How to have a reliable payroll system like Glacier Media

Wes Quintin
Sherri Kisser, Manager Finance Accounting System “Because Avanti is so efficient at processing payroll, our payroll administrators don’t have to do a whole bunch of data entry anymore. They're actually able to run the payroll and do some analysis… instead of just running to get it out the door.”

Sherri Kisser
Manager, Finance & Accounting Systems
Glacier Media

About Glacier Media
Glacier Media provides daily news, market analysis, business intelligence, and advertising services for clients and audiences internationally.

The People Management Challenge

A complex tangle of payrolls and benefit plans

Glacier Media has grown significantly over the last few years by acquiring other organizations and businesses.

But Sherri Kisser, Manager of Finance & Accounting Systems at Glacier Media, says each new operating entity they acquired came with its own set of payroll issues.

The employees at one entity might have multiple unions, while another might have no union at all. And when it came to employee benefits, Sherri says that they were forced to manage several carriers and plans.

All of these structural differences made it a nightmare for the payroll team.

Even worse, most of the employee data had to be manually entered into the system via Excel, which opened up the door for a lot of human error.

“In our old payroll system (before Avanti), it was challenging to deal with a lot of different scenarios. We would have entities with multiple unions, some with no unions at all, and then several carriers for benefit plans… Managing all of that became very difficult for our payroll department.”

The Avanti Solution

Easy-to-use people management software that increases overall efficiency

Sherri reached out to Avanti to see if they could help Glacier Media simplify their payroll and benefits administration, and right off the bat she was impressed.

Not only did the Sales team from Avanti take the time to set up multiple demos for the different stakeholders at Glacier Media, but they also worked hard to understand what unique challenges they were facing.

Working with a dedicated Implementation Specialist to get the most out of Avanti
Sherri worked closely with Dayna Barr, an Implementation Specialist, to find the right tools and solutions within Avanti, and get comfortable using the platform.

Dayna helped configure the software with formulas behind the scenes so it could take into account the differences in their operating entities. She set up automated calculations for their multiple benefit plans, different union rates, and other structural variations.

Once the implementation was complete, Sherri says it became a lot easier and more efficient to manage the employee database, and run the company payroll.

“Our Implementation Specialist, Dayna Barr, really tried to understand our issues and find the right solutions. She set the software up in such a way that it was easy to manage our multiple benefit packages and plans, and did a lot of work upfront to help us get to the point where we were comfortable doing it on our own.”

The Super Results for Glacier's Finance & Payroll Teams

Automated payroll & new reporting insights that save over $150,000 a year

Avanti helps create CFO Superheroes

When it comes to results, Sherri is quick to point out that Avanti has saved them money by making their payroll more efficient.

While they used to have seven full-time staff and additional temps working in payroll during the busy seasons, they now can handle the same workload with two less full-time employees and no temps.

As a result, Glacier Media has saved over $150,000 a year on payroll administration, which is 39% indirect savings. Sherri says this means they were easily able to get a 100% return on investment in approximately one year’s time.

Even better, Avanti automated a lot of the data entry the payroll team used to have to do. Now, instead of manually entering the data by hand, they could spend their time analyzing the numbers coming in from Glacier Media’s different operating entities.

Using this data, Sherri says they were able to pull together the data required to go to market and request quotes on a consolidated benefit plan.

The result has been a combined savings of at least 20% for both the employees and the employer.

Sherri says that all of these new efficiencies and cost savings have set a very high bar for future projects at Glacier Media.

“Avanti makes it simple to assemble data and reports. We were able to use the software to consolidate our multitude of 20+ benefit plans, and put out an RFP to market on a new plan. The result has been combined savings of at least 20% for both the employees and the employer. In most cases, (plan) coverages were improved as well.”

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About the Author

Wes Quintin

Wes is the Marketing Manager at Avanti Software. As part of Avanti's amazing marketing team, he works to create marketing programs, experiences, and stories that drive results by educating Canadian Payroll and HR professionals on people management technology and best practices.

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