Inverness Medical is a major global provider of advanced consumer and professional medical diagnostic products that target more than 100 different disease states or conditions. By developing new capabilities in near-patient diagnosis, monitoring, and health management, Inverness Medical enables individuals to take charge of improving their health and quality of life. The company is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, and has annual revenues of $840 million.
During a rapid series of strategic acquisitions, Inverness Medical recently faced the challenge of finding a common HR system that could help its new businesses maintain their unique structures while operating as part of a single, cohesive company. Inverness Medical turned to Workday for help in putting strategic information at its HR organization’s fingertips. After uniting more than 10,000 employees on a single, global HCM platform, the company can now deploy people to support the company’s number-one goal: innovation.
Inverness Medical is proud to bring multiple new products to the market every year, and the company is deeply committed to continuing the tradition of innovation. A key component in this strategy is to rapidly grow its product family through aggressive acquisitions. Since 2005, Inverness Medical has acquired nearly 20 companies, collectively creating the largest product portfolio in the industry.
“Inverness Medical is not purely focused on acquiring products. The real commitment is to continue its leadership in innovation, and that can only be done by bringing brilliant, talented people into the Inverness family,” says Teresa O’Kelly, Principal Consultant with Knowledge Infusion, which developed the initial strategy that led Inverness to Workday, and is now supporting the project management.
By the end of 2007, after a rapid series of acquisitions, Inverness Medical found itself with more than 13 different systems of record in the U.S. alone. The company had a strong hold on its new product lines, but it was nearly impossible to gather and analyze information on thousands of new employees joining the company in such a rapid fashion.
“It took six days to determine something as simple as corporate headcount,” says O’Kelly. “Each organization had to create its own spreadsheet and send them to headquarters to be consolidated and analyzed. It was a lengthy, manual process just to determine employee headcount. It was impossible to obtain any additional, decision-making data.”
One of the newly-acquired companies, Biosite, was familiar with the issue of manual HR management. In the year prior to its acquisition, Biosite had worked closely with Workday in developing the vendor’s first Human Capital Management system. The product had been live at Biosite for several months.
“We had been exactly where Inverness was a year before,” says Kristin Ferrara, Senior HRMS Analyst, Inverness Medical, formerly with acquired Biosite. “At the time of the acquisition, we were already seeing demonstrable results from our new Workday implementation, and we couldn’t imagine life without Workday. The more we told the Inverness Medical executives about the system, the more they liked it. They saw Workday not only as a way to bring critical HR information into a single system, but also as a way to unite new employees and make them instantly feel like an important part of a single, well-run company.”
Workday will soon be the standard solution for all Inverness Medical companies around the world. The first round of implementation, was completed in July 2008, and included 2,500 employees in the U.S. Additional rounds will include newly acquired U.S. companies as well as the beginning of a global implementation cycle. The currently goal is that by the end of 2009, more than 10,000 employees around the world will be using the system. “We completed a very complex implementation in only 7 months,” says O’Kelly. “That includes all the data cleansing—which is the most time-consuming element given the different systems involved. Workday’s on-demand platform makes it easy to add thousands of employees from each of the acquired companies at once—no other system would be able to handle that much information so easily. And we know we can bring any future acquisitions into the system just as quickly.”
“Workday will deliver a huge benefit by letting our executives produce headcount reports on the fly,” adds Ferrara. “As economic times get tough, we can carefully manage our teams to make sure we have the right people aligned with the right opportunities and keep staffing levels aligned with the market. It really enables the HR team to provide a strategic resource for the business.”
Using a common HCM platform will enable newly-merged Inverness Medical employees to share information freely as they work towards common goals. Managers will be able to create their own real-time views of important employee information. Employees will use a familiar, Web 2.0 environment to make open enrollment elections. HR staff will have the complete, timely information they need to advise executives on long-term workforce planning issues. “In the past, if the HR department wanted to know an employee’s salary, they literally had to go ask Payroll,” says Ferrara. “The fact that HR didn’t have data at their fingertips limited their ability to provide strategic counsel to managers and executive leadership. Workday gives HR accessible, reportable information that will help them collaborate with company leaders to drive innovation and increase shareholder value.”
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