The Overview

A reference laboratory in New Mexico had decided to upgrade to Kronos Workforce Central Version 8. While they had the technical capabilities to handle the upgrade in house, they knew the new version would have a drastically different look and feel than their previous version. This led them to seek an expert with experience in v8 who could help configure the look and feel of the software, set up new Leave functionality, and create an interface between Kronos and their other HR system. Ultimately, the combination of projects would save their HR team 40+ hours of work each month.


“…the need for constant updates and compatibility issues were significantly increasing the IT team’s workload.


The Challenge

Like many teams using older versions of Kronos, the laboratory’s tech team was becoming frustrated by the Java in their existing Kronos implementation; the need for constant updates and compatibility issues were significantly increasing the IT team’s workload.

When Kronos v8 was released Java free, they made the decision to upgrade — and while upgrading, decided to add some additional functionality. They’d never built an interface between their HR system and Kronos; this meant anytime an employee was hired, fired, or changed jobs, they had to hand key all of that information into their HR system and then turn around and input it all over again into Kronos. Since there were several acquisitions in the pipeline, it was decided that adding functionality in this area was a top priority.

The company also decided to automate the process for handling leave, including FMLA, worker’s comp, short- or long-term disability, military leave, etc. Previously, they’d been maintaining all of this data in spreadsheets, calculating out rates of pay, and then entering them into Kronos. Moving forward, they wanted Kronos to manage all of that automatically.

However, they didn’t have the bandwidth to handle these projects in house, and knew all three projects would require expertise in areas their IT team lacked.


The Solution

The company decided to reach out to Surety Systems for help. Surety Systems was able to work with the laboratory, ultimately providing a single consultant with expertise in all three areas; this offered significant cost savings over other competitors, since most companies would need to put several consultants on the project in order to provide expertise in all three areas.

Surety Systems’ consultant had previously worked for Kronos for 14 years in a variety of roles that allowed him to learn multiple aspects of the product, then spent several years at a major Kronos customer doing production support and gaining further experience and a deeper understanding of how the system works for end users. His experience with both the older Kronos system and v8 allowed him to handle the functional side of the upgrade and ensure proper knowledge transfer, working with the in-house team to get everything working in a way that was optimal for the end user.

Next came setting up the new Leave functionality. Previously, the HR team would have to spend a few hours a month per leave case, handling maybe 20 leave cases a month for a rough estimate of about 40 hours a month. And all of that work was being done in spreadsheets, and then being manually added into Kronos. However, once the functionality is set up, Kronos is capable of managing a large number of different types of leave. Kronos can keep track of whether or not an employee is eligible, how long an employee has been out on a specific type of leave, what they should be paid while on that type of leave, and maintain all of the necessary documentation.

Surety’s consultant helped implement the Kronos Leave module, and taught the team how to use it.
The other major functionality the laboratory wanted to add was an interface between Kronos and their other HR system. Without any sort of interface the company had previously needed to manually enter every new employee into both systems, creating a lot of duplicate processes. The company knew it would be acquiring several other labs in the near future, which would significantly stress their HR team. Rather than trying to manually rekey all of that information, Surety’s consultant helped them establish an interface that allowed them to enter information once, and then automate the process of adding that information to Kronos.

Before working with Surety, it would have taken about half an hour per employee to set up a new hire in Kronos; then they’d have to manually maintain those records for any employees who changed jobs, locations, departments, or who had their personal information change. This was likely taking their team 5-10 hours each week, or between 20 and 40 hours a month.


The Results

With the addition of the leave module the company easily reduced the time their HR team spent overseeing these cases by 75% — reducing the amount of time spent each month from about 40 hours a month to about 10 hours each month.

Automating the process of importing employees into Kronos further reduced their workload — whereas they were likely spending between 20 and 40 hours a month on this (and would have seen a significant increase in that during and after the acquisition), once the interface between systems was created, overseeing these imports took more like an hour or two each week.

These upgrades to their system offered the laboratory significant time savings. The new leave module and interface between systems is easily saving their HR team 40+ hours a month — and the upgrade to Kronos Workforce Central Version 8 is saving their IT team time and unnecessary headaches, now that they are Java free.