“We have been working with you for almost 3 years. We are very satisfied, because the administration has undoubtedly become more efficient. Our colleagues log in independently and don’t need to rely on someone else to find out their remaining days off. Absence requests are also made easily.”

Karla Palomino HR Alfasigma
Karla Palomino

Human Resources Manager

Alfasigma is a pharmaceutical company with a long tradition, founded in Italy and present in Mexico for 11 years. The Mexican branch, which has no factories but a strong commercial department, has grown rapidly to over 100 employees and is the only one present in Latin America.

Karla Palomino, who has been with the company for 4 and a half years, described a stimulating and growing company, which applies an open-door policy and pays great attention to people.

Karla is part of the HR department and works on a number of issues, such as corporate social responsibility, codes of conduct and compliance with local legislation.

The Challenge

Managing rapid business growth in the right way is one of the most complex challenges for HR departments. At Alfasigma, as the company grew, they quickly realized that organizational management through paper documents and Excel sheets was becoming obsolete. Some processes were updated under the guidance of the parent company, while others were updated through local initiatives.

Holiday and leave management was an example of the latter. At the beginning of 2019, an analytical study highlighted the problems and inefficiencies of the current system, which led to a great loss of time for all actors involved: employees, managers and administration.

“A seemingly simple activity required so much work.”

On one hand, employees and managers did not have access to available vacation time and were constantly asking the HR department for this information, as the latter would manually update an Excel file that was also used to produce payroll. On the other hand, the approval processes through paper forms required numerous steps and long downtime, especially in the case of colleagues located throughout the country.

As the workforce grew, the lack of transparency in the current system also exacerbated conflicts among employees over holiday allocations during the warmest times of the year, such as summer and December.

The Solution

It was apparent right away that the best way to make the process of holiday management at the company more efficient would be to digitize it. Since the system used by the Italian parent company was not able to meet global needs, Karla Palomino started a software selection process which, in its final phase, involved Altamira and two local providers.

The final choice fell on Altamira, for several reasons.

For one, they really liked that we could offer the service from Europe and that we had a full HR platform, although at that moment their focus was only on holiday management. A decisive factor for the choice was also the self-service mode of use for employees, who are able to access their account with their email and password and immediately see their remaining days off. In a company like Alfasigma, which puts people first, giving them autonomy and ensuring transparency was essential.

The request and approval system for days off was likewise simple and functional. The employee fills in the request and it is immediately conveyed through a notification to the manager, who can choose whether to approve, reject or discuss it further. To access the request, all the latter has to do is click the notification email they received in their inbox. Furthermore, all of this—and more—is tracked by the platform, which shows the history of each process.

Karla was also happy with a customization she requested for her account, which sends her a notification whenever a request is approved or denied by a manager. In this way, she can keep a personal file updated with all the employees’ vacation time, for added safety.

Despite the geographical distance, client service has been a strong point for Altamira, also thanks to the availability of account managers and technical consultants who are native or fluent in Spanish. Problems, requests and clarification questions were always handled in a short time.

“As a foreign client, the ticket system and video calls are tools that make me no longer feel the need to rely on a local provider, because it’s like you are one too.”

Other Case Studies

Find out how other Altamira’s clients have successfully updated their HR management processes.