The Challenge

The complexity of the Canam environment, together with its management philosophy, is such that the group has always developed its payroll system in-house, until now. Over the years, the technological evolution and support for this “in-house” system has become increasingly challenging. In spite of the high degree of satisfaction the system enjoys in-house, Canam has determined that it would be advantageous to outsource the payroll system so that it can concentrate its activities around IT development.

With its highly skilled in-house capabilities regarding HR and payroll management, Canam began to search for a replacement system as of 2013. Some well-known service providers initially considered were found unable to match the functional coverage and performance of the existing system.

The company also met with certain service providers that offered solutions unable to adapt to Canam’s planned development. Since several complex collective agreements structure the compensation of Canadian employees, the solution being sought had to allow for flexible, adaptable and highly detailed configuration. Finally, due to its strategic position in the market, an important criterion for Canam was quality of service: Canam wished to be treated in a personalized manner and given priority, rather than being seen as just another client among so many others.

Why choose SOFE | Berger-Levrault?

After having considered several service providers, Canam chose the SOFE HR & Payroll solution. The solution was able to meet the complex requirements of Canam, while at the same time, the possibility of parameterization and the solution’s flexibility were important selection criteria.

In addition, SOFE’s proximity, expertise, employee stability and long history, as well as references from other clients, proved to be key elements in the decision differentiating SOFE from other available solutions. Canam was also encouraged by the simplicity and clarity of its interactions and communications with SOFE, an essential criterion given the very mixed experiences in this area with other suppliers in the past.

The Solution

Canam began the project by phases to ensure a gradual migration toward the payroll system. However, it rapidly became obvious that the scope of the first phase, limited to replacing the payroll calculator, had to be extended to the employee files and then, subsequently, to both fringe benefits and training, so that Canam could take full advantage of the potential of the SOFE HR & Payroll solution, as quickly as possible.

The Benefits

While Canam had to use two systems in the past, the SOFE HR & Payroll solution came unified in a single system, thus increasing productivity and reducing the need for support for two systems.

Canam is thus able to see the HR data linked to the system in real time, an essential element for HR decision-making and management. As with the former in-house solution, it is fortunately still possible for Canam to decentralize certain activities by plant, in order to maximize efficiency and autonomy. It is still possible to process simple requests through the system without the intervention of the corporate payroll team, thus increasing productivity further. Berger-Levrault was also able to adapt and support the company during acquisitions, modifications of accounting rules and plant management at a distance, thus ensuring ongoing accompaniment with Canam.


Canam Group is the largest manufacturer of steel components in North America and has specialized in the design of construction solutions and the manufacture of customized products since 1961.

10,000 projects

Canam Group takes part in an average of 10,000 projects every year in one sector of activity divided into three groups of products and services: buildings, steel structures and bridges.

23 plants

The company operates 23 plants across North America.

4,250 people

The business employs 4,250 people in Canada, the United States, Romania and India.



Senior Director, Human Resources, Canada
Canam Group Inc.

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