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Prince William County
Prince William County, Virginia, is part of the Washington Metropolitan area. It
has grown 36% since 2000. The County operates with an elected Board of Supervisors.
The Board then appoints a professional, nonpartisan County Executive to manage government
agencies. Prince William serves a general population of approximately 384,000 citizens.
Located 35 miles south of Washington, D.C, the county employs about 4,000 employees
in 37 agencies that provide services including public works, fire and police response,
and social services.
Prince William County Offices
With 4000 employees on the payroll many county executives would think that they need a sophisticated HR/Payroll enterprise
system to manage all the complexities. But unlike Collin County, TX, which recently
has spent $5 million on a new HR/Pay system, Prince William has stayed with StarGarden
HR Pay for more than 16 years. And through all the upgrades and improvements StarGarden
has installed for Prince William, the county has not spent anywhere near $5 million
to get the functionality they want.
Prince William County Offices
Prince William County has elected to do many customizations and some major upgrades
to its StarGarden HR/Pay system over the years including customized workflow, business
process mapping and modifications to streamline their configuration as the county
grows and changes.
The next challenge? Helping the county’s employees become self-responsible by adding
employee self-service. The OIT Director wants to streamline work activities so his staff can
be more strategic, productive and less tactical. This is only possible if they don’t
have to drop what they are doing and respond to record requests.
With a county as large and complex as Prince William, finding a payroll and HR software
solution that could meet their needs was initially seen as difficult and expensive.
“Accuracy, flexibility, security and issues such as electronic leave and time reporting,
scheduling capabilities, self service employee portal and reporting are extremely
important to the County.” Says Bruce Nicholson, the Systems Development Manager
in the Office of Information Technology.
Complexities exist in most organizations. However in county and municipal environments,
there are police, fire, parks board, adult detention and county government works
that all have different types of pay requirements and HR needs. Further, many employees
perform more than one type of role. Therefore you can’t have an employee based system,
you need a position-based pay and HR system which StarGarden’s HR/Pay is based on.
Payroll and HR Management works most effectively as a rule driven system. That sounds
like a limiting factor but StarGarden’s approach is to build in multiple points
of flexibility into all rule frameworks so that staff can select which type of rule,
in a given context is most appropriate for a situation. StarGarden also maintains
and upgrades the legal and regulatory rules so that its clients stay abreast of
the constantly changing legislation. “StarGarden gets the rules right and then takes
care of processing those informational needs so our government clients like Prince
William don’t have to.” Notes Larson. “This factor alone can save thousands for
the County coffers and it protects both the County and its employees. They can rest
assured that their pay and benefits are in compliance and that there won’t be any
nasty surprises a few months down the road.”
With years of data, the County can keep up with government requirements for reporting
a lot of summary detail in a variety of ways because of the large historical and
transaction-based data stream available to the county.
StarGarden has provided numerous upgrade paths for Prince William County over the
years to support its changing needs. The HR and Payroll staff know the system inside
out and working alongside the senior StarGarden implementation team, such changes
big system wide changes like employee self service can be done in an efficient and
non disruptive manner.
Helping employees become responsible for their own record management and reporting
will ease the constraints on the HR department dealing with constant requests for
information. It has made the HR department more responsive and productive. The OIT
team can provide a higher level of service with the same number of people who previously
had much of their attention focused on reacting to information requests.
The most complicated issue from Nicholson’s perspective is the review process which
is available during the pay generation period. Getting it right is vital for employees
and the most important issue that faces the payroll staff not just from a productivity
standpoint but also for reliability. “Our employees trust us to get it right and
we trust StarGarden to help deliver on that promise. We’re a good team and it’s
been that way since day one.”
According to many county executives, the average length of commitment to a financial
system is seven years. There has to be a compelling reason to stay with a system
and StarGarden has earned their reputation in this field. Said one manager, “StarGarden
is our best vendor in terms of responsiveness to our requests.” And Prince William
County has hundreds of vendors. Echoes Nicholson, “we are extremely pleased with
the responsiveness of the company and their knowledgeable staff.”
The StarGarden Group has been supplying public sector clients with a fully integrated
Human Resource, Payroll, and Scheduling system for over 20 years.
The StarGarden solution is designed to meet the needs of structured, position-based
organizations. U.S. and Canadian municipal and county governments select StarGarden
because they have complex pay and benefit issues that no other payroll program can
This powerful system can be installed with little or no customization. At StarGarden,
our implementers know government, know payroll and know how to help make the transition
from legacy to employee self service painlessly. See and hear a demo by visiting
www.stargarden.com and clicking on Video Demos on the left hand menu.