Why Cowboys Fit traded filing cabinets for the cloud

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If Kim Funk had her way, everything would be stored on the cloud.

As HR director and general manager of Cowboys Fit, a Dallas-based fitness center that is owned by Football Fit and affiliated with the Dallas Cowboys football team, Funk doesn’t want the HR records of her 130 employees stored in filing cabinets — not only because of privacy concerns, but because the fitness center is located in a 60,000-square foot facility. Her HR department doesn’t have space to store documents, and the owners would rather use the space for training rooms.

“I feel better about putting it in the cloud than in the filing cabinet,” she says. “I save everything I own on the cloud, and I trust this more than having people have access to this information in the office.”

The fitness center signed on with HR technology provider HRFix for its cloud-based storage service in February 2017. Along with offering HR solutions focused on employee onboarding and providing certified training for social media use and sexual harassment rules, HRFix offers access to a Tier 1, IBM-certified data storage facility run by a technology firm that focuses on accounting software for municipalities.

“They cover the city of Chicago and the city of Dallas, so their security is top-notch,” says Jeff Jeans, CEO of HRFix.

When new employees are interviewed and hired at Cowboy Fit, they fill out paper forms that are then scanned and stored to the cloud and the paper documents destroyed. Cowboys Fit does not store scanned images of passports, driver’s licenses or Social Security cards, but takes down the numbers instead. They also scan various certifications for fitness trainers for exercise programs such as Zumba and Insanity, as well as continuing-education credits.

The procedure has been a time-saver for Funk and her colleagues, but she hopes to streamline it even more by mid-2018. “We want to grow to the point where we're just emailing a link to the team member and they’re filling it out and it does the importing on its own,” she says.

Cowboys Fit has about 130 employees, and roughly 40% work full time.

Right now, only Funk and the Cowboys Fit operations manager, who does most of the trainer hiring, has access to the HR files stored on the cloud. Department managers have access to employee information on the cloud that pertains to trainers’ certifications and any other information that is relevant to their jobs.

Jeans says most HR managers are unaware that they only have to store employee data for their entirety of their employment and one year afterward. “Before you know it, you have 2,000 employee files but you only have 500 employees,” he says.

“No one purges files every six months,” he says. “If you are doing those wrong, those files get big fast.”

HRFix currently has 500 clients and services around 48,000 employees with the average-sized company having around 98 workers. Jeans says he has recently signed on with 49ers Fit, a San Francisco fitness center affiliated with the San Francisco 49ers.

Funk likes the cloud service for its “ease of the business use and from the perspective of keeping confidential information safe and secure,” she says. “Gone are the days of having locked filing cabinets everywhere.”

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