County supervisors may spend nearly $14 million implementing an entirely new payroll and human resources system to replace the current antiquated software that County Manager John Maltbie says can’t keep up with ever-increasing technology and needs.
The Workday system recommended by Maltbie and others who’ve been searching for a replacement operates in the cloud, is speedy and will save the county money in the long run, he said.
The new system will also eliminate a lot of paper, reduce processing times and improve security.
The existing setup, known as the personnel information and payroll system, is “at the end of its useful life,” Maltbie wrote in a draft report to the Board of Supervisors which will consider the recommendation at its Sept. 10 meeting.
The last 25 years with the existing system have been helped by custom-built solutions and manual processes but most don’t communicate with each other and aren’t well incorporated.
Actually, Human Resources Director Donna Vaillancourt said there are 17 systems with six separate vendors and nine of the custom-built ones are no longer supported.
The lack of support is “forcing” the county’s decision to pick a new one, Maltbie said, adding that the county is due for an update.
The lack of integration “causes many problems such as duplication of work, increased chance of errors, inconsistent data definitions, untimely data updates, increased training costs and added complexity,” Maltbie wrote in an e-mail to the Daily Journal
In 2009, the county started an HR needs assessment which resulted in the replacement recommendation. The information technology initiative was part of the county’s strategic plan presented to the board last September.
The Workday system will be more efficient for both the county and the employees’ perspectives, Vaillancourt said.
On top of its other benefits, both Vaillancourt and Maltbie said the Workday system is “self-serve” meaning employees and managers can do more themselves — for example, retrieving personal and benefits information — rather than relying on central staff.
Supervisor Carole Groom is behind the recommendation, saying the county has “got to keep up with new technology.”
If supervisors greenlight the Workday system, Maltbie said the county expects full implementation to take two years to finish and cost $13.96 million. The price tag includes up to $3.8 million for subscription to Workday, professional services up to $4.4 million and $177,680 for training on the new system. The total cost estimate also includes backfilling county workers assigned full time to the project, contingency costs and historic data conversion.
Maltbie said funding will come from a combination of payroll reserves that have been set aside for years and non-department reserves.
The final maintenance costs is still to be determined based on its final configuration.
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