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  • Writer's pictureMartin Hesse

Best Of Breed vs Single-Solution in Payroll, What's Right For You?

Choosing the right payroll, workforce management and HR solutions for your business in Australia involves considering two key approaches: the "single solution" or "best of breed." A single solution refers to an all-in-one platform, offering a comprehensive suite of functionality, while best-of-breed solutions specialise in their respective domains. The following explores both approaches. 


The allure of the single solution offering 

The single solution promises convenience and simplicity. It has a suite of comprehensive payroll and HR functionality in one integrated platform that has a cohesive look and feel. It eliminates the need for multiple software systems and reduces the complexity of managing various vendors or integrations.  The aim is to save time and effort for the business as it uses a centralised hub. 

This sounds amazing, but there are several factors to consider. 


Specialisation and flexibility 

Specialisation and flexibility are crucial when it comes to these systems. Compromising on these elements can lead to potential limitations and inefficiencies in addressing specific business needs. When it comes to workforce management or example, organisations may require the ability to fill vacant shifts, and to identify and suggest employees that meet the shift requirements while remaining in the labour budget. This type of specialisation may not extend to the standard functionality of an all-in-one platform. 

Compromises can also occur when the quality of one function outweighs the limitation of another.

For example, dashboard visualisations for rostering purposes are very enticing, but the depth and power of the award interpretation tool is lacking. 

Furthermore, a lack of customisation can also lead to an organisation having to implement additional or manual tasks outside of the system, with error-prone manual workarounds (check out our other article about why that’s NOT good). 


The more complex, the longer it takes 

The larger the system, the more complex and time consuming the implementation and training can be.  This can push out project timeframes and impact the overall risk and cost of the project.   

Another key consideration is longevity; if the functions of WFM, Payroll and HRIS were spread across multiple systems, it’s easier to replace one of these as the needs of the business changes, rather than having to either replace all at once, or compromise the fit for one or two of these functions. This often extends further into contracts and license agreements; having multiple agreements can de-risk the overall software landscape for the business, rather than having all functions tied to a single contract. 


Paying more for the convenience 

Finally, you generally pay more for the convenience of a single system.  Whether it’s for implementation, training or license fees, the price tag will usually be higher than selecting specific best-of-breed solutions. 

You’ll most likely end up paying for functionality you don’t need, and you’ll have to factor in additional labour costs for supporting a system that might not be fit for purpose in key areas. 

When it comes to servicing and supporting your critical business systems in the long term, having multiple vendors at your disposal de-risks your reliance on third parties. This can also open an opportunity to build skills within your own team to provide support of a technical nature. 


Efficiency and effectiveness with ‘Best of Breed’ 

Best-of-breed solutions are a compelling alternative to single solution providers. These solutions focus on excelling in specific areas of payroll and HR management, offering advanced features and customisable options. 

A best-of-breed provider has unparallel expertise and focuses on their given domain.  For example, the award interpretation capabilities of Rosterspace, a workforce management system, are so advanced that it’s regularly used for historical timesheet calculations to check payroll compliance. Furthermore, they work with other best-of-breed providers and can recommend other solutions that they partner with.  

These providers generally have more flexibility and can tailor a system to meet the unique needs of a business, allowing for a more efficient and effective outcome for departments such as operations or payroll. And while there may be slightly more stakeholder management through the best-of-breed approach, they often prioritise customer support and are quick to respond to queries

Under the best-of-breed approach, an organisation can be calculated and measured in the adoption of new technology or the replacement of an existing system.  They’re able to start with the most pressing needs and over time build out from there.  That gives the organisation more time to act strategically. 

An organisation using best-of-breed solutions can maximise their return on investment through fit for purpose solution design, whilst minimising additional and unforeseen costs. 

A double win for the customer through a higher quality product at a lower price point. 

Best-of-breed solutions rely on their integration capabilities, and while most in the WFM, HR and payroll space in Australia will integrate with one another, it’s always best to check early in the selection process.  Many best-of-breed providers can also provide recommendations for complimentary systems which can be useful in the research stage. 


Where to from here? 

As with any technology procurement process it is best to start by clearly articulating current pain points along with what the ‘must haves’‘nice to haves’, and non-essential functions are.  With a defined budget, the above factors can help lead towards either a best-of-breed approach or a single solution option.   


Rosterspace is a best of breed workforce management solution for the Australian and New Zealand workforce.  Known for its sophisticated technology, customer service and integration capabilities we’re here to keep you compliant. Book in for a demo and a chat today. 



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