Restaurant Franchise Transforms Human Resources Department

As a 51-store Wendy’s franchise, First Sun Management Corporation employs approximately 1,400 employees on any given day. With nearly 4,000 to 4,500 new job applicants every year and 120 new employees each month, mountains of paperwork regularly flow into First Sun Management’s corporate offices.

With the growing challenges of maintaining, locating, filing and storing documents, First Sun’s executive team sought a better way to manage its documents.

“We were beginning to run out of filing cabinet space,” said Bill Swedberg, Director of Information Technology for First Sun Management Corporation.

“Plus every time an employee left our organization, we had to physically retrieve his or her employee file and re-file it with our termination files. And once a year we’d have someone shred termination files older than six years. We realized we needed to become more efficient.”

First Sun Management has always been a forward-thinking organization and committed to being a positive force in the lives of its employees and the communities in which it conducts business. Throughout its history, the company has been recognized multiple times by Wendy’s International for excellence in marketing, sales and overall operations. Additionally, First Sun Management Corporation was twice presented a Wendy Award as one of the five best Wendy’s franchisees in the United States.

To meet its challenges, First Sun Management turned to KeyMark Inc., an award-winning document management solution provider. The solution KeyMark engineered utilizes Hyland Software’s OnBase Enterprise Content Management solution to manage First Sun’s human resource documents.

Improvements in the New Hire Process

One of the first areas of concentration was First Sun’s new hire packet process. Previously, every new employee filled out a “new hire packet” by hand which contained forms such as I-9s, W-4s and others. Considering the number of new employees each week, there was a continued cost involved when producing the thick packets, each about ¼” thick.

“We talked about moving to an online system where we could have a central repository of storing not only new hire packets, but all employee information,” said Swedberg.

With First Sun’s document management solution in place, new hires now electronically complete forms previously found in the paper new hire packets. As the electronic forms packages are received by First Sun’s corporate offices, the system automatically identifies the various document types and stores them in the appropriate employee electronic folder. The solution even alerts the First Sun team if any document types within the employee folder are missing.

The system, which is designed for ease of use, presents each employee file in a tabbed folder view. It can also be configured to provide different levels of employee access.

In addition to new hire information, First Sun’s electronic employee files contain other types of documents. Incoming documents are scanned and indexed into the system for archival.

“Once we started using the system, we started to find more and more ways to electronically manage our documents,” said Swedberg. “Wage verifications are one example as some of them can be 45 to 50 pages long. Instead of printing and filing the thick wage verifications, they are now electronically managed and stored within the appropriate employee file.”

First Sun Management’s solution also provides a workflow process for terminations. Upon the termination of an employee, the solution automatically generates notifications to appropriate departments and creates a termination document which is routed to the appropriate departments for their action. The system is also set to automatically destroy documents after a set period of time, enabling First Sun to stay in compliance with regulatory requirements for keeping terminated employee files.

Greater Efficiencies, Savings in Costs and Time

Now that the new document management system is in place, First Sun Management is seeing many positive results. For instance, human resource employees are now saving hours of time not having to physically file paper folders and search for documents. In addition, employee morale has improved as they aren’t experiencing difficulties related to searching for missing files.

The franchise is also realizing benefits from having more accurate records. With more complete historical data along with the ability to automatically audit each file for completeness, the content of each First Sun employee file has been vastly improved. Company executives feel the solution enables them to stay in better compliance with required labor laws.

Cost savings is another benefit from the system as the franchise is experiencing decreased costs in producing, handling, and mailing paper documents.

“We’ve been very pleased with the solution,” said Swedberg. “It has definitely helped us reach our goal of becoming more efficient. KeyMark has been great to work with. They’ve been quick to react and were great during implementation, helping us work with our forms and bar codes to help automate some of the indexing.”

As for the future, First Sun says they plan to expand their document management capabilities even further.

“This isn’t a stagnant solution, there’s still more we want to do,” said Swedberg. “Getting accounts payable on board is our next focus.”

About First Sun Management Corporation

Located in Clemson, SC, First Sun Management Corporation is a 51-store Wendy’s franchise with 1,400 employees.  High employee turnover and processing over 4,000 job applications each year was a logistical challenge that led First Sun to seek a document automation solution to increase efficiency in its Human Resources department.