Early in 2016, Ice-Watch opted to have SD Worx act as its payroll service provider. In doing so, the company won itself flawless payroll and personnel administration that is fully compliant with the law. Moreover, this guarantees that they will prepare for social-legal changes appropriately and maximise the advantages of any new measures. We will now describe a year of collaboration in three minutes, so start the clock.
Ice-Watch launches six new lines to appeal to people of all ages each year, selling its watches at over 7,500 points of sale across all five continents. Their Facebook page has millions of likes and in less than a decade, they have sold over 15 million watches.To achieve this the company relies on a chic but affordable product, a bold strategy, a creative and passionate team and a partner to handle payroll management and all the social-legal aspects of its Belgian operations. Ice-Watch can rest assured that SD Worx will perform as accurately as its own watches.
Ice-Watch depends on a team of 45 employees who are responsible for guiding the brand's design, marketing, online campaigns and brand positioning. The heart and soul of this success story is located at Bastogne's market square. The headquarters' glass doors reveal an unusual, but inspiring interior full of modern art (a personal passion of CEO Jean-Pierre Lutgen), design furniture, bright colours, spaciousness and an abundance of light.
"We hire very specific candidates – young but experienced – who perfectly embody what Ice-Watch stands for", explains HR Manager Caroline Desait. "Those are rare birds and not easy to find. The strong competition from nearby Luxembourg attracts many employees, which certainly has something to do with it as well."
SD Worx impressed Ice-Watch just as these Belgian wristwatches have the world – by proving indispensable. In 2015, the SME was still working with another payroll service provider when its HR manager happened to attend a series of social-legal workshops at SD Worx. "These sessions provided me with answers that I wasn't receiving anywhere else", Caroline explains. She found the quality of the information and contacts so convincing that she decided to make the switch.
In Belgium, Caroline Desait is responsible for all the company's HR duties – from recruitment to insurance, performance monitoring and remuneration. She relies on her payroll service provider to support her in these tasks day in, day out. And she expects such support to go beyond pure payroll administration.
"The SD Worx payroll officers have great social-legal expertise", emphasises Caroline. "I receive immediate answers to most of my questions. There's no need for me to consult an expert every time, with the accompanying additional fees."
Caroline also cites the proactivity of SD Worx consultants as a major advantage. Despite Ice-Watch's offices and the SD Worx regional office in Liège being some 80 kilometres apart, they feel quite close. The team at SD Worx knows what challenges SMEs face, works with them and offers useful information and training.
"I am very satisfied with their proactivity", Caroline continues. "When the Peeters Act was still in the pipeline, SD Worx suggested a series of workshops to stay informed on what would change for us and what opportunities would come from it. Half a day was enough to bring me fully up to date on the topics that matter to us. The majority of what I was told that day is currently proving very useful."
Although Ice-Watch may be demanding when it comes to candidates, the company also makes a point of paying its staff smoothly and seamlessly. To be able to fulfil this commitment, Caroline followed SD Worx's advice and opted for Proxy Online, a semi-automated solution.
"The application is very intuitive. It fills in the standard monthly performances automatically, so if an employee was not sick and did not take any leave that month, I can leave everything as it is. The system calculates the salaries and sends out electronic payslips to the employees. No more hassle with paper letters!" This results in time savings of an entire day, each and every month.
SD Worx handles the majority of the manual tasks, ensures quality personnel administration and informs Ice-Watch of any important changes. This allows Caroline to focus on the important challenges: first and foremost, attracting competent, driven employees to become a part of this well-oiled machine. Then, to continue to motivate each of them through attention to the work environment, remuneration, responsibilities and the corporate culture. In short, good news for fans of this Belgian brand.
This Belgian company's beating heart is in Bastogne, where 45 employees are responsible for Ice-Watch's design, marketing, online campaigns and brand positioning. This team benefits greatly from the collaboration with SD Worx.
An impressive logistics centre on the outskirts of the city supplies the shops and European distributors.
10,000 kilometres away, in Hong Kong, another team of around 30 staff handles the distribution for the rest of the world.