Customer Story

LECOM Leverages UKG Ready for Greater Insight, Streamlined Processes

  • Provides extensive workforce data, giving managers insight into employee activities and trends

  • Supports easy tracking of employee time devoted to grant-funded activities and special events

  • Delivers workforce management efficiencies that save staff time and improve productivity

LECOM customer story

Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) is a private graduate school of medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy with a main campus in Erie, Pennsylvania, and other campuses in Greensburg, Pennsylvania; Elmira, New York; and Bradenton, Florida. LECOM is the nation’s largest medical school and the only osteopathic academic health system in the country.


LECOM had been using paper timecards to track employee time but encountered numerous issues. Employees, even those working the second or third shift, often noted their lunch break every day as 12:00 to 12:30 p.m., an incorrect accounting of their actual break time.

As part of a healthcare system, LECOM moved to that system's information solution, but it didn't adequately meet LECOM's timekeeping and other workforce management needs, from Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) tracking to easily performing audits of labor information.


Following the recommendation of the healthcare system's solution provider, LECOM implemented UKG Ready® to meet its people management requirements.

One of the reasons LECOM selected the solution, said Aaron Susmarski, JD, Institutional Director of Human Resources, EEO Coordinator, and Title IX Coordinator at LECOM, is it enabled the organization to steadily implement the solution while building employee adoption a group at a time on each shift.

He added that another reason for choosing UKG Ready is its simple user experience. He also noted that ease of use and solution scalability were critical when LECOM added the dental school with its 400 employees, something that he said would have been very difficult without an automated solution.

“We took a culture that was reluctant to change, and we got people to change. And now I don't know how we could live without [UKG Ready].”

Aaron E. Susmarski, JD

Institutional Director of Human Resources, EEO Coordinator, and Title IX Coordinator


All salaried and hourly employees punch in using UKG Ready, with many punching in at their computers. Salaried exempt staff, including professors, clock in for safety reasons, such as if an emergency or lockdown occurs, so officials know who is on campus. Although LECOM typically has 900 to 1,000 employees, during the pandemic the number dropped to about 800 when students were remote and student workers were not on campus tutoring, working in the library, or completing research.

LECOM's doctors, who visit any of the organization's 27 medical practices, and other staff who travel to different sites and campuses, can use the solution's mobile app to punch in. Employees also can check their leave balances and request time off using the mobile app or a computer.

Shortly after the implementation of UKG Ready, Susmarski used the solution to complete labor studies. "UKG has enabled us to better track employees to make sure people are doing the work they're supposed to do," he said. "It enables us to see trends."

He noted they have been better equipped to track FMLA cases. They also could see staff members who weren't punching in but who were collecting large salaries, and they could determine which supervisors were ineffective in managing employees according to the organization's rules and policies.

"We've been able to better manage overtime too," he said. "Before, we couldn't track it, we couldn't understand it. Now, we have real-time analytics and can run a report right away."

He claimed the solution also helps them educate employees about overtime labor laws as well as see who may be abusing overtime. In June, when students aren't on campus, staff overtime might raise a red flag and warrant further investigation. A burst pipe in the summer could certainly lead to overtime by maintenance personnel, but an administrative assistant has little reason to be working overtime when school isn't in session. "The solution helps us track this and figure it out," he said.

UKG Ready has provided insight into quarter-hour rounding rule abuse. Some employees consistently clock in shortly after their start time, and the solution rounds back. He said that data on this practice can indicate which employees aren't dedicated to their jobs and might be considering leaving, or those who perhaps are experiencing other challenges. Armed with this information, supervisors can address individual staff retention and turnover before they become issues, or they can prepare to replace departing staff.

During a Department of Labor investigation, LECOM used its UKG Ready solution to provide extensive information to investigators. The same was true during an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission inquiry. "It does help when you have that much data," said Susmarski.

Easy access to data has been a tremendous benefit in tracking and reporting on employee time spent on grant-funded projects. LECOM receives numerous grants, including receiving a $7 million grant during the pandemic to conduct all COVID-19 testing in northwestern Pennsylvania and train facility staff on testing procedures.

Special pay codes enable LECOM to track staff time devoted to specific grants as well as time working special events, such as graduation, the white coat ceremony, and the scholarship auction. Schedules can be adjusted so staff members working special events don't incur overtime.

The efficiency gained with UKG Ready has created significant time savings, enabling LECOM to add employees without adding more HR/payroll staff. When Susmarski first conducted a time study of HR staffers, they were spending 60% to 70% of their time on payroll, leaving them little time for other activities. Now, they are spending less than 10% of their time on payroll and have more time to devote to employee training, compliance, and strategic tasks. "It opens up more time to listen to employees and to adjust the focus more on benefits, which is what retains employees," he explained.

In summarizing the major benefits LECOM has realized with UKG Ready, he said first is the amount of time saved by front-end users because of the ease of using the solution and time saved by payroll staff who aren't spending significant time fixing timecards and completing other tedious tasks. The number of calls to HR to request time-off balances and other information also has dramatically decreased. And finally, he noted the value of end-user reports that provide helpful analytical data on the workforce and trends.

"We took a culture that was reluctant to change, and we got people to change," he said about using UKG Ready. "And now I don't know how we could live without it."

Your better tomorrow starts today

Learn how our HR, payroll, and workforce management solutions help you achieve a better work experience for all your people.

Learn more about our award-winning culture