Founded in 1940, the Allentown, Penn.-based Air Products first became an SAP customer when the company determined its highly customized payroll system in the United States could no longer be supported and its HR system in Europe was inadequate for its current and future needs. "The effort was led by our CIO, Joe McMakin, who recognized the need for a global, integrated human resource/payroll system," says Gary Tyler, director of the mySAP HR implementation at Air Products.
When it came time to select HR software to help manage its employee data worldwide, the company went through a very rigorous evaluation process. "We had close to 85 people from HR, IT, and payroll--both in Europe and the United States--evaluating the software," says Tyler. "It came down to PeopleSoft and SAP. SAP was the clear winner."
The choice to go with SAP was based on the software’s global reach and also on its ability to meet the company’s requirements. "We wanted to reengineer our business processes worldwide with mySAP HR to take advantage of the best practices incorporated in the design of the solution," says Tyler.
Air Products quickly saw the value of the comprehensive SAP®offering and began taking advantage of the Internet-powered solution’s wide range of capabilities--such as employee self-service (ESS). "We’re extending employee self-service to countries that never had access to this type of tool, enabling all employees to become stewards of their personal information," remarks Tyler. Air Products is also running mySAP HR capabilities such as training and events management, appraisals, compensation planning, human resources planning, manager self-service and workflow and has developed a global time entry capability through the cross-application time sheet (CATS) functionality. mySAP HR also enables the HR team members to focus on what they do best. "They can bring more value to the job and have a greater impact, rather than having to spend time on transactional and administrative tasks," says Tyler.
The company also uses mySAP HR to ensure that its employees are making the most of their talents--and that they are placed where they can bring the most value. "With mySAP HR, we can collect information about employees’ relative performance and career potential, and then consolidate it on a global basis," says Tyler. "With mySAP HR we can identify talent pools, perform analyses, and make better, quicker, more thoughtful decisions about the deployment of our employees. It has been a real advantage to the company to have that capability."
All in all, having a highly integrated HR system has added value at the company. "Having a single system, streamlining our processes, and gaining some consistency of process--all of which help reduce mistakes and increase productivity--translate into a reduction in costs," says Tyler. "We captured a tremendous amount of savings and value as a result of putting everything on a single system." The implementation has gone quite smoothly, and SAP has proven to be a solid partner.
Workforce, July 2003, p. 64 -- Subscribe Now!