Using Workday wisely, with an eye to the future

“Cambio made such a good decision to go with Workday . . . it’s been an amazing journey.”—Steffi Sylvester, Solutions Manager

Ease of implementation at a pace set by business needs

Streamlined access to up-to-date information

Consistent upgrades and improvements to meet emerging needs

Strict data-access controls for heightened security

Until a few years ago, Cambio Healthcare Systems AB had no HR system in place. According to the Swedish company’s Solution Manager Steffi Sylvester, this was an increasingly important issue for the organisation, which is one of Scandinavia’s leading providers of innovative healthcare solutions.

As she says today, “There were no systems at all for managing our human capital, meaning HR was doing everything on Excel spreadsheets and generating mounds of paperwork. The legacy system we were using in Finance, meanwhile, didn’t always provide the security we were looking for, so it was decided to look for new solutions covering both areas.”

Implementing a sustainable solution for the long term.

After a brief period of research, the decision was taken to go with Workday as a one-stop solution – and Steffi is 100% confident that this was the right move. “The journey with Workday has been amazing,” she says. “We really benefited from having no HR solution in place to start with, meaning we didn’t have to transfer huge amounts of legacy system data. It also meant we could take baby steps, tweaking and configuring as we went, creating skinny business processes and ensuring it was sustainable over the long term.

“This also meant that Workday was highly appropriate for a relatively small business like ours, with around 950 employees and 150 contingent workers. You don’t need to employ thousands of people to implement Workday – just make sure you use it wisely wherever you think it meets the needs of your structure.”

Workday gives us the opportunity to build skinny business processes, keep everything simple, and let the system configure according to how needs evolve.

Steffi Sylvester, Solutions Manager

A planned approach to ‘delivering something amazing’.

From the earliest days, the Cambio implementation team had a firm eye on the future. As Steffi Sylvester puts it, “Every time you implement a system, you have to look at what other additions you can bring along. So on the HR front, we went first with just Human Capital Management (HCM) core, and have subsequently added Learning and Performance.”

It’s proven to be an approach that has, in Steffi’s words, delivered “something amazing from a human resources perspective. The HR team finds using the system really efficient. They now have the option to do everything in one system and on just one platform. It’s very secure. You can see what’s been done. You can get it to go ahead and make changes wherever needed. And it’s always on the go – everything is just a click away.

“Now, if one of our people changes location, it’s the work of a few minutes to update everything that’s necessary because all the information is in one place. And even if you have to make other significant changes, you have options to add all the documentation and signatures you need. In terms of the time that’s being saved, it’s amazing from a human resource perspective.”

That’s far from all. “You also have the ability to grab a report any time you want,” she continues. “A report that gives you live data and real-time information – it’s one of the biggest leaps forward we’ve made since the days when we had no system at all.”

When security is “the key to everything…”

The advances made by Cambio’s Finance team are no less significant than those achieved in HR. “Initially, we went with Financials before adding Adaptive Planning,” says Steffi Sylvester. “And again, the results have been outstanding.”

In her view, the primary steps forward have been in the connected areas of auditing and security. “It works very well for auditors,” she says. “It’s easy for them now to look into journals, into insights, invoices, customer references – whatever they need to see.  

“But I think security is the key to everything. With our old Finance system, anyone in the company could access just about any report they wanted to see. That’s not sustainable, and ultimately would make us non-compliant. Now, with Workday we have a set-up where project managers can access what they need, but they cannot access everything. We have the proper controls in place, based on the requirements of different user groups, that mean specific reports can only be accessed by authorised project managers, or business-unit managers, or business controllers.”

And the system is highly flexible too. According to Steffi, “When we gave our auditors a complete view of Workday, they were somewhat blown away with it all, because they no longer have to ask us if we have particular files or references. They can go straight there.”

I’m a big fan of the Workday Community portal: is there anything I can learn from other customers? Is there anything I could give back to them from my implementation experience?

Steffi Sylvester, Solutions Manager

Driving improvement through constant learning…

Looking to the future, Steffi Sylvester is adamant about the need to keep on top of changing needs and what is in the Workday pipeline. As she says, “Just because you’re live and focusing on day-to-day activities doesn’t mean you can ignore the upcoming release from Workday. 

“Also, you must keep asking questions and learning. I’m a big fan of the Workday Community, I always reach out and ask questions, and it’s important we all connect with one another to understand how we have set up the system and overcome challenges along the way. With the Community, Application Management Services (AMS) partners, and regional user groups, there is a massive amount of support available.”

And she expects even more in the near future, in the shape of new and emerging AI and Machine Learning (ML) solutions. “We’d all like everything to be more efficient, to involve less manual work, with more task-oriented actions being driven through AI and more insights using ML.

“I am trying to learn everything I can about this at the moment, and Workday has built a microsite with a great deal of information on it about the capabilities that are becoming available. This is my homework right now, and I would recommend anybody to look into it and learn all they can about what’s coming.”

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