Customer Story

Nationally Recognized Bank and Mastercard Issuer Saves Money, Increases Efficiency with UKG

  • UKG has improved the organization’s bottom line, enhanced the employee experience, and increased retention rates while minimizing compliance risk

  • The company has calculated an annual savings of nearly $115,000 and 3,200 hours by automating its timecard-approval process

  • Data-driven automation, including customized dashboard tiles, gives managers and company executives real-time visibility into workforce data such as overtime and paid time off

First Premeir Bank

First PREMIER Bank and PREMIER Bankcard is a $3 billion, nationally recognized community bank and one of the top 12 Mastercard credit card issuers in the U.S. The company employs a mix of hourly and salaried workers who serve bank customers across South Dakota as well as millions of credit card customers nationwide. PREMIER went live on UKG in 2018 for HR, payroll, recruiting, onboarding, and benefits, and migrated to artificial intelligence (AI)-powered workforce management in 2021 for an enhanced, full-suite experience.

and 3,200 hours in annual savings with automatic timecard approval

System constraints with PREMIER’s prior timekeeping solution meant managers had to go into the system every Monday after payroll to approve individual timecards, which was a cumbersome and time-consuming process. Additionally, PREMIER was unable to integrate schedules from its credit card call centers. After struggling with the limitations of the system, the company realized it needed a faster, more flexible, and customizable workforce management solution.


Viewing UKG as a trusted partner and wanting to have one system of record within UKG, PREMIER decided to migrate to UKG AI-powered workforce management for an enhanced, full-suite experience.

“We’ve had tremendous success with UKG, and it was always our goal to have one system of record with UKG as our partner. One of our biggest successes since rolling out workforce management is payroll. The dynamic dashboards and reporting are so robust and automatic timesheet approval is so quick. We recently made the decision to move up our payroll schedule by one full week starting in September 2022, which means our people will get paid faster.”

Colleen Stratton

AVP of Total Rewards, First PREMIER Bank and PREMIER Bankcard


In the first year after going live on its new workforce management solution, PREMIER reduced the amount of time it takes to process payroll files from four hours per pay period to just seconds. The amount of time supervisors now spend on timesheet approvals has also been significantly reduced by 3,000 hours — resulting in more than $106,000 in savings. 

“That was our ‘aha’ moment,” said Colleen Stratton, assistant vice president of total rewards at PREMIER. “In the seconds it took my payroll manager to explain the hours-long process of exporting employee data from our previous time management system, that same process in our new workforce management solution was complete. That was a huge win and a tremendous time saver.” 

Another big win: reporting capabilities that allow PREMIER to make more informed business decisions and minimize compliance risk in an industry with ever-changing regulations. 

“We are running reports constantly in UKG, everything from PTO usage and FMLA leave to open enrollment to the number of hours our employees are volunteering in our communities. That information is shared with our senior executives, so we know if we need to hire more staff, or if the benefits we currently have in place are adequately supporting our employees’ needs,” said Stratton. “We also have automated our workflow for changes to an employee’s role or salary, or if they are taking a leave of absence. These changes used to be manual and prone to errors, so we’ve seen significant improvement in this area.”

PREMIER also manages hundreds of people analytics reports to automate termination and new hire letters, replace manual dashboards, and audit for data integrity.

While UKG has yielded significant administrative improvements, the solution’s Life-work Technology™ is also delivering happier outcomes for employees.

Employee surveys help PREMIER keep a pulse on employee sentiment by gathering real-time insights to help managers understand individuals’ preferences, leveraging natural language processing (NLP) and machine-learning technology to collect, measure, and analyze feedback. With its UKG learning management system (LMS), PREMIER is saving administrative time and improving the employee experience with automatic assignment of new-hire curricula and regulatory modules to specific employees. It’s also taking advantage of the solution’s flexibility by providing employees with a combination of live training, customer course design, and the option for virtual learning, in addition to other unique use cases. Self-service capabilities have additionally led to an increase in employee engagement, as PREMIER staff can access information important to their work and lives from any device — at any time.

“The learning solution played a critical role during the COVID-19 pandemic, as we were able to record our quarterly employee meetings and push those out through the LMS for everyone to watch remotely,” said Stratton. “We also held virtual benefits fairs last year and conducted all open enrollment training through the LMS instead of having live, in-person events at our locations. Our employees could view the recordings from home, with their families, and make the best benefits selections for their needs.

“In a similar way, employees love self-service because everything is available to them not only at work, but on their mobile devices. They can view their paychecks and they can update their personal information. We also have future forecasting for compensation statements so our people can see how much money they made last year compared with what they’re projected to make this year, which helps them better plan their lives. We also do all open enrollments within UKG so employees can, at any time, see their benefits elections.”

Next on its UKG journey, PREMIER will launch scheduling within its bank branches, which the organization anticipates will lead to even greater efficiencies.

“Right now, our branch scheduling is done on spreadsheets, which is very time consuming. Scheduling capabilities within UKG will give us much more flexibility and real-time insight into staffing needs, and we’ll be able to more accurately ensure our teller lines, vaults, and drive-throughs have the right people in place to serve our clients at all times,” said Stratton.

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