akivik (ka'-kee-vik): comes from the Yupi'k native word used to describe a small pouch that contains critical items for survival in the Alaskan wilderness.
Who is Kakivik Asset Management?
Alaska-based Kakivik Asset Management was established in October 1999 to meet the needs of Alaska's petroleum and construction industry. To ensure its customers' assets remain safe, productive, and environmentally sound, Kakivik performs all elements of non-destructive testing, inspection services, and asset management.
Paper-based HR no longer an option
By October 2003—five years after the company's inception—Kakivik had experienced significant growth and success. Mike Lupro, Kakivik's Finance Manager, and Tom Redmond, Kakivik's Human Resource Manager, both knew it was time to centralize and automate all HR and benefits processes. Lupro comments, "The non-historical nature of the system we were using to manage our HR and benefits information was no longer sufficient for our corporate needs." Redmond related, "The fast moving pace of business today required an accurate record of hire and re-hire dates, benefits changes, 401(k) enrollments, and pay-rate changes."
Safety and certification concerns
"Kakivik had grown to a point in which a paper-based HR system was too bulky. Looking for date-related changes was not time-efficient and was somewhat of a liability," Lupro explains. "In our industry, safety and certification are our most significant concerns. We needed a pro-active application that would not only help us store and maintain up-to-date certification information on each employee, but would also help remind us when certifications and licenses were about to expire." All inspections conducted by Kakivik are done by inspectors certified to appropriate standards by both internal and national certifying authorities.
HRMS search begins
Lupro and Redmond asked Mikunda Cottrell Information Technology (MCIT), a Microsoft Business Solutions partner for the State of Alaska, for recommendations on available human resources management systems (HRMS) that would work with their existing Microsoft Business Solutions system. They were looking for an HR software product that would integrate with Great Plains Payroll, include employee self-service, provide extensive administrative benefits, and which could be implemented by the beginning of 2004.
Lupro discovered HROffice, a robust HRMS created by Ascentis Corporation, in a Microsoft Business Solutions VAR (value-added reseller) pamphlet. The company had extensive installations, validating the strength of the product. The choice was researched and recommended by MCIT.
Kakivik chooses HROffice to automate HR processes
In December 2003, Kakivik Asset Management purchased HROffice, HROffice Payroll Connect, HROffice Alerts, and several other HROffice modules. In February 2004, Ascentis Professional Services flew from Seattle to Anchorage to ensure a smooth integration between HROffice and Microsoft Business Solutions – Great Plains.
Kakivik now boasts a fully integrated, centralized, and paperless HR solution that seamlessly integrates with Great Plains Payroll. All HR information is electronically centralized within HROffice. When a change is made to an employee record, the change is interfaced between HROffice and the Great Plains systems. When information is transferred from HROffice to Great Plains Payroll, employee pay rates, deduction amounts, benefit rates, and general payroll information always reflect the most updated information.
HROffice affects Kakivik's bottom line
Mike Lupro says, "Now that we've expanded to five branches within Alaska [Anchorage, Fairbanks, Valdez, Kenai, and the North Slope], and have branches in Kentucky, California, Indiana, and Texas, a paper-based system is not even an option for us.
"HROffice definitely affects our company's bottom line in a positive way," agrees Redmond. "I like the fact that benefits and deduction amounts are automatically recalculated based on the variety of birth-dates of our employee base. Before HROffice, we recalculated the rates only once a year. Now we do it every month."
Lupro concludes, "HROffice cuts the usage of paper, improves the accuracy of employee information, and provides us with an excellent historical record for our employee base. Ascentis is always quick to respond to answer questions, readily listens to feature and functionality suggestions, and has been terrific in responding to our needs."