I describe our products to people several times a week, and some of the unique things we do seem like such common sense that I’m amazed that anyone could consider them unique.  In this case it was our employee materials requisitioning system, SSR (which stands for “Staff Service Request”).  Assuming you’re wondering, our SSR system allows managers to request (requisition) stuff for their employees; I’ve blogged before on “Getting Employees The Stuff They Need“, so I’m sure I don’t have to rehash 🙂  But the aspect of our SSR product that always seems to draw a, “Hmm, how do you do that?” is that we can actually allow requisitioning before an employee is hired, in fact before they’ve even been identified.

It’s simple, really, which is what makes the fact that our competitors don’t do it so amazing.  Basically it works because we allow our compendium (our representation of the positions and people in the system, aka OrgChart) to be populated not only by active employees, but also by positions.  Assuming your HRMS, ATS, or whatever system you have that performs the role of master data management for people can feed our system both employees and positions, with the hierarchy (this positions “reports to” that position) and keys to indicate what positions people are in, and we can allow requisitioning even for open positions.  Whew, that sentence is a mouthful.  Let me just put it this way: if you can pass our system your orgchart, even if some of the positions are open, we can requisition for any of those positions.

The astute reader will recognize that this doesn’t make sense for some things. That’s right, it doesn’t make sense to allow a manager to requisition an employee badge or email account for an open position.  We handle this by setting attributes on the items that are configured in the system: some items might be considered “position based”, while others are considered “person based”.  Position-based items–like an office, cube, desk–can be requisitioned the moment a position is created, even if the position is open. Person-based items–like email accounts, company credit card, network access–can only be requisitioned to a position that is actively filled.  It’s that simple.

So with Emerald’s SSR system your managers can request an office or desk (often the most challenging and time consuming things to deliver) the moment the system recognizes the position has been created, drastically improving the likelihood that these things will be ready by the time your new employee arrives for their first day of work.

In a future blog I’ll write about how we incorporate TRUE business process management (BPM) technology for managing the item’s fulfillment workflow, and all the features and capabilities of those workflows.