Case Study: Motorola implement a new human resources system

When an international firm asked Anderson Consulting to devise a new human resource package, savings of £2 million a year were...

When an international firm asked Anderson Consulting to devise a new human resource package, savings of £2 million a year were made

In 1997, Motorola decided to replace the paper-based system it used to process human resource and payroll information. As error prone and inefficient as this paper-based system was, more serious was the lack of standard human resources practices. Motorola SPS operates in over 50 countries and has 30 factories worldwide, including sites in the US, Europe and the Far East, and it was proving hard to track varying human resource policies in different territories.

Motorola SPS approached Andersen Consulting to devise and implement a new system that would solve these problems.

The human resource system that Andersen Consulting envisaged would be required to perform two main tasks:

( To collect and process human resource and payroll information

( To allow both managers and employees access to this information

"Our ultimate goal is to build a global human resources system infrastructure in which managers and their employees can use the human resources system, along with third-party service providers, to process human resources-related data." Andersen Consulting.

To provide a consistent base of human resource information worldwide, Andersen Consulting recommended the use of SAP's R/3 Human Resource System version 3.0 as the software standard for processing employee and payroll data. During the 16-month duration of the project, Andersen also acted as advisor in the configuration of the system, establishing a base of operations within Motorola SPS to handle employee training and collect information from vendors.

The use of a single method of processing data brought Motorola one step closer to standardising human resource transactions. Now, employee data from any international territory could be processed and stored in the same way. The new system also allowed Motorola to centralise all its human resource data for the US in a single facility - the Service Centre in Phoenix, Arizona.

However, this was only one aspect of the project. To allow managers and employees to access this data, a custom network had to be designed. This was dubbed ENET - The Employee Self Service Network.

ENET, an intranet-based, system was devised with two main functions in mind. On one hand, employees were able access their own personal data using a web-browser. On the other, managers were able to check and approve the status of personnel transactions such as a change in job or salary. Additionally, ENET was also designed to link other types of information including career development materials, details of courses in the Motorola University and documents on company policies.

As standardisation of human resource policy was such a key area of concern, ENET was designed to check data automatically, ensuring a common format was established, reducing the need for manual data validation.

Crucially, adopting an intranet based application such as ENET allowed Motorola SPS to establish an International Human Resource policy, defining set practices in areas such as salary adjustments, departmental changes, processing new employees and changes in status of current employees. Any changes in human resource policy could now be implemented simultaneously in all territories.

Between 1997 and 1999, the new ENET/SAP system was established in all Motorola SPS territories including sites in the US, Hong Kong, Europe and the UK. The initial Andersen Consulting development team of 16 was reduced to a support team of six.

Motorola SPS is expected to save approximately £2 million a year by reducing the amount of time required for basic administrative tasks in human resource departments.

Updates of the ENET are currently being planned to include greater facilities for processing more specific employee data such as personal skills or languages.

"The way Enet has changed the way I interact with my managers and employees means that I have 100 per cent faith in being able to provide information that I know is available and accurate. It creates a lot of pride in the human resources organisation and energy around promoting this system. I'm not afraid that Enet is not going to deliver, it already has." - John Morgan, human resources manager, Motorola SPS.

Richard Pitt

 

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