A mobile payroll system has helped enable growth at Hallett Retail.

Hallett Retail has had a busy couple of years. The fashions concessions company, which operates in a number of host stores from New Look to House of Fraser, has grown from having 350 employees two years ago to about 1,200 today.

Managing that growth has sometimes been a challenge.

The company was struggling to keep track of its burgeoning number of employees and make sure they were paid the correct salary for the hours they had done, and has rolled out a new system to help managers keep on top of it.

Hallett has 1,300 concessions in 30 host stores across the UK, meaning most of its staff work without access to office space or IT infrastructure. The software, called QBIS, allows them to input employees hours on mobile phones, meaning they can update the system on the move and can easily make sure the right amount of hours worked are entered.

Under the old system, managers had to enter employees’ hours into a spreadsheet, which would then be faxed to head office where it had to be re-entered into another spreadsheet. The new system can be updated immediately and information is more easily searchable because it is all stored in one place. Employees input their hours into phones or a web browser if a PC is available, and the information is approved by managers before being sent to the HR department.

The number of employees each manager needs to deal with varies, but payroll manager Vicky Collins says it makes everyone’s job easier. Salaries are easier to manage, because the hours each employees has worked are more accurate, and communication between management and staff has improved.

The system has reduced manual errors and frees up staff time to concentrate on retail work instead of administrative duties. “It has made everyone’s lives a lot easier,” says Collins.

Hallett worked with technology company QLogic to come up with the system. Collins says it enables retail area managers to keep track of up to 100 employees in 40 stores, without wasting time on payroll administration and checking timesheets manually. The system can also be used to complete new starter or leaver forms, and to request and approve holiday. The use of mobile phones and web-based software also meant the company didn’t need to install a network or traditional software system, which would have been more expensive.

IT and finance director Kevin Hallett says the software has played a significant role in the company’s growth - when it comes to expanding quickly, ensuring the right systems are in place to enable growth is crucial.

How Hallett improved payroll

  • The concessions company has grown from 350 employees to 1,200 over the past two years
  • Its former payroll system meant employees had to manually input their working hours onto spreadsheets, which were then faxed to head office
  • Its new system allows hours worked to be entered via mobile phone. Managers are able to update the system without faxing through timesheets
  • The company says it has saved employees time and has ensured better salary accuracy