The ‘mydentist and PeopleStrong’ story
The medical fraternity is one of the most revered communities in the world. Surgeons, doctors, nurses, paramedical teams and other staff members ensure that we get the best possible medical care in their facilities. Dentists are no different. In most developed countries, dentistry is a very structured and organized industry. It also has the additional advantage of being covered under most medical insurance plans.
In India, however, the outlook is a little different. The industry continues to be extremely fragmented and does not get included under most medical insurance policies. While dentistry remains the smallest practice of any general hospitals or clinic, things are now definitely taking a turn for the better. This sector is being transformed by the internet business and technology has become an aggregator for them. As the sector is maturing with more and more organized workforce joining the industry, their workforce management practices are also evolving to catch up with the pace of growth.
mydentist is one such chain of specialty dental clinics that currently operates in 5 major cities in India: Mumbai, Pune, Ahmadabad, Surat, and Bangalore, where they have already offered treatment to more than 6 lakh patients across 110 clinics. With over 1200 employees spread across these cities, and 25,000 implants, 17,000 braces, 80,000 root canals and 95,000 crowns giving weight to the growth and success of the company, mydentist is doing a phenomenal job of bringing affordable and reliable dental care to the masses since its inception in 2009.
However, expansion also brought out its own set of unique challenges.
- As a smaller firm, mydentist managed its data and documentation manually, which meant a mountain of physical files that required an increasing amount of storage space every successive year.
- Since the employee base was spread out across 5 cities, data was also scattered and the flow of information was irregular and intermittent.
- Seasonal fluctuations in customer footfalls meant that some clinics needed to be reinforced with additional manpower transferred from other clinics. This increased the paperwork and HR documentation.
- With each clinic having a maximum of 2 computers, the dozen or so employees in each clinic had very limited access to the company portal or to emails to connect with the HR. For them to get information about their own details, request for leave, air a grievance or speak to HR, they had to go through the operations team, which delayed the process significantly.
- Since there was no existing job portal or forum that focused on such a specialty or had a ready database of dentists, hiring new dentists was happening via employee referrals or through their website. There wasn’t a structured way of organizing the plethora of resumes thus collected, nor was there any process that could identify resume spillage or duplication.
- Attendance was being recorded manually on registers, which sometimes led to inaccurate and incomplete data. Using biometric scanners to capture attendance was not a viable option because a) buying such device for each of its 110 clinics was a very expensive proposition and b) one very interesting challenge was thrown up- 90% of the workforce comprised of women. On many occasions the ladies had either mehendi on their hands or had stains or cuts sustained in the kitchen, so biometrics would have been ineffective in capturing attendance in such cases.
While these issues weren’t necessary insurmountable, bigger concern for the company was about providing a consistent employee experience and standardizing processes across all locations. 95% of people employed by mydentist are doctors or junior staff, most of whom have had no previous corporate experience- therefore had never been exposed to protocols, systems and processes.
Ensuring that each employee gets the same, strong work experience across the board was something that was at the heart of finding a comprehensive solution that would run in sync with the company’s trajectories of growth for its business and people.
What was the way out?
mydentist had to look out for an HR technology solution that provided not only web based support but also supplemented the same with a mobile app. The biggest deliverables identified were:
- Establish a transparent, seamless, two-way communication between the employee and HR.
- A simple, easy to understand HR process
- Achieve a controlled Information flow across managers, locations and systems that also collated data centrally.
- Provide a 24/7 access to information
- Data confidentiality
Why they chose PeopleStrong Alt
The biggest reason why the decision of choosing a technology partner went in the favour of PeopleStrong was that the product offered both web based as well as mobile based interface.
For the approximately 1200 employees, this was a boon, because the mobile app gave them complete independence and flexibility to directly access information or reach out to the HR team. The app also made it possible for the born-on-cloud HR technology platform to penetrate each managerial level and positively impact daily worklife of each employee. The software interface was deliberately kept simple so that even those who were not technology savvy could navigate the app with ease.
One thing that made it possible for the SaaS project to get implemented in record time was that PeopleStrong and mydentist took joint ownership of conceptualizing and implementing this project and stayed committed on identified modules and timelines.
Time taken to implement the core modules was reduced by more than 50% – where other competitors take an average of 2-3 months, PeopleStrong Alt configured the core modules in less than a month. Data management was centralized, HR processes were streamlined further and Payroll processing time reduced by 50%.
Another significant saving was on the cost of digital attendance systems. Mobile based app completely did away the need to use biometric machines at all. Using Geo-fencing to capture attendance on-the-go, mydentist was able to easily track and manage attendance and leaves of all employees.
A huge benefit of having all HR processes online was the ease of managing recruitment process as well as the employee’s lifecycle.
Alt Recruit module was one of the first to be executed because recruitment is an almost ongoing process. The module helped to manage resumes parsing, get real time interview feedback, and close interview process much faster.
For candidates appearing for interviews with mydentist, and especially for employees who have recently joined, the firm wanted to offer a very powerful employee engagement experience, because these are the people who would walk back into the corporate world as brand ambassadors of the organization. Right from getting a new employee inducted to setting up their employee account to submitting documentation, the app allowed mydentist to handhold new joinees and settle them in. Even the time taken for Exit Management was brought down by a whopping 80%.
Happy Smiles everywhere
To make sure that the product does not overwhelm the company and the HR team, it was decided to stagger the implementation of PeopleStrong Alt. The core modules were first configured in the company’s headquarters in Mumbai, and then taken regionally before cascading down to each location. Adoption was hence a lot easier, once employees started familiarizing themselves with the product.
In the end, it was one momentous decision of a company to embrace technology and go paperless that brought about not just an evolutionary change in the way it functions but also revolutionized the experience and the connect that its employees and all other stakeholders receive when they associate with a company that looks towards the future.