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Simplifying Payroll with Unit4: The Bristow Group Story

Bristow Norway AS existing payroll system had become old and outdated, forcing them to look for a new solution to simplify and streamline their process.

In 2021 they started using Unit4 Payroll and have not looked back since. Today, we’re going to be taking a quick look at their story, and how using our solution has transformed their operational approach.

A world leader in aviation

Bristow Norway AS is part of the Bristow Group, which is the global leader in innovative and sustainable flight solutions. Bristow supplies crew transport to several energy companies with offshore operations. Bristow also supplies commercial search and rescue services in several countries, including Norway.

Their head office in Norway is at Stavanger Airport Sola, and they also operate from bases in Bergen, Florø, and Hammerfest. In total, around 400 employees work in Bristow Norway AS divided into pilots, technicians, rescuers, operational and traffic personnel, as well as administration.

With over six decades of aviation solutions crossing the globe, Bristow is the world’s leading provider of helicopter transportation to energy customers, search and rescue (SAR), and aircraft support solutions to government and civil organizations. 

Flexibility to accommodate complex salaries

Previously, Bristow used spreadsheets with 11,000 lines to manage their payroll processes. Now they can control by date, do not have to calculate payments manually, and use a system where, according to Accounting Manager Hilde Seglem, post-payment goes like a dream.

Seglem has worked with payroll systems for almost 30 years and is very happy that they now have a solution that simplifies several of the processes.

With many employees and different roles, Bristow Group has a complex ecosystem of salaries to manage.

In Unit4's salary module, you can set up your own rules and formulas for salary types, and this has been of great help to Seglem.

In addition, their active use of the Position feature has enabled them to set up pay rules based on position variable by department, instead of at an employee level. This gives the organization the capacity to set more granular pay rules for different classes and types of worker more accurately, providing pre-set templates for bonuses and allowances that streamlines the determination of pay within a system of clearly defined rules.

“It is really important that you are able to set up your own rules. We can adapt as needed and it is great when you need to run reports,” says Seglem.

Much is done automatically, which saves time. Seglem refers to an example where a technician has a shift supplement and attestation supplement and a free telephone in addition to fixed salary types. When a person with a specific position number is to be registered, the selected salary types for that person automatically appear, which means reduced workloads for HR operatives.

Travel and Expenses integrated into the Payroll System

Bristow Group has used Unit4 Travel & Expenses for handling travel and expenses bills since 2004 and, according to Seglem, this works well together with the payroll system.

“Unit4 Travel & Expenses includes all exchange rates and adjusts according to the state's rates, and what is to be considered taxable income and tax liability are controlled by the system, which is helpful,” says Seglem.

Bristow no longer have paper receipts, with all expenses and travel bills scanned or photographed via employees’ mobile phones and then submitted for approval by the manager before importation into the payroll system.

Unit4 enabled a smooth transition

The transition from the legacy model to a fully integrated, modernized payroll system was not without its challenges. But thanks to a strong dialogue between Bristow and Unit4, the rollout has been a complete success.

How can Unit4 help you?

Unit4’s enterprise software solutions empower your people by automating and streamlining administrative functions to give them back more time to do meaningful work. To discover how our ERP, FP&A, HCM, and S2C solutions can revolutionize your back office from payroll to talent management, procurement, financial planning, and more, check out our dedicated product pages.

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