Many of us don’t really think about what goes into making the things that we use every day – cars to get around, grills to cook our food, and street lamps to light up the evenings.
PACE Industries is the largest custom die casting manufacturer in North America, and makes the components and frames for products in industries ranging from automotive and transportation to electrical and medical devices.
“We make a lot of products, all the way from grills to components for California’s premier electric car manufacturer,” says Ethan Robinson, Pace’s HR Project Manager.
Headquartered in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Pace employs 4,000 workers across 21 locations in the U.S. and Mexico.
For the last 50 years, Pace has provided value to the manufacturing process of its customers through both custom die casting and additional finishing services. “A lot of die casters are what we call ‘shoot and ship’ die casters, meaning they shoot the die cast, package it up, and then ship it as-is. Pace’s technology and cleaning capabilities add additional services that our customers can take advantage of,” explains Robinson.
The people that make up Pace’s workforce are at the core of the company’s success. This ranges from front-line plant workers and engineers, to corporate office workers and executives. “We work hard to help our people succeed. We have long-term employees here. In fact, a couple of them that have been here for close to 50 years,” says Tony Hawk, SVP of Human Resources at Pace.
As Pace continued to grow, the company realized it needed a system that would span across the entire organization, so it could be more accurate and efficient in administrative tasks that were necessary to maintain its skilled workforce.
Robinson recounts a particularly memorable incident: “There was one year we were processing merit increases, and we were copying and pasting information from each divisions’ documents to an excel spreadsheet. However, because they recorded the information in the wrong format, we had shuffled workers’ ID numbers down one cell. This mistake took everybody in the system, and shifted their base pay rate down to the person below them. We caught this mistake mere hours before the wrong pay was deposited to hundreds of people's bank accounts. From an administration standpoint, this is an absolute nightmare.”
This close call brought to light that something needed to be done.
“We were looking for something that would connect other areas of the business to HR, such as payroll, and benefits. Our COO came to me and said, ‘If there's one thing that you do for us this year, we need a way to do merit increases in our system.’” says Robinson. “When you have something like our previous platform, it's really good at one thing, but all together it really struggles. The flexibility and the usability was not great. So, we implemented Dayforce.”
Pace partnered with Ceridian in 2015, and has worked to leverage the system to continue enabling its workforce growth.
“Our biggest opportunity here is to ensure that we're paying our people competitive market rates, and as fast as the market is changing, that is a bit of a challenge to keep up with. Our goal is to create a more transparent workforce, and ensure our managers understand that what they’re paying helps to grow our talent,” says Hawk.
Pace understands the importance of integration, and having a system that aligns seamlessly with your organization’s structure.
“We use Dayforce to house all of our employee records, to pay our people, and administer our benefits. We were also early adopters for the Compensation and Performance modules,” says Robinson. “It's so interconnected that it amazes me. To have a system that pulls everything together like Dayforce does, it shows a really elegant design.”
In working towards completing the annual merit increases, Dayforce Compensation has enabled Pace to make informed decisions while ensuring accurate processing.
“The supervisors are now having reward conversations, and honestly that conversation is what was missing before. With the performance reviews feeding into the Compensation module, it facilitated those conversations, and it really pushed that level of decision making down into the business to empower our supervisors,” says Robinson.
Pace has also been able to track and maintain employee information, which can be accessed internally and referenced when compensation decisions need to be made.
“The information is available online and it’s not lost on some spreadsheet hidden in some server. If I want to look at an employee, I can see their compensation history and their performance history in one place. I'm not having to backtrack or try to remember. I think bringing these two things together is going to really help our managers be more effective at growing and equipping their people,” says Hawk.
Since implementing Dayforce Compensation, Pace has already achieved measurable results.
“We were able to award over a million dollars of merit increases, and that was a big threshold for us. Also, from an executive standpoint, they used to take an entire week to complete this process, and now they're able to send over the budget for the company and we’re able to put it into the system. I would say from start to finish it used to take us about a month, and with the Compensation module, we’ve got it down to two weeks.” says Robinson.
Pace has also seen benefits in their recruiting process through their use of Dayforce. “When we were using our previous platform, it used to take 45 minutes to complete an application. Now with Dayforce we have gotten that time down to about six or seven minutes. And that is a huge savings,” says Robinson.
“When it's all said and done, there will be about two weeks given back to me next year that I can use to accomplish other things, and I'm already seeing the benefits from that,” adds Joe Wempe, Pace’s VP of Operational Accounting and Commodity Management.
As Pace continues to grow, the company plans to continue its partnership with Ceridian to ensure its workforce is taken care of.
“In the coming years, we'll have our entire company on Dayforce and using as many of the modules as possible,” says Hawk. “We're going to be using benefits enrollment, Performance Management, Compensation Management, Learning and eventually, we'll do our scheduling with Dayforce as well. We can have a great deal more transparency for the managers through the dashboards, they'll be able to look and see their organization a little more clearly.”