Oklahoma Electric Cooperative cares more about providing outstanding service to customers than about profit. The organization’s strong service orientation also extends inside the organization to serve the needs of its 130 employees.
Oklahoma Electric Cooperative cares about providing outstanding service to its member consumers. The organization’s strong service orientation also extends inside the organization to serve the needs of its employees.
“We’re not profit-driven; we are member-owned,” explained HR Administrator Janet Maginnis, SPHR. “The bottom dollar isn’t the most important thing. It’s about customer service. If it costs a little more to do something that provides greater customer service,
then that’s what we’ll do.”
Management decided it was time to automate many of the routine, transactional functions managed by the Human Resources department. But the cooperative’s culture is very traditional and carefully considers the impact of new technologies before implementing a system. Maginnis needed the HRIS she selected to integrate with NISC’s iVUE® ABS Solutions, the cooperative’s financial management software.
Until recently, Maginnis handled many human resources tasks with “lots and lots of spreadsheets that didn’t interact with each other.” When information changed, she would have to manually update many spreadsheets, as well as paper personnel files. Using paper-based processes also created other concerns. “I worried about security. Multiple copies of performance appraisals might be floating around,” she said.
HRMS SOLUTIONS IS THE PREFERRED PARTNER TO NISC FOR HR TECHNOLOGY
Like many electric cooperatives across the U.S., Oklahoma Electric uses National Information Solutions Cooperatives’ financial management solution, NISC iVUE ABS Solutions. It was important to Oklahoma Electric to choose an integrated HRIS solution, because the cooperative processed its inhouse payroll using NISC iVUE.
“NISC chooses its partners very, very carefully,” Maginnis said. “They chose HRMS Solutions, a Washington, DC based company, so that members could buy and implement a complete HCM solution that would tie into their iVUE ABS solution. I was confident in HRMS Solutions right from the start” she added.
HRMS Solutions helped Maginnis plan how to centralize employee information within Epicor HCM and implemented the system. Today, the cooperative is utilizing many capabilities within Epicor HCM, including benefits administration, open enrollment,
employee and manager self-service, performance tracking and appraisals.
“Epicor HCM is very intuitive. It will take you through a process from start to finish, like hiring a new employee,” Maginnis explained.
“Part of the goal with Epicor HCM was to have a one-stop shop for management, the employees, and for me and the other HR personnel. . . With Epicor HCM self-service, I can do more strategic things instead of hand-holding.”
Through self-service, employees can review their contact information, pay history, training records and benefits plans. Managers can see most of the information that used to be in the paper personnel files, including employee compensation, case history, past performance evaluations and employee discipline history.
“One of our managers came up to me and asked “what is our HR vision,” said Maginnis, “and I replied that at some point, we will complete every HR process electronically and it will all be based on your level of authorization rights on what you can initiate, where it goes, and who approves it. It will just be a series of approvals.”
CLOUD-BASED HR MAKES FOR SMOOTHER BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION
Oklahoma Electric Cooperative offers a complex variety of self-insured medical benefits—as many as 60 medical plan options when packages for employees, board members, retirees are added together. One of the first major objectives for the deployment of the new HRIS system was to get benefit open enrollment running in Epicor HCM to empower the workforce through the employee portal.
Maginnis found that having open enrollment online helped employees and their spouses choose the right benefit plans. “We’ve had an intranet forever, but that didn’t help employees as they went home and tried to explain their benefit packages to their spouses,” recalled Maginnis. “Now, employees access Epicor HCM securely from their homes and go through open enrollment with their spouses.”
HRMS Solutions’ consultant also worked diligently to create a real-time customized report listing the enrolled plan options and premium amount for each individual. The report had to be coded to match accounting general ledger codes. Once completed, Maginnis used this report to project future premium costs.
Cloud-based Epicor HCM also helps HR staff to work more effectively from home during busy periods. “I’ve got to have cloud-based. For example, today I’m home sick, but I can work. I regularly log in to the system during open enrollment season, on weekends and after hours on week nights from home.”
HRMS SOLUTIONS: THE PERFECT PARTNER TO SUPPLY AND IMPLEMENT HR TECHNOLOGY
What Maginnis has valued most about working with HRMS Solutions is the team’s ability to bring easy access and visibility to her organization’s personnel and benefits information and educe the need for redundant data entry into spreadsheets.
“We received exceptional customer service and support from HRMS Solutions. We really needed that,” said Maginnis. “I don’t write code. I’m fairly computer savvy, but I don’t have a technical background. The HRMS Solutions consultant was able to work at my level, as well as work at our software designer level, and bridge that gap.”
“Our HRMS consultant was the exact, perfect and only choice for us. We got really, really lucky and couldn’t have asked for someone more patient, more enthusiastic, or more knowledgeable. I think the consultant actually makes the partnership work or not work. I look forward to our continued relationship with HRMS and implementing additional features and functionality of Epicor HCM to complete our vision.”