Digital approval workflow streamlines payroll in a hybrid environment

Situation

A large distributor of construction machinery in New Zealand faced unique challenges in aligning their leave applications with their payroll period.

Challenge

The machinery distributor had 400 employees: 200 office workers based in offices around the country and 200 mechanics who spent most of their time off-site. All payroll calculations had to conform to a two-week payroll cycle. If employees wanted to apply for leave that spanned more than one cycle, they had to fill out a leave application for each pay period. Each application had to run through an approval process, and if only some portions were approved, the entire process had to restart. All leave applications were submitted in SharePoint as individual list items.

Human Resources (HR) had to manually calculate whether any public holidays fell within the requested period. Once all the approvals and calculations were completed, HR manually transferred the requests from SharePoint to the payroll system. Then HR returned to SharePoint and manually changed the status of each item. If new leave requests were submitted during the export process, they were often mistakenly marked as exported.

Additionally, the company recently transitioned to Office 365, operating in a hybrid environment with part of its operations online and part remaining on premises. They had to move information between online and on-premises systems and account for Active Directory field limitations.

Solution

Nintex partner used Nintex Forms, Nintex Workflow, and Nintex Mobile to create an automated workflow for leave applications:

  • Employees fill out a single form online, and the forms show them their leave balances. The form includes a default selection for the most popular leave type (Annual Leave).
  • Automated workflows streamline the entire process, calculating holidays and different payroll periods, and putting the requests through the approvals process.
  • Other workflows export the data into their payroll system and update the status of the leave requests.
  • The solution includes a custom Web API to retrieve necessary fields (employee ID and location) from Azure Active Directory. This ensures that the solution applies any regional holidays to the employee’s leave request.
  • Nintex Mobile provides a mobile-enabled solution for off-site employees.

Benefits

The solution made the leave request and approval process much easier, and saved the company time and money:

  • A single leave application that used to take at least 40 minutes to process (not counting the export process) was reduced to only 7 minutes per request, saving 286 hours per year
  • Manager reviews decreased from 15 minutes to 2 minutes
  • Nintex Mobile made it easy to make the forms mobile-enabled, which might not have been possible otherwise

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