New Zealand owned and operated Kiwicare Group is the developer, manufacturer and distributor of a range of acclaimed and innovative products for pest control, garden care and outdoor cleaning. The recent acquisition of Amalgamated Hardware Merchants (AHM), importer and distributor of outdoor lifestyle, hardware and camping products, has seen the business grow into new markets and double in size. 

The group employs 90 people within its New Zealand and Australian operations, serving retail and commercial customers with the support of a dedicated national sales force and from offices based in Auckland, Christchurch and Brisbane. 

The great escape from paper-based processes 

Kiwicare makes a great commitment to developing innovative products, but their investment in HR wasn’t quite keeping up.  

The company’s performance management process was heavily reliant on printing and filling out paper forms. The resulting documents were then scanned and forwarded to management by email. Completed performance-review forms were saved onto a desktop device rather than in a document library, so accessing them and their contents on demand was both time-consuming and challenging. 

We had issues with transparency and HR protocols. As we had no centralised document library, employees couldn’t access their own information. And at the end-of-year reviews, when we wanted to discuss goals and measure progress, it was difficult to even find the right documents, let alone collate and analyse the information.

Natalie Smith, HR Assistant and Executive Assistant at Kiwicare

Keen to move forward, Kiwicare set some clear objectives for the future of their performance management activities. These included simplifying and streamlining the process, becoming more people-centric, doing away with paperwork, and focusing on the employee-to-manager conversation and feedback. A new system had to support the business’s desire to achieve organisational and individual goals and enable growth. Above all, it had to be done in partnership – with employees and management objectives fully aligned.  

Natalie and Judith Jamieson, Kiwicare’s HR Director, had already started exploring available solutions when Fusion5, their NetSuite implementation partner, introduced them to Jemini, their proprietary HR and Payroll Software. “We’d considered other options,” said Natalie, “but our experience with Fusion5 was so positive that we felt very confident about adopting Jemini.”  

The Jemini difference  

Natalie was delighted with Jemini from the outset. “Jemini is very focused on the end-user, and the Fusion5 team encouraged us to personalise the whole online tool by adding photos. The visual aspect of Jemini is great. It has a familiar feel, similar to other applications that you use in your everyday life – we love the way that we can personalise it to enhance the experience.” 

Kiwicare was especially impressed with the Jemini team’s DnA (Discovery and Advisory) methodology. “They asked for our feedback throughout the process,” says Natalie, “in order to improve the product. What we said was important to them. You don’t get that very often. They used their knowledge of other businesses to help us apply best practice at Kiwicare, which was appreciated. We had weekly meetings, and communicated throughout the week, which made the implementation smooth and fast.”

Within four weeks, and having needed only minimal training thanks to the intuitive nature of the solution, Kiwicare was up and running.  

Accessible and easy

The Kiwicare HR team cite accessibility as a key benefit of Jemini. “Now we’ve got information at our fingertips,” says Natalie. “We can quickly present the management team with a report on our goal setting and achievements for a whole year collated into one view. You couldn’t pull that same information off 40 individual performance review documents; it would take forever.”

“The ease of navigation is another benefit. Jemini feels so familiar and easy to use that after a single training session, everyone was very comfortable with it and started using the solution straight away. Sometimes when you try and implement something new, you experience some resistance, but that hasn’t been the case with Jemini!”

Perfecting the art of performance management Jemini provides Kiwicare with an engaging employee experience that aligns their business KPIs with the organisation’s strategy. Ready-customised performance plans are at hand in an online library, and workflows have been configured to support Kiwicare’s performance management process and compare business goals against live data. 

“The Jemini adoption has been seamless, and I would definitely recommend it. Not only is it better for the business, it’s better for our people.”

Natalie Smith, HR Assistant and Executive Assistant, Kiwicare

Judith and Natalie have happily said goodbye to the days of paper-based appraisals. They now have an extensive toolset to measure, report and review progress in real-time, and staff can add their own input through self-service functionality. Individual and team performance and progress can be viewed online, and they’re finding that the team are adopting more regular performance feedback because Jemini is so user-friendly.

A big thumbs up for Jemini

The Jemini journey at Kiwicare has started with performance reviews and employee profiles, with a view to adopting payroll later in the year. Jemini’s flexibility and usability – and its great performance features – have allowed Kiwicare to adapt and transform a completely manual, paper-based process into a unique online experience for their employees.

Next up for Kiwicare Group is exploring then rolling out Jemini’s learning and development functionality. “One of the points highlighted in our March culture survey,” says Natalie, “is that our people were asking for a greater focus on career pathways and performance development. It’s rewarding to know that what we’re planning is what our people truly want.

“The Jemini adoption has been seamless, and I would definitely recommend it. Not only is it better for the business, it’s better for our people.”  


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