Kristen Winikoff

Senior HR Business Partner, The Little Potato Company

Supernova Award Category: 

Future of Work: Human Capital Management

The Company: 

The Little Potato Company was co-founded in 1996 in Edmonton, Alberta, by CEO Angela Santiago and her father, Jacob van der Schaaf. They offer several unique varieties of creamer potatoes that are carefully grown and hand-picked for their delicious flavor, color, nutrition and versatility. The story of The Little Potato Company stems from Angela's father, a Dutch immigrant to Canada, who longed for the small creamer potatoes of his youth. With a small test plot, the father and daughter began to test the market by harvesting potatoes. The success of their first crop earned them many fans, and demand quickly overtook their modest supply. In 2000, the first plant was purchased and was operating a total of 30 employees. Today, they've expanded to 408 employees in Canada and U.S.

The Problem: 

Through a winning combination of outstanding quality, incredible people, and a commitment to help feed the world better, The Little Potato Company has expanded at an extraordinary rate. Today, it employs 408 employees, with a 128% increase in overall staff count and a 317% rise in remote staff over the past two years. As the company grew, it also outgrew old systems and processes.

A lot of the time for the HR team was spent tracking entitlements manually using excel spreadsheets and storing HR information in paper form, including critical policies and procedures. With employees having no visibility into HR data, they were struggling to keep their remote staff engaged, especially those who were managing direct reports. As a result, hundreds of employees would repeatedly visit HR with questions on time and attendance. Without the visibility of hours worked and earned entitlements, employees were not confident in requesting time off without knowing their available balances. The process to access HR information or to make any changes (e.g. address) at the employee level was all manual entry and very time consuming; formal requests had to be made in person, by email or phone call, including questions about a specific payroll policy or procedure. Additionally, if HR personnel made changes to an employee's benefits or file it would not be reflected in the current system, thus the team had to input information into multiple places, duplicating efforts.

The Solution: 

The Little Potato Company was looking for a solution that would help them add new staff quickly, recruit talent, onboard staff into their amazing culture, and manage the employee lifecycle efficiently. They describe their old process and decision to move to Dayforce below:

Our payroll process was manual, with HR spending a full day authorizing time in a separate system from where payroll was submitted, manually entering time off requests, making changes to hours, and following a tedious process to ensure all changes were captured. We needed a solution that would enable us to keep everyone engaged with the large volume of data being moved and requested by employees who had no access to their personal data. These interconnected problems led us to choose Dayforce. With Dayforce, we got the single human capital management platform that we desperately needed to help us meet our strategic goals, continue our journey of growth, and make work life even better for our people.

The Results: 

Simply put, Dayforce has saved The Little Potato Company time and empowered their employees. Implementing Dayforce has also enhanced how they communicate and interact with staff.

There has been a complete overhaul in employee engagement and morale as staff can update their own personal information, submit time-off requests, review schedules, hours worked and make benefit elections. Visibility to this information wasn't available before and employees can now access information with greater ease - all without the need for paper.

In the past, much of the interaction had been slow and tedious, now Dayforce enables quick posting of company announcements around new hires, new positions, and HR updates through the messages functionality on the platform, as an additional way to reach staff. At The Little Potato Company, there are staff from 34 different countries, most speaking English as a second language, and with a large number working remotely or in a warehouse, the mobile app has had a tremendous impact on employees. The user-friendly nature of the Dayforce app has also made it easier for staff who frequently travel to access their information or approve requests for staff in an instant.

At a corporate level, the HR team has earned back precious time to focus on strategic issues. These range from optimal workforce planning to cultural and program planning to ensure the firm is ready for continued growth while staying true to their roots and family values.


Dayforce is a solution that has allowed The Little Potato Company to focus on their true passion of delivering a great culinary experience, while the HR team can provide an amazing customer experience by engaging employees with culture and not administrative processes.

Dayforce has saved countless hours for the HR team by streamlining processes. Tasks like processing payroll that used to take 14 hours to review and approve manually and on payday, now take an average of 6 hours per week (for an organization of 400+ employees). A further 3 hours are saved bi-weekly through: removing the manual entry of employee/employer retirement-saving contributions to payroll, changes to member/new members in the benefits portal, and personal employee changes.

Beyond time savings, Dayforce has increased employee engagement considerably with 90% of staff actively using the mobile app regularly. Also, since a majority (76%) of the staff are being paid on an hourly basis, employees can just check their hours and pay on their smartphone. Employees have a higher job satisfaction being in control of their own information and apply changes when needed. The biggest win was making entitlement balances visible; as a result, staff are not having to wait for hours or days, like in the past, for answers from HR and can find what they need within the system in an instant. Increased employee engagement has helped enhance the workplace culture and job satisfaction at The Little Potato Company.

The Technology: 

The Little Potato Company uses Dayforce, Ceridian's flagship cloud HCM platform, providing their team with Payroll, Benefits, Document Management and Workforce Management functionality. The Little Potato Company is potentially looking to expand further into the Dayforce Talent Management Suite of products as their company continues to grow globally and their people needs grow with them.

Disruptive Factor: 

The Little Potato Company has become a more efficient and competitive business with the adoption of a completely modern and innovative HCM single solution through Dayforce. This move to Dayforce is a message to employees and prospects that they are well positioned for future growth. While there was significant training at the offset, employees now appreciate the increased transparency and communication, along with the independence and freedom that Dayforce has brought to their work lives.

With such a diverse and international workforce, and for many understanding English as a second language, the biggest hurdle was to see if they would buy into Dayforce. The impact has been extraordinary with staff excited to access everything, from pay stubs to schedules, on their smartphones; a stark contrast to a time when everything was manual and needed to be carried out face-to-face. Employees are also pleased to have complete knowledge and full visibility into their entitlement balances, and many have shared that they are more inclined to take time off from work, knowing they have vacation days to use.

Shining Moment: 

This was the firm's "shining moment" adopting Dayforce:

Our industry is predominantly occupied by workers with English as a second language. Communication has long been a challenge. By knowing that we could adapt Dayforce to meet our needs and help us communicate with our people effectively (through the message centre) in multiple languages - accessible through a mobile app - was a huge win for the firm, as a lot of them don't even have an email address.

About The Little Potato Company

The Little Potato Company passionately focuses only on Creamer potatoes. Creamers are nutritious, fully mature and naturally delicious little potatoes coveted by foodies and families. Their exclusive and colorful Creamer varieties are available in produce sections across Canada and the US. The family-owned company celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2016.