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January 2015

Automation Streamlines Cost Center Management

by Plaster Group’s Business Solutions Team Challenge Our client’s finance department tracked spending and budget authority using multiple spreadsheets. Requiring many steps, the existing approval process for cost center authority was cumbersome. Historical data was not easily tracked and was compiled separately and all approval data needed to be entered manually. This challenge was exacerbated by annual reorganizations which created the need to update approval data. The resulting approval tracking process was time consuming and was prone to security, legal, and financial risk.

Predictive Analytics: An Overview

by Plaster Group’s Data & Analytics Team Meet Predictive Analytics “The Dow Jones Industrial Average will rise above 20,000 by the end of 2014” “Our Year over Year Revenue will be 15% higher in 2012 than 2011” “The San Francisco Giants will win the World Series in 2014 and 2016.” Which of the above predictions seems the most implausible? The first one has been seen on significant financial news web sites, with little to back the assumption that the current rate of increase (at the time) of the Dow Jones value would continue throughout the year. The second prediction was actually the basis for a major retail company’s planning and budgeting, even though the previous two years of recession should have indicated a more modest projection. The last one may seem silly, but it may turn out to be as accurate as the previous two, and it is based on past performance.

Why You’re Ready For Microsoft Azure (even if you think you’re not)

by Plaster Group’s Business Solutions Team The Cloud is Important It’s 2015, so I’m going to skip the opening paragraph that explains why the cloud is Important. You already know. The question is: how are you going to adopt the cloud in your solution portfolio? What’s the best way not to just use the cloud, but get massive competitive advantage out of it? Azure is Microsoft’s cloud offering, and in this post I want to offer some perspectives you can take away on Azure and how it can fit within your existing infrastructure. I want to talk about some common, limiting perspectives on why it might seem difficult to move to Azure, and see why they’re not the scary monsters they might seem to be. I hope to show you that you’re ready to start moving to Azure as soon as you’re done reading this article.

Case Study: HRIS Implementation of Role and Compensation Structures

New compensation structure provides clarity of roles and equity of jobs across the organization, aligned with the new total compensation philosophy. By Plaster Group’s Business Solutions Team Challenge Due in part to the our client’s rapid growth in recent years, there were inconsistencies in compensation and job levels across the organization. To resolve this issue, and establish more accurate compensation models for all employees, our client began a process of reviewing every role in the organization to determine the typical compensation ranges for those roles, as compared to the external marketplace. With the goal of the this initiative to enable every manager to have a confident, candid conversation with each of his or her employees regarding that employee’s title, salary level, and salary in such a way that the employee understands the reasoning for each clearly.