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Janine Milne

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Case Study: Inchcape Shipping Services standardises global HR to boost efficiency


Inchcape Shipping Services is in the process of standardising its HR processes in a bid to boost efficiency and better understand its workforce across the 67 countries in which it operates.

Rapid growth and global expansion meant that the maritime services provider had so far failed to introduce global HR or any other IT systems for that matter.
But it is now rolling out the first in a number of worldwide offerings in the shape of Workday’s Software-as-a-Service-based human capital management applications as part of a wider business process standardisation effort.
The aim with its HR revamp is to make corporate and personal goals clearer to staff and to implement a standardised approach for measuring and monitoring whether those goals are being met.

ISS’ chief HR officer, Camilla Aitchison, said: “The system has enabled and supported the strategy of the business and leverages our global growth. We have visibility of everybody in the company.”

The idea is that each staff member should now be in a position to see how they contribute directly to the organisation’s performance. To this end, they are set clear strategic goals and targets in order to make it easier for managers to link rewards with performance.
Chocolate biscuit version
The system also means that senior executives have a better idea of the organisation’s talent pool to help them in succession planning, while employees are able to evaluate the skills required for specific roles in order to help them build up their capabilities in that direction if desired.

“We’ve launched what I call the ‘chocolate biscuit version’, so people can go in and manage data and do performance stuff for 2013,” Aitchison explained. “Next year, we’ll build in more capabilities and more succession and talent management – the ‘chocolate gateaux layers’.”

As to why the firm opted for a SaaS-based offering, the aim was to ensure that the internal IT team did not have to divert resources away from other areas in order to support in-house software. “We were looking for something that was scalable and easily adaptable as the HR strategy and business strategy changed,” Aitchison said.

Another key consideration was learning and development. Because the roll-out was a global one, it was deemed important to find an offering that was usable with minimal amounts of training. Even so, before the system was launched, Aitchison made certain that each line manager had used it and run a test business report.

But the offering is expected to start paying for itself quickly. For example, ISS calculated that to produce a global absence report used to take 72 hours and cost $5,000, while to do so now can be done automatically in real-time.

The system was initially rolled out to 468 line managers in 67 countries in November, but the plan is to extend this to 3,500 staff this month.


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