How to Ditch Construction HR Pitfalls


7 Questions With Rummel Construction’s Andy Gagliardi on Viewpoint HR Management

Rummel Construction's information systems specialist, Andy Gagliardi.

Rummel Construction Inc. has been a long-time user of Viewpoint’s Vista ERP software and was an early adopter of Viewpoint’s HR Management solution to manage its construction HR processes. Rummel’s information systems specialist, Andy Gagliardi, recently spoke with Viewpoint about how digitization has helped improve HR and payroll workflows throughout the company. Here's a segment of that discussion:

Viewpoint: Tell us a little about Rummel Construction and what drives your business.

Gagliardi: Rummel performs in many facets of heavy civil construction with our markets ranging from aviation, landfill, public works, mining, residential, commercial, energy, flood control, parks and recreation — the list goes on. The majority of what we do is centered around our self-performing expertise in earthwork. The company got its start in residential, but the economic downturn (mid-2000s) forced us to diversify in order to maintain our business. We currently have more than 650 employees that we assign to our projects with the ability to adjust depending on the request of our clients and specific jobs needs.

What were some of the pain points or HR issues the company was experiencing that drove this decision?

Rummel has more than 650 employees on staff it assigns to projects based on specific needs.

Gagliardi: Two of our biggest issues were employees not being able to see their pay stubs and our internal process for requesting time off was all manual. Time off requests were all done via emails and stored in an Excel spreadsheet. This process wasn’t conducive to get out to supervision to let them know, “hey, this person is going to be off,” so that they can plan accordingly.

Another thing we liked when we saw HR Management was the idea of putting the power back in the hands of the employee in terms of updating their personal information. Our payroll folks were constantly being inundated with emails and phone calls to change their W2s and A4s, or address and phone number changes, it was a nightmare.

Another pain point was with our HR staff, which is essentially two employees. They were trying to handle all of the regular tasks while trying to onboard new employees and projects. Without (Viewpoint HR Management), the process as a whole was very cumbersome — dealing with paper forms, ensuring they’re properly filled out, confirming you have all the forms back, etc. Then taking that information and manually regurgitating it back into Vista to create the employee records was monotonous. HR was really bogged down with these processes and the backlog of trying to get employees onboarded. We can mass hire for a new project and that could mean 20 people or more in two days. That’s a lot of paperwork to try and sift through, type data in from, scan in documents and let the right people know that there are new employees starting.

You’ve had Viewpoint HR Management in place for a little bit now, how has that changed things?

Gagliardi: All of the calls and emails with requests into HR and payroll have become pretty much nonexistent now. The employees know they can retrieve their information directly from their employee portal. They can see their pay stubs, request time off and see balances and more and it’s been extremely helpful for both them and our HR and payroll teams that no longer have the distraction of these constant requests. Now employees can also update their own information, inputting it directly, and we can approve it and push that information straight through to Vista.

How has this helped alleviate errors, lost documents, missing information, etc. that can lead to issues with employee pay, scheduling or even costly project delays?

Using Viewpoint HR Management's employee portal, workers can self-serve their HR needs — from pay stubs to time off requests and much more.

Gagliardi: It’s been huge. Prior to the employee portal, we’d give new employees a packet of forms to fill out. When you’re trying to scan these over to make sure you’ve got everything you need, there’s almost always an area the employee skipped over or didn’t have the information, and that’s information we need.

With the portal now, onboarding is so much easier because the employee only has to fill out their name once and it auto populates onto all of these other forms, and automated workflows ensure we’re getting all of the right information. New employees are not filling out their names or information 12 times on 12 different pieces of paper. This is where numbers can get transposed or a key area is missed. It took these errors out of the process and saved a huge amount of time — for me as well — trying to compare and contrast what went wrong when we got an error message. Everything is digital now and I can pull their digital copy of their application and see exactly what was put on there.

You mentioned the hassle of time-off requests. How much easier is that process now?

Gagliardi: Oh, it’s an extremely smooth process now compared to what it was before. Now, as a laborer for instance, you put in a request for PTO and it’s routed directly to your immediate supervisor. It makes it easy for the supervisor to approve PTO and gives them a tool to capture a clear picture of who is going to be out and build in coverage for that person. We push out reports every week now showing who is on or off. It’s also easier now to review and make decisions should issues come up like an employee that forgot to enter time off or a supervisor that failed to properly capture time an employee worked across multiple jobs. We’re also entering our time straight through the portal as well and that has helped streamline processes back through payroll.

Do you have a sense as to how Rummel’s workforce feels about using HR Management's employee portal?

Gagliardi notes that digitized HR workflows have boosted employee morale and let its workforce concentrate on getting jobs done.

Gagliardi: It’s an extremely helpful tool. There are times where you quickly need information, like when you’re buying a house or car and need quick access to paystubs. If they didn’t want to or couldn’t talk to HR, they’d have to go into our email and find that weekly notification and pull together that information. HR Management puts all of your information in one place, with one login. You can download multiple items at once. With this, easier onboarding, easier time entry and time-off processes and more, it’s a morale booster for our workforce. There is a lot less blame cast on departments or individuals when information wasn’t available or mistakes with time or pay were made due to erroneous information and manual processes.

Is digitizing your construction HR workflows and processes something you’d recommend to other contractors?

Gagliardi: Hands down, I recommend digitizing. I hate paper with a passion. It’s cluttered, you have to keep going back to it and pulling information out, it gets lost. With digital, you create the file, easily access and open it up when you need to, add what you need to it and close it back up. I’m a firm believer in digitizing. It makes everyone’s lives easier.

Having Viewpoint HR Management’s digital workflows in place, and connected right into Vista, has been great for us.

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Andy is Marketing Content & PR Manager at Viewpoint. He has worked in the construction software arena since 2011. Previously, he netted multiple awards as a newspaper and trade media editor.