Powered by a brand name found in households around the world, Chiquita Brands International is a leading international marketer, producer and distributor of quality fresh fruit, processed fruit and vegetable products. As Chiquita conducts business worldwide, it maintains a large, distributed workforce in over 70 countries making it a truly global company.
Before implementing Workday Human Capital Management, Chiquita managed its unique organizational needs within three legacy HR systems. As Chiquita’s operations expanded, those systems could no longer support the company’s diverse, global enterprise. Chiquita had developed modern, flexible organizational structures to compete in different regions and markets around the world, but its aging systems could not accurately reflect those structures or Chiquita’s HR processes. Access to HR and business information had become so challenging that the IT team was regularly on-call to run basic reports, and Chiquita’s HR organization used paper-based processes to work around the systems’ other limitations. In addition, the IT organization faced ongoing updates and maintenance just to keep three systems up and running.
CIO Manjit Singh had two primary objectives for a new HR system of record: it had to be global—capable of supporting the company’s worldwide growth—and it had to reduce the IT burden of the current systems so his team could focus on initiatives more strategic to Chiquita’s operations. At the same time, Chiquita’s HR organization wanted to increase their strategic impact on the organization. They wanted a system that could provide a global view of the organization’s people and processes as well as real-time reporting, enabling the HR team to focus on its role as a strategic, consultative partner to the organization.
Chiquita went live on Workday HCM with 5,000 U.S.-based employees and 500 managers across 42 countries in October, 2008. With additional phased roll-outs scheduled for 2009 and 2010, Chiquita will deploy the new system to more than 18,000 Latin America-based employees and close to 3000 employees throughout EMEA. Workday’s on-demand architecture means Chiquita can roll out the system worldwide from a single instance, eliminating IT hassles. The system’s flexibility means the HR organization can build in the business processes and organizational structures to support the company, while maintaining a single global view of Chiquita—even as the company grows and changes in the future.
By implementing Workday HCM, Chiquita has consolidated its HR operations onto one global system of record. With Workday’s built-in workflow, Chiquita is able to easily configure the solution to support its worldwide operations without the hassle of writing custom code. For example, Chiquita is able to implement different organizational models for each country. “In one country, we may use a traditional organizational structure where all department heads report to the country’s general manager,” Singh explains. “But in another, we may alter the structure and have a marketing manager report to the regional marketing director. Workday gives us the flexibility to make these changes employee by employee, rather than imposing a structure upon us. Additionally, the agility of the system allows us to enable changes in business time, without programmers or IT support.”
Workday’s built-in reporting and analytics ensure that Chiquita’s executives and end-users alike always have access to meaningful and usable information from which they can take direct action. “Within Workday, I can run reports from any screen and easily gain insight into what is happening within the organization,” says Jennifer Fitzpatrick, director of Human Resources. “I have the ability to click on data and continue to dig deeper for additional details and related tasks. I can create charts, filter and take action directly from any report all within seconds of logging on.”
In addition, Chiquita has eliminated many manual, paper-based transactions. “Events such as salary increases required a series of paper-based approvals,” recounts Michael Carter, manager of HRIT. “In one case, authorization for an increase in an employee’s salary had been through three levels of review when we discovered that the paperwork was missing…obviously that was unacceptable from an HR standpoint, but most importantly from an employee standpoint. That same authorization was the first transaction that we entered into Workday. Within seconds, the decision makers within the business process were notified of the pending transaction and the approvals needed to award the increase were complete.”
With Workday, Chiquita now has a worldwide view into its people, processes and reports, providing the support needed to perform day-to-day administration of HR related functions. “With Workday, I can get a sense of how our business processes are working, in real-time, worldwide…and in just a few seconds,” says Fitzpatrick. “That means I can spend my day as an HR manager having strategic, consultative discussions with my business partners.” CIO embraces on-demand technology
Singh came to Chiquita with an objective to integrate the company’s technology objectives with business goals, helping to fuel the company’s next phase of growth. Leveraging on-demand solutions has been a significant part of that transformation. Chiquita was among the first global corporations to select and deploy an on-demand system of record and Singh was recently named to the Computerworld 100 for Chiquita’s use of on-demand solutions as well as InformationWeek’s 15 innovators to watch in 2009.
While there are risks associated with any type of new technology, Singh explains that “on-demand software operates on a different paradigm from traditional ERP software systems, making vendor accountability an essential part of the service itself. Workday manages all of our upgrades, patches and fixes so that we can take advantage of enhancements to the system with minimal effort on our end. Software-as-a-Service transfers the burden of technology management from the customer to the vendor and enables IT organizations to focus on areas of business innovation and growth.”
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