Buehler’s Fresh Foods has a long history in Ohio. The upscale grocery store was founded in 1929 by Ed Buehler and his wife, Helen. With its emphasis on quality products, a friendly atmosphere, and exceptional customer service, the single store flourished into 13 separate locations, all built by four generations of the Buehler family.
In November 2017, E&H Family Group, the parent company of Buehler’s, sold all 13 supermarkets to its 2,100 employees with an employee stock ownership program (ESOP). “We're 100% employee-owned,” says Yvonne Monea, Vice President of Human Resources. “And many of our employees have been with us long-term. When our customers shop at our stores, they look for certain employees, they go to that special cashier to check out, they know them by name. We really are an integral part of each of the communities in which we operate.”
What separates Buehler’s from other grocers in its region is that it specializes in producing many products in-house. “We have an in-store bakery, full kitchens for prepared food, and even a central kitchen warehouse,” says Garrett Cox, who oversees HRIS and Talent Management at Buehler’s.
In addition to its 13 grocery stores, Buehler’s also operates six restaurants, catering services, and a food truck.
With such a wide range of products and services comes an equally wide range of employees. “We have the catering department, food service, deli, bakery, and the front-end which includes cashiers, service center employees, and baggers. It feels like the list is endless,” says Cox. “Our workforce really does vary. We have employees from ages 16 all the way up to 76.”
As part of being an employee-owned company, Buehler’s recognizes that in order to foster continued growth, it needs to put a sharp focus on ensuring its employees are taken care of. “Everything that we do is to ensure employee job security, to ensure that they have the benefits, the information, and all the support that they need to execute their job and treat our customers the way they should be treated,” says Paul Stefaniuk, Vice President of Operations.
One of the biggest challenges many retailers face today is employee turnover. Due to heavy competition in the retail space, companies have difficulty differentiating themselves to attract and retain talent.
“We compete with many other retail organizations in each of our communities. So recruiting is very challenging,” says Monea. “We have about 1,000 employees turn over per year in our part-time and seasonal categories. And so, when we recruit for those positions, we need to spend time and resources to train and onboard new employees, which is costly.”
For Buehler’s, it’s critical to not only find better ways to attract new talent, but also ensure that the onboarding process is streamlined so new employees are engaged early on. “We need to make sure that we're hiring the right people and putting them in an environment in which they can succeed,” says Stefaniuk. “Right now, especially with the pandemic, we're really focused on making it as safe and comfortable as possible for our employees to do their jobs.”
Since Buehler’s began leveraging Dayforce, Monea and her team have achieved some impressive results. “A few years after implementing Dayforce, we participated in a case study with Nucleus Research, and they found the payback to be 216% within four months and an average annual benefit of $1.8 million,” says Monea. “And that was before we implemented the recruiting module, which has added another $200,000 in savings per year. Needless to say, implementing Dayforce has paid off for our company.”
Cox adds that Dayforce has also helped them to address the high cost of turnover by enabling a more efficient recruiting and onboarding process for new hires. “With Dayforce, we were able to cut down the time it takes onboard new employees by 75%.”
With a lean HR team, every efficiency counts. “We are an HR department of four people and we have 2,100 employees, so you can do the math. It would be hard to do our jobs efficiently without Dayforce,” Monea says. “Because of this efficiency, our role as an HR department has changed, and we have been able to assist our operations in a more strategic manner.”
When Dayforce Wallet, a flexible pay solution providing the option for on-demand pay was first announced, Monea recognized immediately that not only would this product fit well with Buehler’s current Dayforce offering, but it was also something that would help the company to differentiate itself from competitors to both current and prospective employees.
“I was so excited because I immediately thought this will help us with our recruiting. I don't know of any other competitors locally that are offering an on-demand pay solution, and I saw what this could do for our employees. This is something different that will attract good employees to our company,” she says.
“We believe that Dayforce Wallet will boost our reputation as an employer in our communities.” – Yvonne Monea, Vice President of Human Resources, Buehler's Fresh Foods
Dayforce Wallet was a natural extension of Buehler’s current Dayforce use. “Our employees are accustomed to using the Dayforce mobile app to address all of their employment needs,” says Monea. “They're checking their schedule, they're putting in a time-away-from-work request, they're checking their pay, so it's a natural addition to have Dayforce Wallet for on-demand pay available as a feature for them as well.”
Dayforce Wallet has also been helpful on the catering side of Buehler’s operations. “In our catering department, we could have ten weddings on any given Saturday, which requires a lot of staff to cover these events,” says Monea. “Dayforce Wallet is something that can help us attract employees to work at these events. When they clock out at the end of their shift on Saturday, their pay is immediately available to them.”
Cox also adds that having additional financial flexibility, especially in uncertain times, can really make a difference for employees. “Times are tough right now, and you never know when you might need a few extra dollars in your pocket. Our motivation to offer Dayforce Wallet to our employees is really to provide them flexibility in their payments and their wages. It may be novel to some, but to others, it's so important,” says Cox.
Providing employees with the option to access funds they’ve earned before their regular pay day will give employees a better way to bridge the gap between pay cycles. “We've received requests from employees for help between one payday to the next, and prior to Dayforce Wallet we haven't been able to help them,” says Monea. “We're aware that previously, employees would resort to going to one of the payday loan places which take an outrageous interest percentage as a fee. Now with Dayforce Wallet, as soon as an employee clocks out they have access to a percent of their earned wages, which is a much better option than a payday loan.”
As with any new solution, Monea and Cox had some initial concerns as to whether Dayforce Wallet would add additional steps to Buehler’s payroll processes. “As someone who works in payroll, when I first heard about Dayforce Wallet, I was worried it was going to make my life harder, and I was so glad to find out that that is not the case whatsoever,” says Cox.
Monea adds, “This has been the smoothest rollout and product that we've ever used. It's so easy, it's just another tab on the payroll screen that you can use to see who's taking money out for that week. We don't have any additional tax calculations, because Ceridian takes care of all of that.”
Buehler’s completed its implementation of Dayforce Wallet in just two weeks, with the help of a Ceridian implementation specialist who walked them through how to configure the platform to best fit the company’s needs. “There's nothing about Dayforce Wallet that's difficult,” says Cox. “There's no extra work, no extra time spent on processing payroll, no committing additional pay runs. It’s the least stressful thing I have on my plate.”
In the first month after implementation, 10% of Buehler’s employees had already adopted Dayforce Wallet, and Cox says that number continues to rise with every passing pay cycle. In fact, Cox says employees found the solution so helpful that although Buehler’s only initially launched to a single test store, adoption of Dayforce Wallet spread by word-of-mouth to other stores. “Our employees really appreciate the flexibility in their pay and having that option available to them,” he says. “With Dayforce Wallet, any day is pay day.”
After implementing Dayforce Wallet and launching it to Buehler’s entire workforce, Monea has a message for other companies who are considering doing the same: “My advice to employers that are looking at Dayforce Wallet but not sure about it, is just to go ahead and jump in. It is a benefit for employees, with no cost to the employer. The employees view it as an add-on, and it's only a positive thing.”
When Buehler’s was sold to its employees in 2017, it formed a new vision statement: To be a company that puts people first and always strives to be better.
“It's extremely important for us to put our people first so that they can put our customers first,” says Stefaniuk. “When we talk about being a great place to work and putting our people first, the more benefits, options, and flexibility we're able to give employees with products like Dayforce Wallet, the better.”
Cox adds that engaged employees are the ones who are going to remain with the company long-term and create the kind of culture that Buehler’s envisions. “I think what makes Dayforce so engaging is that it’s at your fingertips, and most of our employees interact with Dayforce through the mobile app. Everything about their employment is right here in their hands, and I think that is the most powerful thing that really drives our engagement in our company,” says Cox. “Dayforce empowers our employees to really take control of their employment and make it what they want.”