Maritime Data Center: A solution to focus on our mission

3 Minute read

Company Highlights

Who is Maritime Data Center (MDC)?  

Founded in March 1969, Maritime Data Center was created as a result of a federal board that was set up to deal with labor relations problems in ports across Canada. At the time, longshoremen had established pressure on employers to standardize their working conditions, collective agreements and payroll system. The federal government allowed the operators to form an association. MDC's mission is to consolidate all timesheets across all ports and standardize pay for all stevedores, regardless of their working conditions. For over 50 years, MDC has been operating the payroll for the personnel of Eastern Canadian ports. 

A challenge for change

We won't talk about problems, we'll rather talk about challenges. MDC has always completed its mission. Regardless of the technological tools used, the organization has always delivered payroll. The challenge was to replace a payroll system that had been in place for some 40 years with a new tool. Why make this change?

Because the technology in place was ageing and the operational expertise associated with it was becoming increasingly difficult to obtain. The tool in place was good for the initial needs and the people who operated it were very competent, but over the years, it no longer offered the same stability and security. Facilitating the transition of the MDC to new technology was the challenge itself while considering the change management for those who had been running payroll for 40 years with the old solution.

Challenges Highlights

  • Transitioning to new technology while continuing operations
  • Introduce employees to new technology
  • Make the transition as easy and seamless as possible for internal users and our customers
  • Confronting SAP Payroll workforce volatility 
  • Mobilizing the right resources internally

"It's too complex, let's forget it." 

In order to find the ideal partner, MDC proceeded in a structured manner and explored all possible types of services. An RFP was put together to clearly describe the challenge and the expected outcome. For a complex payroll delivered every week, a tool was needed that could follow the team in their mandate. After having approached 10 different companies, they finally selected the appropriate partner.   

Different potential partners closed the door to us because the project was too high in level of complexity.
Benoit Forest, Executive Director at Maritime Data Center



Benoit Forest and Jeremy Garcia explain

"We wanted to make sure that we were focused on our mission, which is to get out of payroll every week. One of the requirements for the next solution was to take over the entire infrastructure.   

We wanted to make sure we made the right choice of partner. When you've had a system that's been with you for 40 years and it's working well, and you're moving to new technology with complex requirements, we want to choose the right player to be confident and build a long-term relationship. 

From the beginning, IN-RGY understood the challenges we faced. They understood the nuances, i.e., we are a payroll service, but we have to pay our employees and bill our clients at the same time. Integrating the process on the same platform was a critical success factor for us in implementing a new tool. When we went from a "project" mode to a "production" mode, we needed a support team we could rely on to produce payroll within the same timeframe.

Among other important success factors for the transition, we wanted an integrated system, an end-to-end process on a single platform, outsourcing of data and server management, and support." 

IN-RGY did an excellent job of understanding, interpreting and modelling the requirements.
Jeremy Garcia, IT Director at Maritime Data Center



Solution Highlights 

  • Consulting partner to make the right decisions

  • Infrastructure: a partner that keeps pace with technological developments

  • Support: product and feature updates

  • Transition from physical technology (servers) to virtual technology (cloud)

  • Payroll delivered in a consistent timeframe

  • Scalable and integrated technology

  • Database Manager, Network Manager

The mission continues

The SAP Payroll solution has brought a lot of stability for the employees. The previous solution often brought unexpected events, so employees could stay until late at night to perform payroll operations. Even at times, employees had to get up in the night and return to the workplace to restart a program that had crashed. 

Such situations occurred in the past, but no longer occur with the solution in place today.

The solution has allowed us to focus on our mission, which is to produce the payroll. We spend much more effort trying to improve our processes as such rather than trying to keep the infrastructure alive."
Benoit Forest, Executive Director at Maritime Data Center



Results Highlights 

  • More flexibility and possibilities
  • More stability  

  • More value-added efforts 
  • Stress reduction for employees
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