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SPS Companies, Inc. Uses UltiPro Perception to Deliver Real-Time, Actionable Insight to Managers

Date: October 25, 2017 2:00 PM EDT

Ultimate Software (Nasdaq: ULTI), a leading provider of human capital management (HCM) solutions in the cloud, announced today that SPS Companies, Inc. is using UltiPro Perception to inform leadership decisions that address employee sentiment and concerns. SPS Companies, Inc., a privately held company headquartered in Manhattan, Kansas, offers steel distribution and flat-rolled steel processing, as well as pipe and tube manufacturing, through several different business units.

SPS went live on UltiPro in November 2016 in order to unify the company’s eight HR systems and improve the employee experience. The company realized immediate savings from a simpler HCM platform, as well as increased employee satisfaction with HR software that brought more HR solutions and value to their fingertips. Historically, the company conducted an annual leadership and engagement survey using a variety of administration methods. Office-based employees with computer access could take the survey online, while production-level floor workers were provided with hard copies of the survey. In order to aggregate survey results, HR undertook a manual, time-consuming process, and reporting was limited to what HR could glean manually from spreadsheet software. SPS HR leadership sought to continue facilitating positive change for the company with a more effective method to gather input and gauge the sentiment of their employees. The company selected UltiPro Perception in May 2017, and completed their launch in two weeks.

“The integration of UltiPro Perception into Ultimate’s HCM solution provided us with a number of advantages,” said Corey Kephart, vice president of human resources for SPS. “Because of our familiarity with the UltiPro platform, we were able to activate this new tool rapidly, and achieve our goal of using UltiPro Perception for our new June benefits survey. In addition, nearly half our employees—our floor workers—don’t have company email addresses, so we cannot administer our surveys by simply sending a link. Instead, we are able to embed a link in UltiPro itself so that employees can access the survey from wherever they access UltiPro—at our facility kiosks, on the tablets we make available to employees at each location, or on their own mobile devices.”

Kephart adds UltiPro Perception is also very valuable when it comes to reporting. Previously, it took the company more than a month to analyze results, consolidate themes, and roll out the various summaries and reports by hand for business units, departments, and individual managers. But in UltiPro, as soon as the survey is closed, highly visual, in-depth reports are available immediately. Because UltiPro Perception is powered by Xander™, Ultimate’s people first AI platform, the reports also include insight gained from free text comments provided by employees, which are analyzed by Xander’s natural language processing engine, to determine common themes that emerge from asking employees open-ended questions.

“UltiPro Perception allows us to maintain strict employee confidentiality while also leveraging the organizational structure that already exists in UltiPro to track results and analyze data,” said Kephart. “At a meeting with our company’s chairman, the CEO, and the chief accounting officer one day after our benefits survey closed, I was able to provide the team with a concise yet visually engaging summary that made it easy to quickly see distinct themes coming from each of our 11 locations. UltiPro Perception’s data visualizations enabled us to engage in meaningful conversations quickly, and supported a focused and very productive meeting.”

According to Kephart, UltiPro Perception reports are already having an impact on the company’s ability to align its workplace culture with employee needs.

“Our benefits survey showed that our employees were unhappy with the large medical-plan deductible, and with that feedback, we identified an opportunity to offer a second plan with a lower deductible alongside our existing plan,” said Kephart. “We were able to quickly capture our employees’ input and do so in a way that could drive business decisions. Our leadership team was able to be responsive to the voice of our employees and act rapidly to improve such a critical element of our employer value proposition.”

SPS deployed its annual leadership and engagement survey through UltiPro Perception over the course of three weeks in September. The SPS HR team harnessed the value of the instantly available organization structure-based summaries, heatmaps, and custom reports by location and other demographics, to quickly engage business unit leaders with meaningful readouts and recommendations.

“Our business unit leaders were astonished by the high-quality look of UltiPro Perception and even more by how easy it was to quickly navigate from high-level results to detailed results,” said Kephart. “The custom reports our senior leaders were able to build in just a few minutes provided many valuable views that enabled them to hone in on the true drivers for leadership effectiveness and employee engagement within their business units and even specific locations. The immediate reactions were telling. I heard several leaders proclaim, ‘This is awesome!,’ ‘Wow!,’ ‘This is fantastic!,’ and ‘This is powerful!’ Every HR leader out there is trying to discover new ways to add real and meaningful value to the business and new opportunities to further position their HR team as a trusted advisor to business leaders. UltiPro Perception delivered on both of these aspirations in a huge way. Thank you Ultimate Software.”

“The integration of this industry-leading sentiment analysis tool into UltiPro makes the employee survey process easier for both HR and employees,” said Greg Swick, chief enterprise sales officer at Ultimate. “We’re pleased that SPS Companies, Inc. will be able to acquire feedback from all employees, from anywhere, and act on what they learn to improve the employee experience.”

About Ultimate Software
Ultimate is a leading provider of cloud-based human capital management solutions, with more than 33 million people records in the cloud. Ultimate’s award-winning UltiPro delivers HR, payroll, talent, and time and labor management solutions that connect people with the information they need to work more effectively. Founded in 1990, Ultimate is headquartered in Weston, Florida, and employs approximately 3,950 professionals. In 2017, Ultimate ranked #7 on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list, its sixth consecutive year in the top 25; #7 on Forbes’ list of 100 Most Innovative Growth Companies; #2 on People’s 50 Companies That Care list; and the National Customer Service Association named Ultimate Service Organization of the Year in the Large-Business category. Ultimate has more than 3,700 customers with employees in 160 countries, including Bloomin’ Brands, Culligan International, Feeding America, Major League Baseball, Red Roof Inn, SUBWAY, Texas Roadhouse, and Yamaha Corporation of America. More information on Ultimate’s products and services for people management can be found at www.ultimatesoftware.com.

UltiPro is a registered trademark of The Ultimate Software Group, Inc. All other trademarks referenced are the property of their respective owners.

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Contact Information:

Darlene Marcroft, Vice President of PR and Communications at Ultimate Software
phone: 954-331-7444; email: darlene_marcroft@ultimatesoftware.com

For sales information, phone: 800-432-1729; website: www.ultimatesoftware.com

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