The Challenge

Having traditionally developed its human resources management tools in-house, QSL wished to migrate toward a development solution with an outsourcer, in order to modernize its best practices and concentrate on its core activities. In 2014, the stevedoring firm, with its in-house expertise supported by a specialized consultant, formalized its requirements and analyzed the HR solutions available on the market.

While QSL held quality of service to be essential, it quickly realized the added importance of proximity and personalized service. In terms of functionality, the close link between HR and payroll management quickly became apparent and was added to the selection criteria, in addition to training and skills management. With regard to payrolls, as the 700 QSL employees in Québec are members of 13 union locals spread over 30 sites, the system being sought had to match the particularly complex requirements.

The Solution: SOFE HR and Payroll

The ability of the SOFE HR and Payroll solution to manage the complex payroll calculations as well as all HR processes was decisive for QSL.

Its ability to adapt was also an important factor: as QSL’s needs evolve in terms of skill management and time management, more SOFE modules can be used. The proximity of the SOFE team, its high degree of specialization and personalized approach also contributed to the choice of the solution, as well as its experience with other private companies in the industrial sector.

The Advantages

Following an implementation process which took place in a close collaboration with experts from Berger-Levrault, the SOFE HR & Payroll solution allowed QSL to benefit from a solid environment for the management of Employee files, processing the Payroll and keeping track of fringe benefits. As the entry modules for time and approval are integrated, it allows for decentralization to multiple points of service.

For QSL, the SOFE HR and Payroll software covers much more than just issuing pay. The parameterization and scope of the functionalities facilitate monitoring of training, and the application of the provisions of complex working conditions. Access to the scalable portals of the SOFE HR & Payroll software offers autonomy to employees, whether for reporting time and absences, or viewing information related to their job. Managers can approve and allocate resources, all in a secure environment.

The Benefits

Implementing the SOFE solution led to the elimination of intermediaries in the payroll process by allowing employees to enter their work times autonomously, while increasing the precision of the data at the same time.

For example, in certain cases, the same QSL employee might carry out three different tasks each day, with three different wage brackets, management of which is now controlled by the SOFE system, which provides a high level of detail and history. This progressive redefining of QSL activities related to improving processes allows the risk of error to be reduced, efficiency to be increased, but also focuses the activities of the QSL HR and payroll departments on supervision and enhancement of HR actions, rather than on data entry and management.

In addition, QSL now has a history and level of details and significant codification of its HR and payroll activities that permits analysis and continuous improvement.

Lastly, SOFE is able to support the progressive objective of decentralization and autonomy at its different stevedoring operations. The success in implementing these processes has led to greater management efficiency and allowed QSL to improve the competitiveness of its service offer.

About QSL

QSL is a world-class maritime terminal operator and stevedore. Founded in 1979, the company is based in Québec and has 30 maritime ports across the province. Its vessel loading and unloading operations extend to the Great Lakes region and the Maritime provinces.


Port terminals across Quebec


QSL employees in Quebec




Michel Thivierge

HR Adviser

“We have done business with a team in solution mode that gave us their full attention and allowed us to implement the payroll system successfully. In particular, we appreciated the quality, expertise and outstanding diligence of the Berger-Levrault team. We are pleased that this important step in modernization has allowed us to increase our efficiency.”

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