Phelps Security: Cutting Payroll Processing Time By 90 Percent

Many contract security companies spend years using paper schedules and manual processes. While manual system can work, for a time, it rarely works well. With industry-specific security company software, your company can cut processing time across your operations. And, you can streamline labor-intensive processes, like payroll, easily.

Every company reaches a tipping point where the processes and technology it has relied on for years are no longer sustainable. The company grows, markets change, software ages. That tipping point happened in 2014 for Phelps Security, Inc., a contract security firm operating in the Memphis, Tennessee, area. A family-owned business for 65 years, the company had transitioned leadership, and the homegrown software they had been using for decades just wasn’t cutting it anymore. Cumbersome manual processes and multiple subpar software systems sent the company on the hunt for a better solution. The company found TEAM Software’s solutions and after implementing it, reduced payroll processing time by 90 percent.

After spending years using paper schedules, in an intrepid move in the mid 1980s, Phelps Security developed its own MS-DOS-based software to help handle scheduling and dispatching the 50-60 guards on staff at that time. That system worked for them for years, but as operating systems grew more sophisticated and needs changed, that system began to show its age. In the early 2000s, the company tried a new scheduling and time and attendance system, but that software proved to be expensive and worse, inaccurate. Plus, software support was non-existent. Leadership chose to return to a combination of their reliable MS-DOS system to manage scheduling and paper to track the changes.

All the while, they were trying to determine whether they should build a more complete, customized software system themselves or buy an existing solution to accomplish what they were looking for. The complexities and expense of building a new platform coupled with an inability to support the current software led Phelps Security to choose WinTeam, TEAM’s core financial, operations and workforce management solution.

“We knew we needed to make a change, fast, so that’s why we pulled the trigger on TEAM,” said Andy Phelps, the business manager for Phelps Security in charge of internal office operations, including payroll for the company’s 300 employees, a process that used to take Phelps a week to manage.

Then, Phelps continued, they printed and stuffed the checks and supervisors would deliver them on post inspections over the weekend, so guards could sign for the check to confirm receipt. The entire process took five days. And, that process occurred twice a month.

“I’m doing payroll right now in WinTeam,” said Phelps. “I’ll have it done in half a day.” It’s a combination of things that streamlines the payroll process, said Phelps. The scheduling department creates and manages the schedule in WinTeam. Guards clock in and out on TeamTime, the time and attendance component, and that information flows seamlessly back into the payroll component in WinTeam. The scheduling staff handles any timekeeping exceptions, and Phelps runs the payroll wizard to pull timekeeping hours in, creates the NACHA file, sends it to the bank and prints the few checks that are still necessary. Most employees receive direct deposits and paycheck stubs they can view in eHub, TEAM’s employee self service portal available online or through a mobile app.

In addition to the processing time saved, both the reduction in staff time and paper supplies translates to significant cost savings, too.

Phelps learned the last time around that functional software is only half the equation. Top-notch support after the sale is essential for continued success, and Phelps noted that TEAM’s responsiveness and free support was a factor in their software decision.

In addition to drastically improving the payroll process and saving the company time and money, TEAM’s solutions have streamlined operations across the organization. So much so, that Phelps can focus on other high value activities for the business.

“I don’t have to hire an IT person now because I can focus on that again,” he said. “Or I can go see our clients at local events and build those relationships.”

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