One HR landscape – one team: how allnex harmonises global HR with a strategic move to the cloud

allnex (DE), a global leader in industrial coating resins, had an ambitious goal after the big merger with nuplex: to drive efficiency by centralising and standardising all of its global HR processes.

Header allnex success Factors

Moreover, the company wanted to align its HR practices with its strategic goals – in all countries around the world. A cloud-based HRIS was the best option. Allnex teamed up with Flexso to implement SAP SuccessFactors, a choice driven by Flexso’s expertise and their best practice approach.

From Europe to southeast Asia, China, Australia, the US and Brasil: allnex employs around 4,000 people in 30+ countries around the globe. As the company is active on all continents due to countless mergers and acquisitions, the HR department faced great differences in company culture, HR processes, compensation strategies, employee benefits, needs, etc. On top of that, a plethora of systems and tools were used for payroll and reporting.

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Building the foundations for HR as a global, strategic business partner

The lack of integration made it difficult for allnex’s HR team to work effectively. Processing timesheets, calculating wages and employee bonuses, obtaining a single, consistent view of payroll data: it’s a time-consuming job when you have to collect data from different systems around the globe. “The headcount reporting at the end of each month was a darn tough job. We needed more automation, more self-service features, etc.”, says Lieve Vanderhaeghe, compensation and benefits director at allnex. “Moreover, the software that a portion of our countries were using had reached end of life and was not GDPR compliant.”

On top of that, the HR team wanted to align HR practices with the company’s strategic goals – to become a true partner to the business. To build the foundation for this strategic evolution as well as speed up HR processes and reporting, allnex decided to invest in a centralised, cloud-based HR information system.

Petra zimmer

“Allnex opts for a policy that places the employee at the heart of its operations. SuccessFactors fits in with this because its design revolves around the needs of employees and managers.”

Petra Zimmer - HR director at Allnex

Best-practice approach

Flexso proposed implementing SAP SuccessFactors because of its clear advantages (people-centric, cloud approach, powerful functionality, great look and feel). Allnex chose Flexso for their expert knowledge and the Accelerator for SuccessFactors approach: an all-in-one solution featuring best practices for a wide range of processes and topics. As allnex did not have a lot of global HR processes, they were keen to adapt to the standard practices. “We wanted to keep the SAP SuccessFactors setup relatively light, adjust business processes according to best practices and limit localisations, as that accelerates progress and safeguardes agility”, Lieve Vanderhaeghe explains. “The more you tweak, the more maintenance is needed.”

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Change management to maximise user adoption

Thanks to the best practice approach, the HR Core (Employee Central) and recruiting modules were up and running in merely eight months, in all allnex countries across the globe. Only four months later, Compensation and Performance were live and the Onboarding and Learning modules are in use as well.

Allnex successfactors change management

While the implementation process was smooth, the need for proper preparation and extensive change management was high. Allnex invested big in high-quality communication, webinars and change management initiatives to maximise user adoption and the use of self-service apps and tools.”The new solution offers benefits to HR, management as well as every employee. We have been highlighting that from day one,” says Lieve Vanderhaeghe. “To ensure worldwide adoption, we brought HR leaders together in workshops, gauging their opinions and listening to their needs.”

Lessons learned by the allnex team during the project

  • Plan your journey carefully, gain the commitment of leadership and set out clear objectives and priorities.
  • Plan ahead: start data conversion early, as it takes quite some time to upload your historical data into the new HRIS.
  • Don’t underestimate the need for change management. Start early.
  • Put your best people on your HR transformation project – but always provide enough staffing and project expertise to support them.

Fostering best-in-class HR with no boundaries

Today, allnex HR personnel have global responsibility and enjoy the benefits of streamlined processes and self-service tools. Instead of having to consolidate data from many different local payroll systems, they can now run their headcount with one click. Even more, the speed at which HR-related information becomes available to managers has been enormously boosted. Managers can now independently generate data sets from the HR KPIs they want to analyse in a user-friendly and automated way.

In addition, the many different, local recruitment and selection processes have been replaced by one global process and the group has harmonised its performance management across countries. HR business partners now set up cross-border calibration sessions to discuss employee evaluation scores from an international perspective. This greatly helps the HR team step up to the plate and answer the call for more strategic HR.

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