LS Systems transforms their IT and boosts efficiency with bespoke HR app

Bespoke HR App - LS Systems

LS Systems Ltd

About the client

LS Systems Ltd is a family-owned business focusing on supplying products to growers, landscapers, and amenity developers. With over 70 years of expertise, they offer technical advice on all aspects of irrigation, water management, and installation services. They are an expanding business that services customers nationwide.

Despite its success, LS Systems faced challenges with its IT infrastructure. Their existing systems were outdated, with limited backup support and poor network connectivity, which hindered their ability to collaborate and communicate. LS systems recognised the need for a comprehensive digital transformation to modernise their IT infrastructure and support their growing operations, and that’s where we came in!

The challenge

Our initial assessment identified several opportunities for improvement to help LS Systems achieve their desired transformation. Their on-premises infrastructure, including servers, required modernisation to improve backup support. It was essential to upgrade their email and collaboration tools to enable more efficient communication within the team.

Additionally, enhancing network performance by improving connectivity and increasing bandwidth was necessary to support their expanding operations.

Lastly, optimising their HR and shift management systems would streamline workforce management and reduce errors, leading to greater operational efficiency.

The solution

To address these challenges, we designed a comprehensive solution encompassing several key areas. Firstly, we migrated their Active Directory and email systems to Microsoft 365, creating a more secure and efficient environment. This included replacing old file servers with a new SharePoint environment. Using AvePoint, we systematically transferred and synchronised historical data to ensure the transition was seamless. We also conducted operational acceptance testing (OAT) and user acceptance testing (UAT) so that the new environment met all functional requirements.

The network infrastructure required significant enhancements. We improved the core network infrastructure to support increased data traffic and established a robust wireless link between LS Systems and their sister company, Lovania, to ensure continuous communication and data flow.

For HR and time management, we developed a bespoke HR application tailored specifically to LS Systems’ needs. Deployed on tablets running PowerApps, this system enabled employees to clock in and out, track their locations within the building, and manage departmental sign-ins. It also handled holiday tracking, leave requests, and sickness management; adhering to LS Systems’ HR policies, including additional leave for long-term employment and maternity/paternity leave provisions. Integrated with a Microsoft Dataverse database, and Power Apps management applications, this app automated timesheet generation and payroll data ingestion, thereby streamlining the payroll process. It not only streamlined their HR processes, but also saved the company money, as their previous system was costly and only one person understood how to navigate it.

Additionally, we migrated their critical line of business application to Azure, significantly improving performance and reliability. Users were provided access to the application via published desktops on their Azure AD-joined devices, for seamless access and better user experience.

The deployment

The deployment process began with planning and preparation. For the cloud migration to Microsoft 365, we conducted detailed migration planning and prepared the environment by migrating the mail and Active Directory. We used AvePoint to gradually seed data from the local server to the cloud, ensuring readiness for switchover. Operational acceptance testing (OAT) and user acceptance testing (UAT) phases were conducted to validate the new environment.

For the network infrastructure upgrade, we enhanced the core network for better performance and reliability and installed a wireless link to ensure connectivity between LS Systems and Lovania. In deploying the custom HR and time attendance system, we installed tablets and configured PowerApps for clocking in/out and leave management. The system was integrated with their Dataverse database, and Power Apps management applications were created for overseeing shift patterns, holidays, sickness, and timesheet reporting.

The Azure-hosted line of business application deployment involved migrating the SQL Server to Azure, followed by the application itself. We provided access to the application through published applications using Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktops on Azure AD-joined devices, ensuring users could easily access and use the system.

The outcomes

The transformation created several significant benefits. Employees now have access to advanced collaboration tools, including Teams and SharePoint, via Microsoft 365, improving their ability to communicate and collaborate effectively. The upgraded network infrastructure ensures faster and more reliable connectivity, supporting the increased data traffic between LS Systems and Lovania.

The bespoke HR application streamlined HR functions, improving accuracy and efficiency in shift management and payroll processing. Adhering to company-specific policies, it provided a user-friendly interface that replaced the old, costly, and complex system. This resulted in substantial cost savings and improved operational efficiency.

The Azure-hosted line of business application also performs significantly better. The comprehensive digital transformation has resolved existing IT challenges and positioned LS Systems and Lovania for future growth.

The team at String took the time to understand our two business from end-to-end. We talked, they listened, and came back with a comprehensive Microsoft cloud strategy that would enable us to transform the way we used IT. We are now enjoying working with String to further enhance our digital transformation using Microsoft’s Power Platform, Dynamics, and Artificial Intelligence solutions”
Ian Land
Financial Director
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