GREENVILLE, SC - Propel HR, a licensee of’s web-based time and labor management system, is helping auctions, such as Carolina Auto Auction, increase automation in data collection and assist with payroll preparations.

Carolina Auto Auction is a 300-employee independent auto auction. Just as most types of companies outsource back office activities, Carolina Auto Auction also turns to a third party organization to accommodate its complex time and attendance requirements. That organization is Propel HR, a licensee of’s Web-based time and labor management system, which it branded as Propel HR Time under a private label model.

Along Comes Carolina Auto Auction

Carolina Auto Auction is situated in Anderson, S.C., and was recently ranked among the Top 15 Independent Auto Auctions in the Nation by Used Car News. The organization services customers throughout the United States with a full offering of dealer consignment, fleet, lease, daily rental, insurance, and financial institution vehicles. Carolina Auto Auction was started in 1990 after its owners, purchased the three-lane facility from bankruptcy court. With no existing dealer base, the owners carefully and methodically grew the auction into what is now: an eight-lane facility with consignments totaling more than 1,400 vehicles a week and a dealer base of more than 6,000 dealers.

“After seeing the time and labor management application Propel HR had to offer, everyone was extremely impressed and we concluded that no other application matched its level of functionality,” explained Jodi Merrit, payroll manager for Carolina Auto Auction.

Carolina Auto Auction’s Problems & The Solutions

Carolina Auto Auction incurred problems in the following areas with its previous application, which were solved by implementing Propel HR Time:

Data Collection Issues:

The data collection devices Carolina Auto Auction previously had in place did not integrate with the application being used. “We could not get employees enrolled on the time clocks for almost nine months,” explained Merrit. “There was never a point when we had 100 percent of our employees enrolled on the clocks.”


“We provided Carolina Auto Auction with the same type of data collection devices they previously had, the only difference was the application the devices interfaced with,” stated Aaron Cullip, director of sales at Propel HR. The Synchronize Hand Templates feature within Propel HR Time shares an employee’s hand template among data collection devices without manual intervention or the need to enroll employees on more than one device.

Additionally, the feature Backup Hand Templates, stores the hand template of each employee within their employee profile. Together, these two features ensure that if an employee is enrolled on one device, they are enrolled on all devices. “Enrolling employees was a breeze with Propel HR Time. It only took a minute or two for each employee, and once I enrolled them, I didn’t have to do it again,” said Merrit.

Delays and Downtime:

“Being that the clocks they had in place did not seamlessly integrate with the application, they did not reflect data in real-time,” explained Cullip.

If two employees punched in at exactly the same time at separate data collection devices, the punches could reflect different times. “At some points the clocks were as far as an hour behind. We had people come in and work on them, but we would find ourselves with the same problems after they left,” stated Merrit.

Due to frequent down-time the application could not be accessed at certain times and employee punches would not be recognized until the application was functional again.


“Previously, Carolina Auto Auction’s application collected data in a store-and-forward, or polled, manner, which caused these hefty delays in punches. Now, through the use of this software appliance, commonly called “middleware,” punches are collected from each device in real-time. This means punches are reflected in the application as they happen,” explained Cullip.

Additionally, there is no differentiation in time between devices because the time displayed on the clocks is directly pulled from a computer. “Since implementing Propel HR Time, we haven’t experienced any downtime with the application,” said Merrit.

Manual Edits:

The issue that took up most of Merrit’s time was the manual edits she had to complete each pay period. “On the day of an auction, we have 160 drivers coming in to transport the vehicles to each auction lane,” said Merrit.

“In our organization, hourly employees have a strict schedule that must be adhered to. Each time payroll needed to be processed, I had to edit punches for about 80 drivers to adhere with their scheduled hours, unless management let me know the additional hours were warranted,” stated Merrit.


“With Propel HR Time, we were able to set up rounding rules so that employees punching in early or leaving late automatically have that punch rounded to their scheduled time. Now I don’t dread doing payroll anymore. I only have about 15 to 20 edits per pay period and these are the correction of missing punches that, in total, only take a few minutes to complete,” explained Merrit. “Additionally, we can create customized schedules for our employees. All we had to do was set up our daily business requirements, and the schedules were automatically populated. In total we were able to cut more than two hours off of our payroll processes each pay period.”

Additional Benefits

Carolina Auto Auction has incurred additional benefits in the following areas:

Easy-to-Use and Support

“In the two years we used the previous application, we never really gained a level of comfort with it,” explained Merrit. “The transition onto Propel HR Time, however, went very smoothly and I was comfortable with it after just two or three pay periods. Since implementing the application we’ve even been able to start using direct deposit.”

Intuitive Reporting

“We use the application for everything: time off requests and accrual balances, bonuses, scheduling, reports, the list goes on,” noted Merrit. “Because our payroll packet is so large, I need to generate weekly reports involving financials, hours and pay rates. It’s really beneficial, for instance, if minimum wage increases, we can quickly run a report for all those employees making minimum wage and use mass edit capabilities to alter their pay rate.” A detailed audit history keeps track of modifications, additions and deletions within the system.

“Additionally, we have a lot of departments ranging from the drivers to clerical employees to marketing. So, it’s nice being able to run those reports and group labor dollars by each department,” said Merrit. With Propel HR Time, Merrit has access to over 50 standard reports within the application.