The AMES Companies

Aligning HR and talent management via cloud-based HRIS

Key Benefits
  • Expands strategic capabilities through advanced, cost-effective HCM functionality
  • Converts on-the-spot metrics and business intelligence into impactful results that span the company
  • Achieves peak talent acquisition with tight alignment of recruitment, onboarding, and collaboration

The AMES Companies is a global provider of non-powered landscaping products that make work easier for homeowners and professionals. Headquartered in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, and with a company history that dates back to 1781, The AMES Companies manufactures and markets a wide variety of long-handled tools, wheelbarrows, pruning tools, garden hoses and hose reels, striking tools, snow tools, planters, and lawn accessories.

1,500 employees

The AMES Companies had been using a payroll service bureau that proved to be expensive, cumbersome, and lacked the end-to-end functionality the manufacturing company wanted in order to elevate its HR operations into strategic levels. The AMES Companies’ eight-person HR department had been very transactional, and its systems were used only by HR and payroll. The only information being captured electronically was basic personnel information, pay, and deductions.

“We just had so much trouble pulling data out of the systems that we were often very reluctant to put more information into them,” said Wendy Becker, HR administrator at The AMES Companies.

The combination of manual, paper-based processes as well as issues with the limited information systems set the stage for innovation. And as the business need for strategic talent acquisition deepened, the HR team at The AMES Companies had to focus on long-term initiatives rather than transactional activities.


In 2007, as The AMES Companies was experiencing a range of difficulties and restrictions with the service bureau, its HR team agreed to meet with Ultimate Software.

“After we decided to take a deeper dive into exploring UltiPro, we were immediately impressed by the capabilities for on-the-spot, granular reporting and how we could convert this business intelligence into companywide results,” said Becker. “We quickly realized we could move to UltiPro for much less than we were spending and then take advantage of advanced functionality. It was a total no-brainer for us. We started our activation in September 2007, and then went live the first week of January 2008. The deployment was quick and seamless, and we were very excited about making the transition into high-performance HCM.”

By using Ultimate’s cloud technology, Ames True Temper has deepened its business intelligence, achieved both hard-and-soft cost savings, and become much more strategic in its talent acquisition, especially with recruitment and onboarding. The HR team now can synchronize the UltiPro solution with online job sites, providing HR with visibility into all open requisitions across the entire company. The HR team tracks which job sites are providing the candidates most likely to be hired. And an additional advantage is that there is tighter communication and collaboration across the company because hiring managers can access UltiPro 24-7 to view the status or progress on specific requisitions.

“Previously, hiring managers had no visibility, and we would receive a lot of emails and inquiries regarding the status or pool of candidates,” said Becker. “Now all candidate information and the chain of communication is stored and tracked in one system of record. Without a doubt, by consolidating all of our workforce information, we are now operating in a streamlined business environment.”

“Plus with UltiPro, we can now find better employees more quickly,” said Becker. “Our talent pool has opened dramatically, we’ve increased our quality of hires, and we can identify what our best recruiting or advertising sources are. In addition to greater visibility and accountability, we can better manage talent from a strategic perspective as well as a cost perspective. Onboarding with UltiPro is just one more source for strategic results that is impacting our business,” added Becker. “Our new employees become quickly acculturated to our company. Complexities are reduced, and we find that employees are more up to speed, efficient, and effective.”

In addition, business intelligence and metrics have significantly improved for The AMES Companies, and the value of its reporting has increased because HCM-related information is stored in one comprehensive platform.

“UltiPro’s reporting is providing immense value to our company. The solution is very easy to use, and we can quickly deliver at-a-glance metrics to executives, which is contributing to high level decision-making,” said Becker. “UltiPro is helping us align workforce management with company priorities so our overall business is primed to reach new levels of growth. And our HR team is now acting as business leaders—not HR practitioners. We are influencing the quality, productivity, and overall optimization of our workforce.”

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