National Aquarium

Increasing hard- and soft-cost savings with unified HCM

Key Benefits
  • Increased ROI, including both hard- and soft-cost savings
  • Improved information accuracy and accelerated business intelligence through one easy-to-manage platform
  • Re-directed resources to focus on strategic initiatives, such as recruitment and retention

With more than 1.6 million visitors annually, the National Aquarium is Maryland’s leading tourist attraction. The mission of this not-for-profit organization is to provide transforming experiences that encourage people to enjoy, respect, and protect the aquatic world.

Home to more than 17,000 creatures, the National Aquarium also acts as an educational resource and a leading force for environmental conservation along the Eastern Seaboard.

500 employees

Changing the way HR had operated for many years was not easy for the National Aquarium, but company executives knew that greater HCM results would emerge by removing as many tactical activities as possible, moving processes online for more proficiency, and leveraging strategic business intelligence.


Having rolled out UltiPro in 2009, the National Aquarium is now controlling expenses, transforming its HR operations, and reducing risk related to compliance and litigation.

“When it comes to optimal HCM, HR leaders need to understand how technology can minimize or eliminate the costs with paper processes and the associated inefficiencies,” said Candace Osunsade, HR executive for the National Aquarium. “There are significant dollars tied to reporting errors, redundancies, and the inability to retrieve vital workforce information with on-the-spot access. Our expenses with the payroll outsourcer were through the roof.”

“When we evaluated our return on investment with UltiPro, including both hard- and soft-cost savings, we had a real ‘wow’ moment. We couldn’t afford not to take advantage of UltiPro’s functionality. In addition to controlling and cutting costs, we have revitalized HR and impacted our overall business with UltiPro.”

“UltiPro is a catalyst for positive change for HR and for our entire company. The bulk of paper that used to cover our desks is almost gone—aligning the way our team functions with our organization’s conservation goals,” said Osunsade. “Because we have automated so many tactical processes, we have re-directed resources to now focus on recruitment and retention—activities that previously were like filling a chair and completing a paper evaluation.

“There also have been cultural shifts because of UltiPro. Hiring managers have become more accountable, and employees are taking more control of their financial lives because they now can conveniently access their ongoing income and retirement plan details. UltiPro is making a difference in our employees’ lives.”

Because employee metrics are stored in one single, easy-to-manage platform that is available to the entire HR team, managers, and employees, the National Aquarium’s information accuracy has improved significantly. With reliable, centralized, and secure information, as well as instant, configurable reporting, the HR team is well-positioned to reduce risk and vulnerability to legal issues and noncompliance.

“With UltiPro, my team can quickly and correctly address compliance needs and challenges. Workplace regulations are becoming more complex, but UltiPro makes it easy for us,” said Osunsade. “We now have comprehensive insight and record speed through UltiPro’s business intelligence. Our data is accurate, we can retrieve information instantly, and we are much less at risk to any kind of workplace violations.”

To get a seat within the executive circle, Osunsade recommends HR practitioners leverage technology to automate processes, convert workforce metrics into business results, and establish credibility as corporate strategists. She also believes in the power of relationships with her HCM provider.

“To prosper in today’s business environment, HR executives must focus on finding and trusting the right HCM business partner,” said Osunsade. “More than a technology company, Ultimate has been establishing long-standing, collaborative relationships with its customers for more than two decades. I can attest that Ultimate is the real deal. Now with UltiPro supporting us, we are being proactive and improving the quality of what we provide to our business and to our workforce.”

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