A great dining experience is something that all restaurants and food service establishments strive for. There are many moving pieces however, to create a memorable meal. That includes the layout of the restaurant to the custom branded tableware, the cooking utensils and appliances that staff use, and making sure that everything is designed to be efficient while also delivering a five-star experience.
The Boelter Companies provides the products, services, and support to cover every aspect of the restaurant supply, beverage, hospitality, janitorial, and licensed branding industries. “From craft breweries and bars, to restaurants, institutions and national chains, Boelter is recognized as one source to grow our customers’ business and streamline their operations for optimal efficiency,” says Ashlee Avery, Boelter’s Human Resource Director. “What makes Boelter unique is how diverse we are in our offerings. Most organizations will specialize in one specific product or service over another, but we’re a combination of all of the above. People come to us for our expertise on how to make sure their business is successful and how to ensure their customers have an exceptional experience.”
Boelter was founded 91 years ago in 1929, when Fred Boelter started a business out of the trunk of his car to supply corner taverns and rooming houses with towels, tissues, and cleaning supplies. The company has grown considerably since then both in size and in the products and services it offers. Boelter now employs 490 people at 12 locations across the U.S. Despite its growth, Boelter has remained a family-owned and operated business with Fred Boelter passing it on to his son, Bill Boelter, and Bill bringing on his two sons, Eric and Rick Boelter.
With such a broad array of products and services, Boelter has a workforce that covers a variety of different roles. Approximately half of Boelter’s associates are salaried workers in a professional setting, including project managers, sales, customer service, and accounting. The other half of its associates are hourly, and work in the warehouses and retail stores as material handlers, delivery drivers, manufacturing associates, and store associates. With such a diverse workforce, it is essential for Boelter to have a unified HCM solution to manage its people and support its continued growth goals.
Boelter began its partnership with Ceridian in 2019, and implemented Dayforce for payroll, benefits, workforce management, recruiting, onboarding, performance, compensation, and succession planning. “Dayforce is our one-stop-shop for HRIS, a comprehensive suite,” says Avery.
One of the main reasons Boelter chose to partner with Ceridian was to give both associates and leaders better access to payroll and employee information, and to allow them to leverage self-service options that would save everyone, including Boelter’s HR team of three, time. “It's about self-service, being able to rely on yourself to get the information that you need versus relying on someone to update your address, or to print your pay stub, or submit a time off request,” says Avery. “Our leaders have self-service functionality to be able to submit pay increases or terminations for their associates, and they have the autonomy to do all of those things electronically without needing any other systems to know or track what's going on with their people.”
When Ceridian announced Dayforce Wallet, a flexible pay solution providing the option for on-demand pay, it fit right into Boelter’s goal of offering self-service and flexibility to associates.
Avery had been looking at a third party vendor to offer Boelter associates on-demand pay, but when she heard about Dayforce Wallet, and learned that it would fit seamlessly with the rest of Boelter’s Dayforce product use at no extra cost, the decision was simple. “Instead of trying to configure a third party with Dayforce, it was a no-brainer for Dayforce to be our payroll provider while also offering Wallet as an enhancement,” says Avery.
In addition, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations like Boelter were having to cut hours and pay due to decreased demand. This has made access to flexible pay options for associates all the more crucial.
“The reason I think Wallet is so important right now is because a lot of organizations, ours included, have people working less hours,” says Avery. “We did implement a pay cut that was in place for three or four months. We've since reverted back to full pay, but when you're talking about taking a pay cut or working reduced hours and making less than what you're used to, having the flexibility to get paid when you need to because your bills don't stop is a huge win.”
Not only does Wallet give associates much-needed financial flexibility, but it also sets Boelter apart from other companies with an added benefit offering, enabling them to better recruit and retain talent. “Nobody offers something like this in the professional or warehouse/distribution industries like we do. So, the fact that Boelter is offering a benefit like this for our associates sets us light years ahead of where some of our competition is,” says Avery.
On-demand pay is a fairly new concept for most companies, so when Avery introduced the idea of implementing Dayforce Wallet, there were inevitably some initial questions and concerns that needed to be addressed.
Avery herself had a few. “My first question was, ‘How much does it cost?’ When we found out it was free for existing Dayforce customers, it was a game-changer,” she says. “Also, is there additional work? Not only for the payroll and HR teams, but also for finance? Do we have to do different ACH transfers? How much more work is going to come in the form of questions or troubleshooting with the platform?”
Once Avery spoke to the Ceridian team and saw first-hand how Dayforce Wallet works, her concerns were put to rest. “We don’t have to worry about additional payroll fund transfers for on-demand pay requests. Our payroll processes the same way that it always does,” says Avery. “I think the other thing that's really great is that it’s all done in real-time. So, when somebody requests a transfer or requests funds, an earnings statement is immediately generated within seconds. There's no tracking, there's no auditing, there's no extra work that has to happen on our end, and I think it’s really hard for people to realize that's the truth.”
Avery said from an executive level, leaders wanted to ensure that their teams weren’t taking on more manual processes, and that Boelter would have control over how the system fit with the company’s needs. “Being able to articulate to them that there would be no manual processes, as well as being able to show them that we had control over the parameters of how we want this to operate even down to the percentage of earnings that's available for somebody to withdraw, it was actually a really easy sell,” says Avery. “It enhances our overall benefit offerings, and it’s something that we offer that many other companies don't.”
From an associate perspective, Avery focused on educating them about how Dayforce Wallet works, and how it could benefit them directly. “It was helpful to articulate to our associates that this solution is not a credit card, there's no interest, there's no credit tied to that card, that it really works more as a debit card. You also don’t have to directly use the card to make purchases, you can transfer your money from the card to your bank if that’s what you're comfortable with,” says Avery. “For me, it's not about using it all the time, but what if you get into a pinch? What if you get a flat tire and you don't have the money to fix it? We just keep pushing that messaging that this is a really great benefit to have access to, even if you don’t use it all the time.”
Boelter successfully launched Dayforce Wallet to its entire organization at the beginning of August.
“Implementation only took two or three weeks. It was so easy,” say Avery. “Our implementation consultant guided us through a small workbook that captured the different options and parameters that we wanted to set. Once we completed the workbook, the implementation consultant took care of turning Dayforce Wallet on for us based on a list of associates that we provided, and it now also automatically turns on for all new hires added to the system moving forward. So, the implementation was really easy, really seamless.”
During the implementation process, Avery and her team were able to completely customize the parameters for everything from how many times associates can make withdrawals, to the percentage of pay they can withdraw, and the types of pay (regular pay, holiday and PTO pay, etc.) that are available for withdrawal.
This gave Boelter the peace of mind that Avery and her team were able to configure Dayforce Wallet to work best for the organization and its people.
Since Boelter launched Dayforce Wallet at the beginning of August more than 10% of associates have adopted it and are using it on a regular basis, and Avery says that number continues to grow.
“Our associates love it. They love being able to get their funds when they need them. They think it's a great benefit. So, it's been really well-received,” says Avery. “The people who have adopted it are using it on a regular basis, two or three times a week.”
Avery recounts a story that one of her associates shared: “We had an associate who didn't have money for food and couldn't eat lunch. He was able to use Dayforce Wallet to put some money on his debit card, which he used to purchase lunch. That's one particular instance that stands out where the benefit of having Wallet allowed him to be able to eat a meal.”
Avery says that she also thinks there will continue to be a growing need for a solution like Dayforce Wallet as the COVID-19 pandemic continues for longer than initially anticipated, and that on-demand pay can benefit many other organizations who have had to adjust hours or pay due to the pandemic. “I think there is definitely going to be more of a need for on demand pay with many organizations who continue to struggle through the effects of COVID-19. For us, the bounce back is not going to happen this year and we don't know how far into next year things might start to change,” she says. “So being able to have this as a benefit for our associates so that they don't incur late fees or have their lights shut off, I think is huge.”
Boelter also offers financial wellness consultations with its 401(k) provider to associates to give guidance and education on how to manage their money. Avery says that Dayforce Wallet is another tool towards supporting associates’ overall financial wellness.
In speaking about adopting a new platform during an unpredictable time, Avery says that Boelter’s trusted partnership with Ceridian has allowed the company to augment its overall Dayforce use with Dayforce Wallet to offer employees much needed flexibility when it comes to accessing their earned pay on-demand. This process was further streamlined given that Dayforce was already Boelter’s unified HCM solution.
“We're not using third parties and we're not integrating other organizations' software into what we're trying to do with Dayforce. Dayforce is it,” she says. “So, for me, it's about the trust that everything is happening within a system that's built for our organization. Dayforce is a one-stop shop for all of our HR needs.”