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By Staff Report

Sep. 15, 2005

Plum Creek

Leveraging Enwisen’s AnswerSource On-boarding, Benefits Communications and Employee/Manager Work/Life Events solutions

At the leading edge of the timber management industry, Plum Creek implemented innovative HR/Benefits communications solutions that save hundreds of thousands of dollars annually, free HR resources, improve service to employees while reducing costs and empower its 2500 employees and line managers to efficiently handle day-to-day work/life events such as hiring, on-boarding and enrollment.

An Immediate $300,000 Savings in On-boarding Costs

When Kayleen Rash, Plum Creek’s HR manager, wanted to replace their paper-based HR/Benefits communications with employee and manager self-service, she calculated how a new platform would pay for itself immediately while increasing its return on investment year-after-year. Plum Creek executives were intrigued but skeptical – especially since they had an existing HR intranet and many hourly employees without computer access.

An acquisition that resulted in a logistical nightmare, however, quickly paid for the project many times over. “The acquisition created 450 new employees in 100 locations spread across 19 states that needed to be oriented to our company and integrated into our benefit plans. With an average cost of $3,000 per orientation trip – which was 10 times our investment to get Enwisen’s AnswerSource Knowledge Center up and running – we had an immediate savings of $300,000 resulting in a first year ROI of almost 1000% in on-boarding costs alone. That turned even our most skeptical executives around,” Rash explained. Additionally, according to Enwisen research, studies show that while many blue collar employees do not have internet access at work, the large majority have access at home or from a spouse.

On an ongoing basis, Hitachi’s additional savings from the On-boarding module include:

  • Approximately $20K per year in manager time and paper costs for on-going new hire orientations.

  • $75K per year via eliminating the need for remote HR site visits.

Improved Employee Service at a Reduced Cost—Up and Running in Just Six Weeks

The only challenge was the deadline: six weeks. According to Rash, “Enwisen gave us exactly what we needed when we needed it. They delivered a first-class self-service platform, with an on-boarding tour that met our exact needs – and they met our challenging timeline with a minimum impact on our internal resources. As a result, we avoided almost all orientation costs and smoothly integrated our new employees into our company and plans. Now our remote employees get a far better level of service at a fraction of the cost.

Phase II – Enabling Employee, Manager and eBenefits Self-Service

The success of the on-boarding project led Plum Creek to work with Enwisen to provide an “always up-to-date” HR Intranet to serve the ongoing work/life event needs of the entire workforce. In Phase II of their project, Plum Creek integrated Enwisen’s AnswerSource Benefits Communications, Work/Life Events and AnswerSource Manager components into their HRMS. The goal of this phase was to facilitate self-service initiatives for both employees and managers – including online benefits communications, recruiting, compensation reviews, career planning and more.

Because all information is personalized in Enwisen solutions, employees and managers get only the information that is relevant to them – up-to-date and delivered directly to their desktops.

Phase II resulted in:

  • Improved data accuracy and reduced verification time for enrollment

  • Increased employee awareness of benefits and streamlined communication

And, Plum Creek was able to eliminate their old HR intranet with Enwisen – saving maintenance time and money. “Our goal is to make employees as effective as possible in their careers at Plum Creek,” said Rash. “Enwisen’s solutions have allowed us to empower employees, deliver better HR service, and reduce costs. I expect our relationship to continue to grow.”

Hitachi Data Systems

Leveraging Enwisen’s AnswerSource Total Compensation Statement solution

As a leading supplier of storage hardware, software, solutions and services, Hitachi Data Systems – with more 2,600 employees and a customer base that includes more than 50% of the Fortune 100 – deployed Enwisen’s web-based Total Rewards Statement solution to increase employee awareness, understanding and satisfaction of/with their total compensation packages.

The Challenge: Continuously Increasing Benefits Costs and Heavy Competition for Top-Tier Employees

In this era of ballooning benefits costs and heavy competition for top-tier employees, Hitachi wanted to ensure that their workforce understood the full value of their benefit plans in addition to their paycheck. Assembling total rewards data in a succinct and accurate way – from multiple data sources – was no trivial task, however.

That’s why Hitachi chose Enwisen’s AnswerSource Total Compensation Statement solution to deliver personalized, online total rewards statements to their employees. In evaluating printed personalized statements – or building a web-based solution in-house – Hitachi recognized that the Enwisen solution could do it faster, better and at a lower cost.

Showing Total Rewards vs. “Just What Shows” on the Paycheck

TIn addition to cash compensation, Hitachi wanted their statements to include the value of all non-cash compensation, including benefit elections, paid time off, retirement / pension contributions, and the impact of pre-tax contributions to flexible spending, dependent care, commuter, and 401(k) programs.

As an employee retention tool, the statement also needed to provide employees with a projection of their future retirement balances, including social security.

The Enwisen Total Compensation Statement was able to populate data from multiple internal and external sources, including retirement plan vendors, social security and Hitachi’s HR system.

A Big Win for HR Resulting in High Usage and Lower Costs

Last year in 2004, employee benefits and rewards became the second largest corporate line item – exceeded only by paid time off. And studies show that most employees do not fully understand their total rewards. To attract and retain a top-tier workforce, it therefore becomes critical that companies ensure employees are comparing “apples-to-apples” when considering “raised-based” job changes – and that recruits have a true understanding of the total comp packages being offered by various job opportunities.

According to Stan Kenyon, Practice Leader at Craford, Hitachi’s benefits consultant, “Each year the percentage of non-cash compensation increases, making the ‘hidden paycheck’ more important to communicate to employees. Enwisen has a very powerful solution for communicating this hidden paycheck. Their ability to deliver web-based, personalized compensation statements quickly and cost-effectively is unmatched in the market.”

The results for Hitachi?

  • Online Total Rewards Statements – with integrated data from six sources – were delivered in under 12 weeks from start-to-finish.

  • The initial web-based statements, including start-up costs, still represented a savings of more than 17% compared to traditional paper statements – which are usually out-of-date at delivery, especially if data such as live stock option values are included. Updates of the statement can be completed in four weeks for 50% less than a paper statement.

  • Because the statement are online, Hitachi is able to determine how many people viewed their statements, and how often they returned to them. At the project kickoff, more than 75% of employees viewed their statements within the first five days they were available.

“In my opinion, the Hitachi Data Systems Total Compensation Statement is one of the most tangible wins that we have had in HR. Now that employees know the full value of their benefits, our investment in great compensation and benefit programs is producing its full payback!” commented Susan Ramirez, Hitachi’s Senior Director for Global Benefits and Administration.

recent case study with Yahoo!, Loree Farrar, Yahoo!’s VP Global Rewards, commented, “Upon implementing Enwisen’s Total Rewards Statement solution, we saw a measurable reduction in turnover from the same period the previous year. And, we also realized a spike in 401(k) participation when our Yahoos! realized how much they were losing by not contributing. Another advantage of the Enwisen solution is the ability to refresh the data – which includes real-time Yahoo! stock values – on a pay-period basis vs. just once a year on a printed statement, making the solution a year-round retention tool.”

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