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Avon swaps Oracle PeopleSoft for Workday cloud HR, speeds staff hiring process

Scott Carey | May 26, 2016
By shifting to a new "process driven" system like Workday, Avon saw key HR activities like hire time reduced from six days to four, and terminations from seven to five, globally.

Cosmetics giant Avon has shaved two days off of key human resources (HR) processes like hire and termination time by implementing the cloud-based Workday solution in place of a mix of PeopleSoft and legacy systems.

Speaking to Computerworld UK at the Workday Elevate conference in London today, commercial business and global HR portal lead at Avon Helen Gowler said: "We had to either decide to invest in the system we currently had, and upgrade and rollout [or change to Workday]. What was critical to that was our global core processes, and actually they were quite clunky."

"So we moved to Workday because it aligned with our strategic pillars, because it was an intuitive user interface, cloud based, it had version control."

By shifting to a new "process driven" system like Workday, Avon saw key HR activities like hire time reduced from six days to four, and terminations from seven to five, globally. That's defined as the time it takes from initation of the process, to the moment that data updates in the system.

Avon employs nearly 30,000 people across 60 countries and was an early adopter of the HR system, initially deploying Workday across 44 countries in April 2014 followed by the last 16 in September. Avon has now deployed the Workday human capital management (HCM) module worldwide; as well as advanced compensation, talent and performance.

Deployment

Pre-deployment, the American direct-sales company was working with the sort of mix of HR systems that many large organisations will be familiar with. This included an overarching system of record through a three-versions-old instance of Oracle's PeopleSoft system in half of the 60 regions and home-grown legacy systems in the other half.

These legacy systems were running twice-monthly CSV data dumps, so the possibility of bringing the system into a real-time reporting cycle was pretty compelling to Avon.

Then in 2013 Avon looked to change its strategic focus around organisational effectiveness, simplification and growth, and a change of HR system was part of that process.

The company is currently in process of moving its headquarters to the UK and cutting 2,500 jobs, as part of a three year turnaround plan, according to the BBC.

The move to Workday was driven by HR and supported by the IT team at Avon. "We work with IT on a constant basis with interface management or change requests, so actually it is imperative that they have the skill level within Workday to support those elements," says Gowler.

Financially she says that there was a compelling business case made for switching to Workday, and that came with significant cost savings, but wouldn't be pressed on specific figures.

Analytics

 

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