Much like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the challenges faced by HR clients in the Compensation arena depends on the stage the client is at. Clients in an early stage using spreadsheets for compensation planning have a challenge to improve accuracy/reduce errors, get to one version of the truth (often spreadsheet version control issue), and improve their ability to rollup the results for greater visibility of corporate total spend to budget. Those using a compensation tool are at the next level on this “Maslow” like a pyramid and face a different set of pains. While they improved over their spreadsheet days, they now find themselves in a more rigid environment. Their troubles are inflexibility and a forced dependency on others. Dartican helps clients ascend past these pains and reach true business agility.
Starting as HR Technology consultants, Dartican didn’t set out to build applications or a sophisticated software platform. Their focus, from day one, has been to help clients solve problems. In leveraging their technology background to aid in addressing those problems, Dartican’s tools soon evolved into enterprise-class solutions like CompAccelerator.
CompAccelerator is a data-driven application that can handle iterative decisions during configuration and provides the flexibility for late changes to the process; even if the process is already live. The solution delivers sophisticated functionality within a clear and intuitive interface. “Because we started with an automated spreadsheet process as our blueprint, the configuration process for a planning cycle is very familiar to HR professionals,” says Michael Gerthe of Dartican. “Sophisticated functionality such as prorations, guideline matrices, Salary Range enforcement, multicurrency planning, complex bonus calculations, and much more are directly accessible by the HR administrator.”
CompAccelerator puts HR professionals in control, and the unique data-driven design allows HR to work in iterations without requiring them to develop detailed plans of every possible scenario before they start. They can start working and adjust when needed. “It supports ‘I’ll know it when I see it’. We routinely have new clients up on a configured and loaded system after just 3 half-day training sessions, that’s under 12 hrs of effort” says Michael. “For clients past their first year using CompAccelerator, it is not uncommon, even if there are changes to the process, to be configured and loaded in one day.”
For instance, a client in an extremely competitive business opened their compensation planning in CompAccelerator on a Monday morning. On Tuesday morning, they heard from field managers that they needed to fend off efforts to recruit key skilled employees by several competitors. “We are not talking about a few individuals; we are looking at specific jobs with a lot of incumbents. We were contacted by the client to assist them in brainstorming a solution,” explains Michael. “The population had to be identified, it would require data that was not needed during initial configuration.” They wanted a separate adjustment to be added and restricted to this population. The objective was to have the manager plan this special adjustment and have the results pulled before the salary planning process was complete to hit paychecks quickly. Yet, this increase needed to be included in the overall process so that when employee statements were printed, they would be all-inclusive for salary actions on an employee. By midafternoon they had received approval, the data was refreshed to flag the target population, configuration changes were done (first confirmed in a Sandbox, then applied to production), and Wed morning, the field managers started planning the special adjustments. The results of the special increase went to Payroll on Friday and were on paychecks the following week, and the salary planning process continued for everyone without interruption.
Today, Dartican is well-positioned to deliver business agility through its products like CompAccelerator and already has an impressive track record of doing so for many years! Their current focus is on expanding market presence. “Being called “the best-kept secret in the compensation management technology space” is both flattering and telling. We’ve been quietly working for years. Maybe too quietly,” says Michael. “We are currently working on our next major release of CompAccelerator. What we had that was good, we are making great!” Michael and his team are working towards upgrading the
look of their solutions, faster performance, increased functionality, and improved ease of use. “It is not our desire to be the biggest, dominant player in the market. We just like solving problems by delivering innovative solutions” says Michael. “As long as we do that, we’ll have clients who want our solutions. Growth will just happen; we don’t need to force it.”