Privately-held and family-operated McKee Foods Corporation has been cooking up delicious snacks, cereals, and pastries in North America since 1934. Best known for its Little Debbie® brand of snack cakes, McKee also distributes granola bars, fruit snacks, and cereals under its Fieldstone®, Heartland®, and Sunbelt® brands. McKee distributes its products primarily in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and military bases around the world. The company has a deep commitment to its employees and embraces core values of quality, business integrity, and delivering exceptional value to customers.
Before discovering Workday, McKee maintained and supported a 14-year-old ERP system for its human resources and payroll management. Once state-of-the-art, the system had become cumbersome and difficult to use as the company′s needs changed and as employees increasingly leveraged the Web to get work done. From an HRIS standpoint, the complexity of the system had forced workarounds. Rather than developing expensive custom code to automate business processes, McKee relied on paper-based processes and bolt-ons to their ERP system to bypass its limitations. As a result, McKee′s HR and Payroll organizations often duplicated efforts and stored employee information in multiple locations. At the same time, costs associated with maintaining and supporting the company′s enterprise application increased beyond McKee′s expectations. “Every year, our HR system became more and more expensive. There was a constant need to update, patch, fix, and upgrade the system we were using,” says Mark Newsome, senior corporate HR manager. “We would have spent twice as much on our next ERP upgrade as we spent on the previous upgrade—and that is a conservative estimate.”
McKee focused on finding a flexible, modern solution that could reduce that IT burden, put HR business processes online in a way that fit their operations, and deliver the type of contemporary “Web” user experience their team expected.
McKee is live on Workday Human Capital Management and Workday Payroll with almost 6,500 employees across the U.S. and Canada. With the new deployment, the IT demands and recurring costs of their old ERP system are a thing of the past.
“We expect to see a tremendous impact to our bottom line by deploying Workday,” Newsome reports. “The savings come from no longer maintaining and supporting the infrastructure
of an on-premise application, and by automating processes that used to take significant time and resources from the HR team. We truly are doing more with less and we fully expect to quickly recoup our investment.”
McKee has also been able to build automated workflow, eliminating many of the paper ‘workarounds′ from the prior system and improving employee′s work experience and productivity. Pay raises, transfers, and many other business processes are now automated for managers and their teams. “Our vision is to remove as many paperbased processes as we can…and Workday is one of the primary enablers in reaching this goal,” says Newsome. With Workday′s built-in workflow, McKee is now able to configure, modify, and monitor its business processes. “As a result,” claims Newsome, “HR will be much more productive and managers will be happier with quick and easy online transactions—and less paperwork.”
With a large portion of McKee′s workforce located in manufacturing plants and a distribution center, many employees have limited experience with business applications. Workday′s “Web 2.0” user interface looks and works more like a consumer application, so it is easy for people to get things done with little or no training because it works more like Amazon.com or Google than a traditional enterprise application. In addition, the on-demand architecture means McKee employees can gain access from any location with a good internet connection.
“With Workday, we have applications that work more for the enduser, making it possible for employees to find information and get things done easily,” says Newsome, “and just as importantly, we are providing the functionality so they can access it not just from a workstation in the office or in a break room, but even at home. It is especially helpful for things like benefits open enrollment, which should be very easy for most everyone.”
Newsome talks about the new solution transforming McKee′s HR organization as Workday enables business processes to begin with the end user—not the HR department. “We expect most of our employees are going to embrace the Workday solution and are going to enjoy the simplicity of Workday′s user interface,” says Newsome. “Instead of HR sending out forms, for things like changing addresses in the system for employees, HR is now the recipient of an online self-service transaction initiated by managers or employees.”
McKee Foods utilizes direct deposit to distribute more than 350,000 paychecks per year through weekly payroll cycles. Since Workday HCM and Payroll share the same foundation, many of the business processes that feed Payroll are now automated, resulting in fewer duplicative transactions. In the past, McKee relied on paper transactions to feed the payroll processes. Now many of those same processes are completed on-line, in real time.
Workday has made it possible to support HR and Payroll across McKee′s entire operation, including production facilities and distribution centers in four states. Workday′s innovative calculation engine lets McKee define specific earnings, deductions, accumulations, and balances. “This is a great example of how we believe Workday is going to help us improve more of our business processes and payroll transactions over time,” says Joyce Maxfield, Payroll Manager, “and this is a great foundation for us to build upon our future.”
McKee has also instituted an across-the-board, 100 percent electronic delivery of all payslips, meaning the only way employees will be able to view and print their payslips is by logging into Workday. By providing electronic payslips in Workday instead of the customary hard copies, it makes it possible for McKee Foods to reduce the cost of running payroll each week and helps McKee play a part in conserving our natural resources as well.
Newsome has been “blown away” by Workday′s commitment to McKee′s success. “In my 27 years at McKee Foods, I′ve never had a software vendor be so concerned about our interests as a customer. Workday always says, ‘let′s talk about it and see if we can help you get there.′” he says. “It′s the best customer service I′ve ever experienced with a software vendor.”
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