fewer errors. By implementing a solution that truly integrated into their main business solution, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, they have been able to save a considerable amount of time with data entry, only having to enter information once ensuring ‘one version of the truth’.
They have also been able to save money on IT costs and resources. Using one product across the board has lowered training costs and has provided greater visibility across the business.
As Miracle keep up to date on new legislation and are recognised by HMRC, ScS know that their software will ensure they are compliant with any new legislation, which saves them a considerable amount of fact finding work and provides additional time savings.Linda McKenna has been most impressed by the reduction of processing times.
With the introduction of data imports, Edocs and P11D, the time savings have been considerable. Financial savings have been significant with Edocs; postage, printing and stationery costs have been substantially reduced.
ScS are in a constantly changing environment. Retail is an extremely competitive market and ScS need to be able to respond quickly to demands and changes. Using a system such as Miracle and Microsoft Dynamics NAV ensures they are offered flexibility that allows them to respond to changes, keep up with new legislation and expand their business.