Consultancy Agilexperts has assisted fast food giant KFC with the implementation of a new payroll system across Australia.
Taking 18 months, a team of between 40 to 50 people worked on developing and deploying the new system by March this year.
KFC's previous environment was costing its franchisees thousands of dollars a year, according to Agilexpert’s executive director Brett Cowan.
The new system was centralised to one single interpretation engine, which covers over 40,000 employees from 750 stores and 55 franchise owners, leaving the responsibility of the calculations to to the franchisor – a move that Cowan claims will result in employees being paid correctly.
This is opposed to the older system, which left each franchisee responsible for their own award interpretation engine to do their calculations.
Karen Ancira, chief people officer at KFC, said Agilexperts stepped in “at very short notice” to help take on the project.
“Agilexperts were on site within two days of our call, and within a week had helped us identify the key risks to our successful go-live as well as their mitigations,” she said.
“Agilexperts created a robust plan, ran daily stand-ups to support the team to deliver that plan and also developed effective relationships with the stakeholders to gain their buy-in for their part of the journey. I fully endorse the work done by Agilexperts as extremely valuable and one of the key components to the success of this critical project.”
The practical use of the system however is going to take some getting used to, Cowan added.
“Because of the way the systems work, they overcompensate. They're all about governance and the way that we've configured it, because KFC is committed to making sure it never underpays people, the system always arrives on the side of overpaying,” he said.
Using the example of a manager asking an employee to stay back an additional hour, Cowan explained that the employee may not necessarily need to be paid overtime for the hour, but that’s what the system will “naturally” do.
“That's actually what you see when you implement a system like this to start with. You see overtime payments go up, but that's not necessarily not a reflection that they were paying incorrectly at the start. That's just a reflection that they need to understand how to use the system better,” he explained.
“What you'll normally see is an increase in overtime, and then it comes right down. So as the different restaurant managers start knowing how to technically work the system, the actual payroll system itself and the rostering system, then they start to get better at it.”