Innovation through iTrent – ‘one version of the truth’


‘One version of the truth’
Understand workforce skills & development
Transform HR into strategic ‘business partner’ 
Consolidate & centralise MI
Single, centralised solution 
o Minimise data entry
o Maximise MI
o Increase accuracy
o Standardise processes
Automate labour intensive processes 
Devolve learning admin to regional offices
Reduce learning cancellations
Real-time visibility of learning accounts 
Reduce operational costs
MidlandHR’s cloud-based iTrent solution
o Learning & Development
o Manager & Employee Self-Service
Central solution for managing workforce
Deployed to regional offices via cloud technology
Process transformation & standardisation 
Real-time MI reporting 
Accessible employee learning accounts & history 
Learning administration automated
                 Batch processing 10,000+ learning notifications
                Workflow authorisation process
Optimum learning scheduling
Reduction of HR headcount by one FTE
Reduction of Payroll headcount by two FTEs
Devolving learning visibility to employees & managers through Self-Service
Enable management authority using automated workflow
Self-maintaining learning management
Analyse learning investment & outcomes
Interserve Construction Limited, a major division of the services, maintenance and building group, Interserve PLC, is a £690m turnover business with a history stretching back over 70 years. With its head office based in Birmingham, Interserve employs over 2,800 people in the UK and Middle East via an office network that stretches from Scotland to the south coast. This regional structure provides excellent geographical spread, strong local knowledge and a flexible approach to meeting client needs.
The company has a diverse and devolved central HR function supported by local administrators in each regional office. Having previously used a number of incompatible legacy systems and spreadsheets to manage its workforce, Interserve partnered with MidlandHR in 2008 to provide a single cloud-based solution, supported by a fully outsourced payroll service.  
Outdated systems; duplicated workflows
In the past, Interserve had various legacy systems, none of which were compatible with each other. Information about the workforce was inaccurate and unreliable, as updates were performed and duplicated manually on singular systems. 
Julie Bradley, Associate Director of HR at Interserve, states: “Before the introduction of iTrent, all employee information was stored both centrally and locally on systems that weren’t compatible. It was impossible to know if the information called up was accurate as there were multiple systems and databases stored, so updated records might not have been translated across the systems.” 
Several thousand employee training days undertaken annually, meant a significant amount of time was spent booking courses, keying data into multiple systems and providing manual reminders to employees, taking up essential resources within local and central HR functions.  It was vital for Interserve to eliminate this labour-intensive processing through automation and provide visibility of annual learning and development schedules and records across the business.  
“Furthermore, with the HR department manually processing approximately 10,000 emails per year, the team was spending so much time on administration that we were unable to provide the high level of service we were striving for,” adds Bradley. “It became clear that a solution was required to centralise all data, automate manual activities and provide access to training records at a local level.” 
One clear vision – one single supplier
Having attended various reference visits during the initial stages of the procurement process, Interserve reviewed customers with similar HR and payroll complexities. The company selected MidlandHR due to the iTrent solution’s ability to consolidate data and replace incompatible systems and processes, which made employee information unreliable and inconsistent. 
“One of the objectives was to move the central HR service from its largely administrative role to a ‘business partner’ role, capable of delivering expert professional support,” explains Bradley. “There were also significant risks associated with the legacy payroll and costing systems, which needed urgent attention by a provider which could also take care of end–to-end payroll while meeting HMRC’s strict legislation requirements.”
Interserve’s vital objective was to implement a single HR and payroll system, accessible from the network of offices across the UK, providing visibility of management information, process consistency, centralised reporting and the automation of administrative tasks. It was identified that managing learning and development administration through iTrent could provide added value through process consistency, automation of regional waiting list allocations, invitations, cancelations and reminders, email batch processing and elimination of dual data entry through the single database solution.  
Partnership and change management 
The provision of iTrent presented a huge change for the organisation, but was fully supported by senior management who could see the value and need for a complete transformation. 
To manage the changes to the learning and development process, designated training representatives were appointed from all areas of the Interserve business and developed through classroom based internal learning programmes.  An HR administrator newsletter was created to keep training representatives up to speed with new developments and key information to ensure a smooth internal transition and full realisation of the associated benefits.
Realising the true benefits 
The iTrent learning and development project phase has brought significant operational efficiencies and improvements in the quality of data and processes. 
Less administration & improved accuracy - Learning and development needs, future plans and training history is collated in one single system, reducing the need for unnecessary administration and enabling accurate management reporting across the network of offices.
Consistent communications - Delegates, line managers and training representatives receive eight week joining instructions, two week reminder, late booking and cancellation email, via an automated workflow process with minimal manual administration required.
Visibility of information - Training representatives and business unit managers have full visibility of each employee’s personal learning account within their business unit, allowing optimum scheduling, car sharing opportunities and the complete picture of employees’ development history during the appraisal process. The senior management team also have the ability to run real-time reports, giving a clear indication of progress against annual training plans.
Bradley explains, “Streamlining our technological infrastructure through one single system has had a significant effect on the business. The HR team has been able to automate many of the previous labour intensive processes using iTrent, reducing the administrative burden and enabling focus upon achieving the ‘business partner’ model. This has resulted in a reduction of the overhead costs by one full-time equivalent, lost via natural turnover and two payroll FTE’s.
“Since partnering in September 2008, MidlandHR has been instrumental in helping Interserve achieve its strategic vision, ‘one version of the truth’ through iTrent and the accompanying payroll outsourcing service. MidlandHR continues to be a true partner in developing our strategy, providing support, understanding and professional experience to ensure best practice.” 
The self-maintaining future
“In the future, we are planning further innovations through rolling out learning accounts to employees via iTrent Self-Service. This will enable people to view their own development programmes and courses, whilst giving managers the ability to authorise learning requests and assign delegates to appropriate programmes. Employees will have complete visibility of their own records allowing the system to be almost self-maintaining, with automated workflow triggers reducing the need for additional admin. As there is very little administration involved in this, workflow is expected to continue to drive efficiencies.
“The HR team will then focus on the learning strategy, whilst measuring quality and delivery of training courses to ensure maximum value for the company and employees alike. iTrent will be used to analyse cost effectiveness, employee investment and provide a picture of delegate numbers to ensure programmes are run at full capacity. This will reduce the need for mop-up courses which increase costs significantly,” concludes Bradley.