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Simon EllisNov 11, 2022 12:19:37 PM7 min read

Is Jem the right HR and payroll software for your business?


You’ve worked out that there’s a problem with your HR and payroll software, you’ve gone through the effort of exploring all the possible solutions at your disposal, and you’ve hopefully answered some questions which will help you select the most appropriate solution for your needs. If you haven’t, we’ve put together a quick guide on how to do just that here.

We know that the decision to buy enterprise software usually doesn’t sit with one person. You need to get your colleagues, and oftentimes your manager, to see the value in it too. It’s the final step before making the decision, and we wanted to provide you with some case studies to help validate your choice. Here are a few examples of how Jem has helped other businesses solve some of the problems you might be facing.

Case 1: Ceramic Industries (Manufacturing)

One of our Clients is one of South Africa’s largest ceramic tile manufacturers. When we approached them about Jem’s HR systems for deskless workers, they immediately understood why they needed it: they have a predominantly deskless workforce, and their HR administrators and payroll staff spent a minimum of 24 hours a month distributing employee payslips to their 1,100 employees. They would also get 110+ queries a month on the payslips they distributed - such as 'how do I download payslips on my phone?' and 'how do I get copies of old payslips?'. They felt it was an inordinate amount of time spent on something that should be routine and quick.

After approaching their team, and learning more about the challenges with their payroll systems, we suggested they try Jem’s Paperless Payslips Module, which enables you to distribute employee payslips via Whatsapp. Ceramic Industries cut their payslip processing time down from 24 hours a month to just 15 minutes and brought their 110+ payslip queries a month down to 2 on average. When employees would approach the payroll manager with queries, she advised them to register for Jem.

Adding Jem’s Paperless Payslips module to their payroll system saved the HR and payroll team a lot of time, but possibly its most significant impact was removing a lot of unnecessary stress around what should be a simple process. It also simplified the process for the end user, the deskless employee, and gave them effortless and immediate access to their payslips.

Case 2: Livewell (Healthcare)

Another Client operates specialised dementia and Alzheimer's care facilities. Almost 150 million people are working in healthcare worldwide, and while most might be based inside a hospital or clinic, they are still primarily deskless workers.

The HR manager at Livewell discovered Jem through Google. They wanted to focus on payslip delivery and leave, but other functions like employer-employee communication and on-demand pay were also important to them. All of these functions were carried out manually. In the case of communications, they would send out emails to team leaders with an attachment of the announcement to print out and distribute to employees. If they need to get feedback from employees, they send Google forms to team leaders, who then get employees to sit down with a team leader who has access to a comuter in order to complete the form. It was an unnecessary drain on resources for a company with a small HR and payroll team.

Like in the previous case, this Client spent an inordinate amount of time processing, printing and distributing payslips every month: almost 13 hours on average. At the time, they were using Sage info slips but wanted to change their solution because, in their experience, Sage was unreliable, had poor customer support and had a very low uptake amongst their employees. After setting them up with Jem’s Paperless Payslips, they cut that processing time down to just 10 minutes. Livewell now has 92% of their employees registered with Jem. After working with Livewell for over two months, our account management team recieved the following from Ruan, the HR Manager: “Thanks for everything – you guys are truly amazing!”.

Case 3: Cap Community (Security Services)

When it came to CAP Community, a security company, their main draw to Jem was our Paperless Payslips module. Of their 710+ employees, approximately 500 were tactical employees on the ground - in other words, deskless. The company used to distribute payslips via Sage 300 but found that the employee self-service (ESS) was highly problematic in their environment.

The Payroll Manager shared some of the challenges with us:

    • Employees would forget their passwords and she would have to reset them
    • Employees would attempt their password 3 times and get blocked from the system - the Payroll manager would once again have to reset them
    • Employees would change their email address without notice - the Payroll manager would have to update this on the system and give them access all over again

Because of these issues, employees would usually end up requesting a printed payslip anyway

Within the first 3 days of using Jem Payslips, they managed to register almost 80% of their employees. The sudden uptake highlighted that the real value in Jem goes far beyond Payslips. Jem gave the CAP team an entirely new way to reach and engage their workforce. Within the first week of using Jem Payslips, the CAP team upgraded their plan also to include Jem Communications, a module designed to help employers effectively engage and communicate with employees. For the first time, the CAP team could finally connect digitally with their employees, which had such a positive impact on their payroll team that, as one team member put it “I am so excited - I feel like I just met a new man! (Jem) swept me off my feet’.

Case 4: Truda Foods

Truda Foods is the second largest South African manufacturer of maize products and snack foods. Like most manufacturing companies, the vast majority of their staff are deskless. Additionally, they have a large distributed workforce operating in 4 provinces, which makes managing their HR admin, like payroll, leave, discipline and distributing payslips, particularly challenging.

Truda faced another common problem: the cost, risk and admin involved in employee loans. To solve these problems, they opted for Jem’s Paperless Payslips Module and Jem’s On-demanday module. The latter is our On-Demand Pay product which allows employees to access their salary before payday at no cost to the employer. This prevents employees from falling prey to vicious payday lenders and also spares the company the risk and cost involved in salary advances. Jem Payslips also managed to save the company one-and-a-half days a month to spend more productively.

Case 5: Frankwen Forge

Frankwen Forge operates the largest open-die forging and ring-rolling facility in Africa. With this large-scale operation comes a big, predominantly deskless workforce. The company used to print employee payslips weekly for all of their employees. That's roughly four printed payslips per employee per month, which equates to a staggering R700 per person per annumon payslip printing costs alone. In addition, the payroll team would spend approximately 4 hours a week prepping and distributing these payslips. When it came to communications, their small, stretched HR team of 3 people was tasked with sticking up printer posters and announcements throughout their huge, 11-division premises. When it came to advances, they would get multiple requests a week but could not administer requests under R2000 because of how labour-intensive the process was.

Payroll is a sensitive topic for any company, especially when it comes to gaining the trust of your employees. Every single one of their employees signed up for Jem Payslips on their own accord, and currently, 98% of them are active users. After finally being able to connect with their large workforce digitally, they also started using Jem Comms to send out essential announcements about Medical Aid and Tax compliance.

While we’ve mainly focused on the impact Jem has on the business, your employees also gain a lot from our Whatsapp-based systems. We focus our efforts on building accessible, easy-to-use systems that you eventually can't live without. Frankwen Forge surveyed their employees to find out their experience using Jem’s HR Systems. 97% said that Jem was very easy to use, while 99% said they enjoyed using the Payslips feature.


If you’re ready to start using Jem to improve your HR systems, contact us using the details below. We’ll just need 2 hours of your time, and in exchange, we’ll give you back weeks of yours.


Simon Ellis

Simon is the CEO of Jem, an African technology company that is making HR & Payroll easier using WhatsApp.