Wanzl keeps people operations rolling with modern HCM technology
The global retail solutions provider chooses Dayforce to support a mobile workforce with modern HCM technology.
Entering a grocery store without a trolley is one way to guarantee a quick trip. However, once shoppers go around the corner to the bakery and see a beautiful display of freshly-baked goods, even the best-laid plans can change. Good thing those trolleys always seem to be close at hand – those muffins won’t carry themselves.
This encounter was thoughtfully orchestrated, from the beautiful new display to the conveniently placed trolleys. You might not realize that when you’re pushing a trolley at your local grocer, gathering your luggage on a cart at the airport, or admiring a new product display at your favourite shop, a single company has a hand in all three experiences.
Wanzl is a global retail solutions provider that offers 360-degree service. The company partners with airports, grocers and major retailers to carefully plan cart availability, in-store displays, and the overall flow of stores to create a seamless customer experience.
Founded in 1947, Wanzl’s core business began with wire shopping trolleys. Since then, the company has expanded into many other areas of retail logistics and planning, however trolleys remain a key part of its focus. Wanzl is the world’s largest manufacturer of trolleys, creating and distributing approximately 2.5 million annually.
Managing a complex workforce with manual processes
Headquartered in Germany, Wanzl employs over 5,000 people worldwide. The company’s UK and Ireland operations are its second largest with 750 employees.
Yet, the employees’ roles are as diverse as Wanzl’s products and services. Designers create custom trolleys and displays, which warehouse employees assemble and ship. Engineers repair, maintain and clean products. At stores, shopfitters perform installation, and car park management operatives collect trolleys and move them to the front of the store where they’re needed. Wanzl also has a division called “TrolleyWise”, whose sole focus is returning lost and stolen trolleys to their retailers.
With many employees performing field-based jobs, communication and coordination is key. While Wanzl is on the cutting edge of technology for retail logistics and manufacturing, its HR payroll solutions were not ideal. “We were very much in the dark ages. All timekeeping records were produced manually. It was very difficult to communicate with employees,” says Sarah Smith, Head of HR for Wanzl UK and Ireland. “We were very aware that our HR processes needed updating, but we didn't have the systems in place to be able to do that.”
When Wanzl’s leaders decided to look for modern HCM technology, they wanted not only a great product, but also an innovative partner to help future-proof its people operations. “We stand for quality and innovation. We are seen as a leading provider within our sector, and must provide not only great products, but also innovation to add value for our customers in the future,” says Dean Rolland, Managing Director of Wanzl UK and Ireland. “Our decision to partner with Ceridian came from our strategy to digitalize our business. Across our business we need to look at how we can future proof and how we can improve that self-service for our colleagues."
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Improving workforce operations with modern HCM technology
Wanzl began its partnership with Ceridian in March 2020. The company implemented Dayforce for HR, payroll, and time and attendance in the UK. In March 2021, the company rolled out Dayforce in Ireland as well. “I think having one system that can focus on HR, payroll, and timekeeping for the UK and Ireland is something that has been instrumental. There are a lot of systems that can't handle all three of those functions for both the UK and Ireland, whereas Dayforce is able to manage that," says Smith.
Having a single HR payroll solution helped Wanzl automate time tracking and payroll. This not only saved time, but also reduced the chance for errors due to manual processes.
Prior to Dayforce, field employees recorded their hours on paper and submitted them to supervisors at the end of the week. Supervisors then compiled all employees’ hours on a separate sheet to send to the payroll team. The payroll team had to decipher the handwritten timesheets and enter them into the system. This process was like a game of broken telephone, with the payroll team hoping that errors had not been made along the way.
Now, employees can clock in and out with the Dayforce mobile app, and managers can approve timesheets directly in the system. Cutting out the manual processing and inevitable correction of errors now saves the payroll team approximately 800 hours annually, which equates to a 15% decrease in their time to commit payroll. Ian Burton, Service Integration Manager for Wanzl UK and Ireland also saw a 66% decrease in the time it takes him to verify timesheets for his 51 employees, from three hours each week to only one hour.
Employees can now manage their schedules, time off requests, and personal information through the Dayforce mobile app, which results in fewer inquiries to the HR team. “Now what we're seeing is that our administrative time has been reduced, which allows our colleagues to spend more time on added value activities," says Rolland.
Wanzl also saw cost savings by replacing physical clocks with mobile time tracking in Dayforce. “If we had to implement wall clocks across the whole of the UK and Ireland, we would have been looking at over 50 clocking-in systems, which would have cost a huge amount of money,” says Smith.
Boosting the employee experience with mobile access
Tracking time directly in Dayforce not only created more efficient, accurate processes for Wanzl’s HR team, but it also boosted the company’s employee experience.
Technology is table-stakes in today’s world of work, and employees expect a seamless modern experience with their employer just as they would with online retail or banking. “People expect to use digitalized systems. They use it in their everyday lives,” says Rolland.
Since launching Dayforce, 95% of its workforce has adopted the mobile app. “This is great because it means that they can see their timesheets, they can see their pay slips, and they're able to book holidays. So, it's empowered employees and helped them realize that they're important to the business and they're not just a number on a piece of paper,” says Smith.
This boost in employee engagement is clear from Wanzl’s voluntary turnover rates. “We're at approximately 2.9% voluntary turnover since implementing Dayforce, which is incredibly low for this kind of industry. Dayforce has helped contribute to this low figure because it's empowered employees to feel part of the company – they feel much more involved,” says Smith. Rolland adds that as Wanzl continues to finesse its use of the system and how it supports employees, he expects that turnover rate will continue to improve.
Dayforce also helps Wanzl’s employees and managers streamline communications. Employees can view schedules directly in Dayforce, instead of having to travel to an office location to check. Managers can also easily communicate with employees in the field, and ensure they’re clocking in and out on time and taking allotted breaks throughout the day.
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Using data to inform strategic decisions
Another key capability that motivated Wanzl to choose Dayforce was reporting. The company wanted better data transparency to make critical strategic decisions with confidence.
“The leadership at Wanzl uses the information that comes from Dayforce on a daily basis. We're able to monitor the hours that are contracted to different sites, which is incredibly important for our car park management side of the business. We also are able to use this information for budgeting purposes. We're able to ensure employees are adhering to all health and safety measures, and that there are adequate breaks between shifts,” says Smith. “There's been great improvements in the visibility of data since implementing Dayforce.”
Data access helps Wanzl manage compliance with government regulations and produce the necessary reporting. “We're able to ensure that national minimum wage is adhered to. We're also able to produce gender pay gap reporting, which is a critical report that needs to be provided to the government. Dayforce has helped us comply with different legislation across the UK and Ireland, especially in relation to tax, pensions, national minimum wage, public holidays, and bank holidays,” says Smith.
Dayforce also helps Wanzl improve customer service by aligning when employees are on-site with the store’s busiest times. “In our field division, we have a number of contracts with customers where we provide them with a certain number of hours. And therefore, it's important for us to make sure that those hours are being worked at the correct time, in line with how our customers are trading. By taking those two pieces of data, we can then provide much better rotas at the right time when the peak trading is,” says Rolland.
Not only is Wanzl analyzing its labour allocation for each customer to ensure efficient use of contracted time, but it is also conducting this same exercise with the rest of its organization. “We are able to analyze the labour spend within a particular area of our business and how that is overlaid or benchmarked with our productivity,” says Rolland. “Naturally one of the things that we are always looking to do is to become more efficient within our business and be able to free people up to do more added-value tasks. We believe that by using that data in Dayforce, we can really drive that in the future.”
Modernizing systems to keep pace with the future of work
Wanzl’s goal for implementing Dayforce has been clear from the start: “Our objective with Dayforce is to decrease our spend, but also make sure that we improve work life for our colleagues, and we maintain that staff retention," says Rolland.
To meet those goals, Wanzl needs to align with where the world of work is headed. This means adopting modern HCM technology to foster continuous improvement. “We have already moved into offering our customers digitalization. Therefore, it's critical for us to digitalize our business as well across our system to be successful in the future. For Wanzl to continue to be successful, continue to be innovative, we need to modernize all our systems across our business. And Dayforce is a good example as being one of those,” says Rolland.