How TC Group modernised their HR function with SenseHR

TC Group is a leading provider of office and education furniture services. They joined SenseHR in 2024, because their old HR system was outdated and slow.

John Crowley • 
How TC Group modernised their HR function with SenseHR

Established in 1993, TC Group is a long-standing and leading provider of innovative services and technology to the office and education furniture sector. One quick glance at their catalogue shows how keen they are to stay modern, relevant and stylish.

Catherine Edge is something of a veteran within their organisation. Having worked there for over 10 years, she has seen how the company has worked hard to keep ahead of the times, and deliver modern-day furniture excellence for their clients all across the UK and Europe.

But when Catherine made a career shift into HR, she realised that an outdated HR system was holding them back with some of their internal processes. So we decided to catch up with Catherine to find out what she did about this, and why.

“Our HR system was 10 years old”

When Catherine became the HR manager for TC Group, one of the first things she noticed was that their HR system was a little outdated. And although it had done a good enough job a decade earlier, it was struggling to keep up with TC Group’s incredible growth.

“We have over 100 employees on our books, and we were using a system that had been in place for more than 10 years” she says. “It was basic, required a lot of manual processing, and just didn’t suit our growing business. We needed something built for the modern world.”

The biggest issue with her old system, was the lack of customisation and the lack of automation. Not only did her system struggle to grasp the way her organisation did things these days – it seemed to force them to do everything in a very rigid and old-fashioned way – but it also required a lot of repetitive human input.

“There were no affordable options that included customisation”

Catherine quickly began engaging with newer HR software providers, to find an alternative to their outdated system. But although she found several good options in terms of basic automation, she noticed that many of them still lacked customisation.

“The only systems that let us really customise things, were the complicated and expensive systems designed for bigger enterprises” she says. “We needed something straightforward and easy to use, and at a price more suitable for the budget of a smaller organisation.”

So, with no good affordable option out there, she resigned to the fact that she would need to use a supplier that lacked customisation, one that simply ticked most of her boxes instead.

Until she stumbled on an advert for SenseHR.

“SenseHR felt like a system that had been built just for us”

“I’d never heard of SenseHR” she says. “But I liked what I saw. It looked like it was actually built for this decade – so I thought I’d best check it out, before signing a contract for a system that only did 90% of what we needed.”

The TC Group’s HR team took a short tour of the SenseHR system, and they quickly realised that it filled the gaps they had been struggling to fill.

“We had a surprisingly honest chat with the sales team” says Catherine. “They were honest about the things the system didn’t do, which to be fair were quite trivial things that we didn’t really need anyway. But the things the system did do were incredible!”

After explaining to SenseHR how their team worked at TC Group, HR software expert Michael Dowdle showed them how they could customise the software to work hand-in-hand with their unique processes.

“The SenseHR system seemed to just ‘get it’” says Catherine. “I was surprised at how much we could do with a couple of simple tweaks – suddenly, SenseHR felt like it was a system that had been built especially for us and the way we liked to work. We were amazed!”

“The team behind SenseHR have delivered leading HR systems in the past”

Of course, taking a leap of faith with a brand new name was perhaps the most difficult decision for Catherine to make. She was happy with the software and delighted with the way she could customise it to her way of working – but she was still a little cautious about choosing a supplier she had never heard of.

Michael Dowdle, one of the SenseHR experts who worked with TC Group, explains:

“Catherine didn’t want to implement a product that was here today and gone tomorrow. And we get that – it’s your reputation on the line, and you’re responsible for choosing a system that’s going to stand the test of time and work for your company. But what a lot of people don’t realise when they see the Sense brand, is that although this product is new, our team has actually been building HR software for the last two decades.”

In fact, the team behind SenseHR were responsible for building two of the leading systems, back in 2008 and 2013 respectively.

“Those systems were great, for their time” says Michael “but the world of work has changed. With SenseHR, we decided to totally re-think the architecture that the software was built on, which is what makes it so suitable for such a modern and diverse world of work.”

“Implementation was easy and free”

Catherine decided to implement SenseHR for TC Group, and she has not looked back since.

“Implementation was smooth” she said. “It didn’t cost us any extra, the team kept us up to date the whole way through, and even though we had a load of questions, we never felt like we were being a pain.”

“Our employees now enjoy a smoother relationship with HR”

Catherine and her HR team are now using SenseHR to run their company’s HR function, and their 105 employees are enjoying a smoother relationship with their HR department as a result.

“Our employees enjoy booking their own holidays, and managers love how easy it is to grab the details they need from team member profiles” says Catherine. “We’re still tweaking a few settings and customising some of the options, but it’s been an absolute game changer for us. Every time we run into a challenge where we were previously saying ‘we wish our HR system could do it this way’… well, so far, we’re finding that it actually can!”

And with the basics now taken care of – a holiday booking system for her employees, and an HR information system for her HR team – Catherine is looking forward to customising the system even further, and to take advantage of some of the other features, too.

“We’re looking forward to getting started with e-Signatures for documents” she says. “This is going to totally remove some of our slowest and most annoying processes, and it will make chasing up contracts and policies so much easier.” 

To get your own personalised demo of SenseHR, you can book a meeting with one of our experts here.