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You can find much needed money simply and efficiently with a pay day loan. If the unexpected emergency occurs, a pay day loan may be the most suitable option to suit your needs. Having said that, it’s finest to know what you’re engaging in initial, so please read on.

Before you apply for the payday advance, look into the complete array of other funding possibilities available. Borrow from family, utilize a banking institution, or use a credit card–every one of these choices are a lot more economically seem compared to a payday advance. Charges utilizing areas are better than payday loan charges.

Make sure you recognize any secret charges that could be included. You will find often figures inside the small print that can easily make a tremendous affect on the entire settlement numbers. Many people end up paying more than they believed they would right after they’ve previously approved with regard to their personal loan. Present as numerous concerns as you need, to discover all of the details of the loan.

Understand that payday advance amounts needs to be repaid quickly. Be aware that the funds has to be repaid as fast as 2 weeks. The exclusions are if pay day is much less a week after you’ve taken out the money. Then it will probably be thanks the pay day following that.

You need to know there are actually outcomes for low settlement You may mean to pay out the loan by the due date, but at times things come up. It is important to read each of the fine print within your contract, and understand what service fees is going to be charged for late payments. Taking out payday cash loans implies that you’re dealing with high interest rates in addition to penalties if not repaid promptly.

Select your personal references smartly. Some cash advance businesses require that you title two, or three referrals. These are the men and women that they can get in touch with, when there is an issue so you can not be achieved. Be sure your references can be attained. Furthermore, make certain you warn your referrals, that you are using them. This helps those to count on any phone calls.

Take note of your transaction thanks schedules. As soon as you get the payday loan, you will need to shell out it back again, or otherwise produce a repayment. Although you may forget about each time a settlement date is, the business will make an attempt to withdrawal the amount from your checking account. Listing the dates will allow you to keep in mind, allowing you to have no difficulties with your bank.

There are several cash advance firms that are reasonable for their debtors. Make time to look into the organization that you would like to take a loan out with before you sign something. Many of these companies do not have the best desire for brain. You must consider on your own.

While there can be plenty of paperwork engaged, you don’t must behave like the standard buyer. Don’t hesitate of requesting a manager to lower your rate of interest. Businesses will at times be able to adjust just for them to generate profits.

While you are picking a business to obtain a payday loan from, there are numerous significant things to keep in mind. Be sure the business is signed up with all the status, and comes after status suggestions. You must also try to find any complaints, or judge courtroom proceedings against each and every company. Furthermore, it contributes to their reputation if, they are in operation for several several years.

Request merely the essential funds that must repay what exactly you need using a pay day loan. Frequently, loan providers provide you extra cash. Even though this may be tempting, you need to prevent them since in the end, you will need to pay far more attention and fees.

A fantastic part of pay day loans is that you do not have to get a credit score examine or have security to get that loan. Numerous cash advance organizations do not require any references aside from your evidence of work. Make sure you provide your shell out stubs together with you when you go to sign up for the money.

When filling in your forms for the payday advance, ensure your information is accurate. You might think it is going to help you obtain the financing, nevertheless these companies fund individuals with a bad credit score, therefore they are believe in terms of career protection. It will harm your chances of receiving any potential lending options if you falsify these documents and therefore are captured.

After looking at this informative article, hopefully you will be will no longer at nighttime where you can far better knowing about payday cash loans and just how one can use them. Online payday loans let you acquire money in a short period of time with handful of limits. When investing in all set to apply for a payday advance if you choose, bear in mind every little thing you’ve study.

Enhance Customer Service Experience Using Self-Service

When I was in college, I worked at a gas station. This was at the time when gas stations were converting from full-service to self-service. Where we previously would pump the gas for the customer as well as wash their windows and check their oil, the new procedure was that they would pump their own gas and we, the employees, would simply collect their money and say “Thank you.”

These early self-service stations did not have the advanced technology as those of today. There was no credit card machine attached to the pump, and not even a kiosk where the customer would pay the employee at a window. No, we collected money on the drive. I had a metal coin changer attached to my belt and bills in my pocket so I could make change, and we manually reset the pumps for the next customer.

I remember one incredibly cold day – with the wind chill, the temperature was double digits below zero. A frail-looking elderly woman – a regular customer – pulled up and stepped out of her car to pump her gas. I went over to her and told her that I would pump the gas if she would like to sit in her car, for which she was very grateful.

Afterward, when I went inside the building to warm up, the manager of the station approached me. He looked agitated, and as I recall, he said, “Did I just see you pump that woman’s gas for her? We’re self-service, you know.”

I felt a bit defensive and I replied, “She is a very old woman, and she’s been here before. I was just trying to be nice.”

He snapped back, “Well, what do you think she will expect the next time?”

I said, “Well, maybe she will come back the next time she needs gas instead of going to the station across the street.” As I ran out to help the next customer, I remember being shocked by his attitude. Helping an elderly woman on a cold day just seemed to me like doing the right thing.

I thought about this experience today as I was checking in at a self-service kiosk at the airport. I was having difficulty; for some reason, the machine wouldn’t read my credit card. Almost immediately, an airline employee appeared to help me. I didn’t have to ask for help. Although it was a “self-service” check-in, there was an employee ready and waiting to help the customers.

Self-service is not an invitation to ignore the customer. It should be about enhancing the customer experience by making it faster, more efficient and maybe even less expensive. Don’t forget about customer service just because you have a self-service option. On the contrary, use self-service as a way to enhance your customer service.

The Changing Trend – Self-Service Portals

Portals were preferred over other content websites to provide consolidated, customized and updated information. The trend moved towards one-click information on weather, cities, movies, music, communities, latest news, stock update and much more with customized and personalized user web space. Users started expecting the possibility of paying bills, checking bank accounts, transferring funds, city information and tracking insurance claims through a secure online platform. Users, no longer, wished to be caught in the slow and lengthy request-processing loop offered by call centers.

Highly acclaimed community portal, Yahoo, introduced the user-centric personalized portal My Yahoo! in 1996. Users needed to create a profile to access a gamut of information through a personal web space. The users experienced up-to date view of information streamed on the basis of their preferences. Self-service portals, thus, evolved a user-centric web-based platform approach. It enables an anywhere anytime model with data integration from multiple sources facilitated through an open architecture. Users can access instant information through a personal web space where they can even specify their preferences to view specific data categories. With Service Oriented Architecture enabled, the information can be accessed through PCs, mobile phones, PDAs and other channels. With online self-service model, companies significantly saved on customer services.

Customer Self-service Portal is targeted to meet the specific requirements of the B2C domain. It provides an end-to-end solution for E-commerce activities enabled through a single sign-on personalized platform for users with data and applications accessible on-demand. The end-users are provided with extensive information streamed through a wide network of sources. The information is then processed and collated into precisely the data requested by the end-users.

The overall costs incurred with toll-free phone support, emails and chat sessions amount to much more than self-service portal. Intelligent data analysis is provided by sophisticated aggregation and integration functions of portals. The advanced analysis capability enables easy identification of potential customers by capturing user-browsing behavior. ‘Customer lifetime value’ can be enhanced with personalized and instant interface. It also optimizes the business environment for remote and local collaboration of data, software and applications. Portals are designed to manage large data requirements like integration, storage and data processing.

With rapidly growing demands of an increasing customer base, the customer-servicing costs have become unaffordable. Dependence on human interface and contact centers is reducing due to deteriorated services and high costs. The late 90s experienced changing trend in the way customers wanted to be served. Growing complexity in businesses led to a massive increase in the number of processes, applications and user database to be maintained. Data being stored at multiple locations consumed more time to integrate. With number of users increasing and complexity of processes growing, companies outsourced their customer services to multiple call centers. The costs and the dependence on human interface, thus, added tremendous burden on company funds whereas quality of customer servicing continued to drop. Users expected faster services and access through multiple channels like the Internet and mobile phones. From an IT perspective, this translates into data integration across the enterprise and web-based customer and employee portals founded on the fundamentals of a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA).

Tips to Avoid Common Pitfalls in Active Directory Self Service

First off, why do you want to offer self service to your users? Because users are often the most accurate source of identity data; you want the information that they know about themselves. And, help desk calls are expensive: if you rely on a help desk to update phone numbers, create distribution lists, or add users to groups, you are spending a lot of money on something that can be done for you faster and cheaper.

But it isn’t that easy, there are a lot of things that can go wrong by offering too much rope to your end users so you have to be cognizant of some of the pitfalls. They almost all have to do with lack of control by IT. If you are offering AD self service, you need to have IT controls in place. Active Directory is too important to let it get out of control.

The most common pitfalls:

Exposing too much information
Not respecting AD’s rules
Loose workflow rules
Group glut, changes run amok
Compatibility with Exchange’s ever-changing moods

Pitfall: exposing too much information

To limit exposing too much information, field level security is key. Let users update only what you want them to update, let them view what they should be able to view, and hide anything you don’t want them to see. You need to have built-in roles so that a manager can change things about her direct reports that the users themselves can only view. And maybe have other users not even see that information.

Pitfall: not respecting AD’s rules

One of the worst things you can do is to try to do something that AD won’t let you. For example, let your users make a distribution group as the owner of a security group in the AD self service portal. You can still make this happen but not in AD’s managedby attribute.

What might be even worse is to allow something that AD does allow! For example, don’t let your users have the ability to change a security group to a distribution group or change group scope from universal to global; they probably don’t know the damage that will cause.

Pitfall: Loose workflow rules

Your AD self service portal is like a coil of rope, you don’t want your users to have too much of it. Workflow allows you to have rules associated with changes and you want rules, lots of them. Best (or at least good) practice is to start with everything workflowed and then turn them off one by one. If your user wants to change his phone number, make sure his manager has to approve it. If a manager wants to change her employee’s title, make sure someone in HR approves it.

If you are going to rely on workflow (and you will) make sure that you have a solid means for users to approve the requests. Have multiple owners on AD groups (or even groups owning groups); have a default approver if someone isn’t answering the request; have notifications of requests and have an inbox in the self service portal for users to track requests.

Pitfall: group glut, changes run amok

Groups are like bunnies, they will multiply and multiply quickly. You need a group lifecycle solution to make sure that groups only exist as long as they are useful to the business. Put a workflow on group creation. Make sure that groups expire and that group owners have the ability to renew them. And make sure that during the group’s expired state, that group doesn’t work to give incentive for group owners to take action. Track and expire distribution lists that aren’t being used. Just make sure that the only AD groups that you have are the ones you want.

Pitfall: compatibility with Exchange’s ever-changing moods

Make sure that your solution keeps up with what Exchange and AD are doing. The best example is when Exchange 2007 came out, they got rid of the Recipient Update Service, breaking all provisioning with most vendors and home-made solutions. So, be sure that you are working on updating your AD self service solution along with your Exchange and/or Active Directory upgrades.

These are just a few of the most common pitfalls in Active Directory self service. To avoid these pitfalls, consider an Active Directory Self Service tool from Imanami, the publisher of these tips.

Self Service Portals and the Modern Service Desk

There are two main hurdles to be overcome when rolling out a Self Service portal for your service desk.

The portal must be accessible and simple to use.
The portal must provide a real benefit to the client and the service desk.

First of all the portal must be simple attractive and easily available for clients to log in to.

It should be an easy to enter URL, ideally linked from a corporate intranet site so customers can find it when they need it. Where possible it should use some form of automatic authentication so the client does not need to remember their login ID and password to gain access.

Once a client is logged in to the site it should be very straight forward to navigate. Any site that requires training to be provided to the client before they can use it is not going to appeal to the majority and will not be universally accepted. Remember that in an ideal situation most clients will rarely access the site and will not remember the details of how to raise a request if it is not obvious.

Now that you have the client logged in and the site is straight forward and easy to navigate, you have to provide some real value in terms of the capabilities offered. What can the client do when they get there? What kinds of services are available through the site? If the client can only perform a small subset of the tasks they might need to do and they have to resort to phoning the service desk for everything else, they are quickly going to side step the Self Service portal and head straight for the phone. You need to provide a good service catalogue so the client can see what services they can sign up for and what they are already subscribed to. The client needs to be able to raise a request for support or for additional services quickly and easily and they need to be lead, step by step, through providing the information necessary to fulfill that request.

If a client logs a request through the Self Service portal you need to gather as much relevant information as possible from them during the request process so that the request can be fulfilled without necessitating a call back for more information. This should be done using a question and answer session in the form of a wizard style interaction gently leading the client through the process and asking only relevant questions in a logical order. Presenting the client with a large form with a dozen or so fields to be filled in before they can continue will overwhelm most non technical staff and will lead to bad or incomplete information and dissatisfaction with the experience resulting in clients resorting to the phone instead of using the Self Service portal. The aim is to get clients comfortable with the process and to the point where they would rather use the Self Service portal than the telephone because they like the experience. Many portals are only used because it takes too long to get to a real person and not because the portal offers any real benefits. This does nothing to improve the clients’ perception of the service desk.

Offering a full list of services available and a good knowledge base for Self Help will go a long way to making the client want to use the Self Service portal in preference to calling for a live person. The services should be described to the client in a way that they can understand. Any costs involved that are the responsibility of the client should be detailed so the client knows what they are signing up for.

Well produced knowledge material is structured and presented in a uniform way. The articles should be written in language that all clients can understand and they should provide good quality information and procedural steps that can be easily followed. Knowledge should be readily searchable to ensure that clients can find an article with a wide variety of search criteria. When documenting fixes for error messages the articles should always include any error codes in the key words for the search as well as common descriptive terms that clients might use.

The subject of a Knowledge article is not restricted to solving a technical problem. An article describing how to sign up for a service and what that service provides can help a client decide what to sign up for.

Part of the development of any system is defining what data to track and for what purpose. With a Self Service portal you will need to gather as much information as you can from the client to allow you to fulfill the request but a lot of this information is not required for reporting or even searching functions. It does not need a custom field in the database for every question asked in every wizard. Most of the information gathered will be used in a purely informational context to allow the service desk resources to complete their tasks and should be embedded in a text field. Using a wizard to gather information can do this in a structured way so it is still possible to extract data if necessary but it allows the system to gather highly customized data sets for each different request without creating an enormous number of extra database fields most of which are rarely used at all. As your questions are presented to the client the answers should make use of drop downs, radio buttons and check boxes to present choices wherever possible. These help the client choose the correct answer and ensure quality of data for your support staff to work from. They can also be used to trigger workflow components where freeform text is not suitable due to the wide range of interpretation that can result.

Once a client has entered a request for support or service it is import to confirm the request by email so that the client has a high level of confidence that their request was received and is being processed. The request should then be processed and sent to a group for action in a timely manner, if action is needed. Requests entered through the Self Service portal should be given the same priority as those of the same nature called in to the support desk. It is not necessary to send an email to the client beyond the first confirmation of the request unless there is more information required from them or there is information directly relevant to the client about the request itself, such as an estimated time of completion if this cannot be included in the initial email or if something happens that changes it. In general, clients do not need to know and do not care which analyst or group is currently working on their issue. They are only concerned that their request is being worked on and that it will be resolved in a timely manner. If they need to find out more about the status of a request they should be able to log back in to the Self Service portal to see the current status of all their requests at any time. Adding some graphical representation of the stage of a request and some colour to indicate its progression makes this much more appealing to clients, however don’t overdo this. There is a fine line between too little information and too much. Screens should be kept simple and concise showing enough information to establish the state of a request without overwhelming the client with so much information it is difficult to extract the key points. Subtle use of colour, in the right places, can greatly aid in making the screens more understandable and drawing the clients eyes to the key data.

Corporate branding of the Self Service portal is often overlooked. When a client logs in to the portal they are subconsciously forming an impression of the efficiency and technical ability of the support organization based on their experience with the portal itself. Having a portal that has obviously been set up and configured specifically for your organization instead of a generic supplier branded site helps to instill confidence in the client and ensure that they believe that the service desk is working efficiently on their specific problems and has the necessary skill set and professionalism to solve their issues quickly and efficiently. Do not underestimate the power of corporate branding even to your own employees.

There is much to plan and think about when deciding to roll out a Self Service portal and there is much that can go wrong if it is not well executed. It is much more difficult to get clients to come back once they have had a bad experience than it is to get them to try it for the first time so it is extremely important to get it right from the start. However, if you do get it right, a Self Service portal can not only reduce the immediate load on your support staff but it can also greatly improve the customer satisfaction rating for the whole service operation. Taking time to build a good portal before rolling it out to clients can really pay off in the end. There is no substitute for thorough testing and having multiple representatives from different areas of the operation involved to ensure that every ones’ needs are covered.

Cedar Technology has been helping customers improve their IT Support with software and services for 20 years. Visit the Cedar Technology web site to find out more and join our mailing list to receive more informative articles like this one.

Is Self-Service The Future Of Banking?

Today, banks, credit unions, pay-day loans and other financial firms look more like modern retailers. The amount of financial services has mushroomed, and with more customers choosing to bank on their mobile devices, the need for promotions to build awareness has never been greater.

Also like modern retailers, progressive financial institutions have shifted into high gear meeting customers’ needs for a better, more connected experience by creating an atmosphere that is conducive to selling financial products.

However, today’s connected finance customer can get services almost anywhere but the bank-on the Internet, via mobile apps, or at the ubiquitous ATM. Human interaction is no longer required for a bank transaction. Considering this, we ask, is self-service the future of banking?

According to the TD Branch Financial Education Survey, some of those “old fashioned” face-to-face banking practices are not only valid today, but also have demand from younger generations. For example, consider these recent findings:

54% of Millennials prefer to visit their bank for detailed information.
Millennials still visit bank branches as frequently as they did in 2013 for simple transactions.
90% of consumers prefer face-to-face advice for complex financial products.

To be sure, routine transactional banking activities are going digital by the majority of customers with over 50% using online services, but for more complex transactions that require thorough consideration, modern banks are meeting the needs of consumers by shifting to the concept of full-service flagship locations. These consumer-friendly centers provide a plethora of financial services and tools, and are staffed with knowledgeable associates for on-the-spot assistance alongside self-serve kiosks for the do-it-yourself customer.

“Many people do their banking not only at a branch but online as well,” noted Robert Moctezuma in the Digital Signage For Financial Institutions white paper published by DigitalSignageToday.com. “Digital signage can help tie together the financial institution’s online and offline presence.”

“When people walk into a branch just wanting to do a few things, there may be a line at the cashier. They can go to a sign, they can touch it, they can interact, and they can get what they need done,” Moctezuma said. “That helps the institution extend the online presence to the offline world.”

Since banks can no longer take walk-in or even drive-through customers for granted, managers want to do their utmost to maximize the opportunity. This is where modern banking differentiates itself from our parents’ bank. Modern banking crosses the digital divide to connect to customers in new ways, ways that provide information and ways that provide services.

Here are four examples that demonstrate how digital signage can improve the customer experience and better meet growing expectations.

Cross-Selling Financial Services – The common task of cross-selling financial services typically falls on tellers’ shoulders, which is not the best game plan for positions that have high turnover. Fortunately, digital signage provides a platform that can prime customers’ interests and create awareness before having that conversation.

Customer Experience – Modern banking can facilitate better customer experience by reinforcing the brand-and the atmosphere-that makes the client better informed and more inclined to accept additional services. This can happen through customer engagement with both bank employees and interactive media, bolstering services that directly address and fulfills customers’ needs on the spot.

Drive-Through Banking – For approximately 60% of the customers that drive to the bank, the majority use the drive-through to meet their banking needs, which is possibly the most overlooked opportunity to promote and cross-sell customers. Today’s digital signage can be easily placed outdoors, providing a reliable, dynamic way to keep drive-through customers informed.

Staff Training – Bank employees can benefit as much as patrons with targeted digital sign messages. Keeping staff up to date with the latest promotions, rates, and industry regulations becomes much easier on a display platform that resides in break rooms and cafeterias. Busy personnel can be reminded of the most important product promotions, rates, and other service offerings that managers want to emphasize. This greatly reduces the time required training staff, and the reinforcement greatly improves retention.

So, to resolve the question we started with, the answer is a resounding YES! Self-service is the future of banking, but that future will also include many digital bridges that go right back to face-to-face services that even your Grand Pa and Grand Ma would fondly remember, barring the stale coffee of course.

Why Self-Service BI?

Self-service BI allows your employees instant access to the business intelligence they need to operate at highest levels. Not only does this put your staff in the driver’s seat for making faster decisions, but it also frees up your IT workers so they may focus on technology rather than data collection. As a side benefit, it can also save your organization 60 percent in IT costs annually.

What drives self-service BI? To put it simply, data in the hands of end-users is the ultimate driver of self-service BI. In other words, your employees are the ones who need the information, so why not let them decide which dashboards will best help them make informed decisions. In the old days, getting the BI you needed consisted of providing an explanation to data analysts only to find it would have worked better had you done this or that differently, technology can now adapt to the needs of the staffer.

How do you deploy self-service BI? First, assess your people, processes, technology and goals. After doing so, you should identify the business units across your organization who access information from the current BI application. These people will likely be your early adopters when it comes to learning the new technology. But before that can happen, you must define the requirements needed to deliver self-service BI to your organization. In other words, choose the right software, and then begin the gradual process of deployment.

How do you assimilate business users to the system? It starts with identifying your power users. Power users are the people who more quickly grasp self-service BI. In the beginning, you should work to educate your employees on the basics. Give them some pre-built dashboards to play with, and encourage experimentation. Show the ones who have an interest – those who aren’t afraid to play with technology – how to create and modify existing dashboards. As their experience grows, you can not only teach them how to draw their own dashboards from scratch, but you can also benefit from their knowledge by helping them train new associates and those who are struggling with the new application.

What comes after assimilation? About 80 percent of all data requested by business users today can be standardized with the other 20 percent available through adjustments on exploratory dashboards. What that means for your employees and your IT professionals is that more time can be spent on the functions that matter. On the employee side, decisions can be made with greater reliance on facts and therefore confidence. On the IT side, efforts can go more toward maintaining, troubleshooting, and strengthening the system. As you both learn and grow from the experience of using self-service BI, your system ascends to the level of agile BI in which on the job functionality leads to continued efficiency gains associated with the maintenance and access to business intelligence.

Self Service Portal for Your Employees – Using Web Based Applications

An Employee self service portal based on SharePoint is a technology available as a web based application that allows team members to gain access to their human resources files such as personal records. The self service portal has a variety of benefits and each individual application is designed to increase the productivity and efficiency of the business. These virtual tools are becoming more popular with companies as employees become more comfortable using web based applications and businesses look for improved ways to easily manage their human resources needs with new technology. The efficiency of these web applications allow companies to move away from the storage of unnecessary files and instead offer necessary human resources items through a digital form. Any employee on your team can access these web based features as long as they have access to a computer.

There are a variety of features available to your company through an employee self service portal. The most common is the ability for a team member to update their personal information including address, contact details and next of kin. Another available application is a digital tool that allows the employee to apply for leave and submit a time off request directly to the management team for approval. Some employee portals even include features which allow team members to update their direct deposit banking information, view payroll records and digital images from both current and past pay periods, assist with career planning and discuss appraisals. Additional applications including payroll records, current and past timesheets, future schedules, job descriptions and requirements, project management tools and convenient help desk items.

Benefits to the employees include better options for communication with the management team, improved collaboration between employees and departments, and easy access to a variety of human resources documents and files. Employees will appreciate the convenient tools including social networking applications, training items, mobile office capabilities, a comprehensive staff directory and a space to provide employee feedback.

Finally, employees will appreciate working in a more organized business environment. As well moving from long request processes to a self service portal that will help them with their own request at their own time.

The employee self service portal available through SharePoint will increase operational productivity, organization and efficiency throughout your organization. Your human resources team will also appreciate the multiple applications and helpful tools that will assist with their daily responsibilities and save time and energy. By utilizing a web based employee self service tool, you will empower your team members to take more responsibility for their performance and career development.

Increasing HR Shared Services Success With Employee Self-Service

One of the foundations of HR Shared Services is that “the best call to HR is the one that is never made.” A key best practice ensuring that only the inquiries that require HR intervention move into the HR Shared Services model is deploying a robust HR knowledgebase, accessible through a searchable, personalized portal.

Whether your organization uses a homegrown portal framework like SharePoint or WebSphere, or your portal comes from an application provider that delivers framework with the ability to include predefined and customer specific content, the ability to embed the employee’s HR experience in the organizational portal for a seamless end-to-end transaction is critical to portal adoption

Simply put: a unified employee/HR portal makes work-life information easier to access, simpler to navigate and more cost-effective to maintain – all hallmarks of an effective employee and manager self-service model, which is the backbone of a multi-tiered HR Shared Services operation.

Benefits of Unifying HR Information with Your Organization’s Portal

According to Gartner Group, HR information is the most complex and security-intensive across the enterprise. This, therefore, argues for starting with HR information when designing an effective larger corporate or enterprise portal.

Once unified, an HR knowledgebase within the organizational or corporate portal allows employees to perform multiple self-service activities from a single sign-on interface, while working “behind the scenes” leveraging existing software to make it all happen.

The key to adoption, however, is how personalized and searchable the knowledge in the HR knowledgebase is! Because employees are also consumers, they’re accustomed to using the Internet to get relevant information in context with transactions, and completing those transactions within the same session – without any third-party intervention.

The same holds true for your HR knowledgebase unified with your organizational portal: if information is easily found – Best Practices state two clicks or less – then employees and managers will easily be dropped “at the door” of the self-service ERP or other system transactions without ever leaving the comfort of their single sign-on session.

What If The Following Could Be Completed Without Any HR Intervention?

• New-hire onboarding/transfers
• New hire management
• Performance reviews
• Training enrollment
• Time entry
• Open Enrollment using interactive decision support tools
• Life events: marriage, divorce, domestic partner, adding/removing a dependent, retirement
• Search of all published company materials
• Update beneficiaries
• Update Bank or W4 tax info
• Change Address, phone number, emergency contact
• An understanding of all components of your compensation package

The Benefits Of Self-Service Via An HR Knowledgebase Are Obvious:

• Better service for employees, line managers, HR, and finance by increasing access to personalized information
• Utilization of fewer resources in servicing employee/manager requests
• Better compliance with corporate, state and federal requirements

Lower overall hard-dollar costs via better resource utilization (less paper and manual data re-entry), more informed decision-making (employees are better matched to benefit plans, for example) and leveraging investments in existing software.

How often does HR get to actually improve service while lowering costs – with the added benefit of funding additional projects with the savings you achieve while increasing your HR shared services success?

HRMS Software – Employee Self Service (ESS) Defined

HRMS Software employee self service (ESS) systems continue to be one of the most popular options with HRMS software and the demand is only growing. The objective of this article is to define the typical capabilities of today’s HRIS ESS systems.

Typical HRMS Software ESS Options

Employee Access – In the most basic sense, employee access is the main purpose of ESS systems. Employees have the ability to view or update their own information without having to communicate with HR or their managers to do so. This access may include simple demographic data, emergency contacts, attendance details, benefits, training, payroll information, or insurance plan details. When an ESS product is setup, an HRMS software administrator will typically have the option to define field by field what information employees can view, not view, or update. There may also be situations where they can change data but that change must be approved by others before the change is live. This important capability will be discussed later in this article under the option title Work Flow Management.

Manager Self Service – With many of the companies I have worked with in the past, this option has been viewed as being more important than the employee self service. With this option, managers are able to view or change data on their direct and indirect report employees. An indirect report is an employee who reports to the manager and also has employees reporting to them. In this example, the CEO or President of your company should be able to see all employees. Managers typically may be provided access to all the information employees are but they may also be able to run additional reports on their employees and managers.

Integration of HRMS and Payroll Information – If your HRMS and payroll application are integrated or you have an interface that can populate an HRMS software ESS option, employees and managers may also be able to see payroll data or payroll history. I worked with a twelve hundred employee company recently and, for them, the most important capability of ESS was having the ability for employees to print their own direct deposit advices.

Work Flow Management – I briefly touched on this very important capability under the employee access option section. With this option, you can designate an approval process for any changes that may occur in the system. For example, an employee requests time off, the manager then may approve or disapprove this time, if they approve it, the information may move to human resources to make a final approval. If the manager is out of the office, they will typically have the capability of designating a temporary approver while they are out.

As I mentioned earlier under employee access, the HRMS software administrator has the ability with each field to determine if the employee can view, not view, or change the item. You are typically allowed to setup a work flow for each change, as well.

Time off Management – We briefly touched on this topic already but the important thing to mention is that employees are typically able to view their time off history, balances, leave balances, and request time off. Managers are typically provided the ability to approve or disapprove this time and view reports relating to when employees are scheduled to be out or view attendance summary reports.

Benefits Open enrollment – Benefits Open Enrollment may or may not be an option included with ESS. Sometimes it is an extra option with its own price.

Benefits open enrollments allow for the creation of a benefit setup wizard by the HRMS Administrator. The employees are often able to read details regarding the plans and compare the costs and coverage of multiple plans side by side. This allows employees to complete their benefits setup and changes at home where they can, perhaps, view their spouse’s coverage options to make the best decision for their family.

Training Management – If your HRMS software has a detailed training management system, you may also see a number of the following options included in your HRMS application:
o Ability to register online for in house classes
o View training history
o View course catalog
o Take online tests
o View reports associated with programs requiring CEU’s or credits for completion or renewal.

In House Recruiting – If your company HRMS software offers a recruiting option, you may also be able to offer in house recruiting options to your employees. They may be able to view a job, the description and requirements or post directly for a job.

Company Information – If your company does not offer an employee intranet, an ESS application can also assist with this demand. You may typically place a variety of links within the employee or manager access portion of the ESS product that may include the following:
o Employee handbook
o Company policies
o Links to benefit providers
o On the first page of the employee or managers access, notes may be added on upcoming events such as benefits open enrollment or other company news.