South Africa

How Adcorp is investing in platforms that support the future of work

Zameer Ahmed
HR Executive: People Enablement
Adcorp Group
4 mins

Growth offers enormous business opportunities. Investing in and Building the Adcorp Group, both organically and through strategic acquisitions, ensures that as a business we are able to offer our customers end-to-end staffing solutions that support all their human capital needs.

However, with growth comes added challenges and complexities, and to ensure that we can support our employees and drive new levels of efficiency and ownership across highly fragmented systems that are the result of growth, Adcorp Group has invested in global best-of-breed solutions. 

Spearheading this integration strategy is the implementation of Workday, the only global enterprise application delivered in the cloud that unifies human resources, benefits, talent management, payroll, and time.

investing platforms infographic

Streamlining unwieldly and complex system

When Zameer Ahmed, HR Executive: People Enablement, joined Adcorp to oversee the Workday implementation, he found an enormously complex IT landscape. Each of the Group’s 16 distinct companies had differing approaches to IT, systems and process.

Ahmed offers one key example that is indicative of the whole: 95 different leave of absence rules were in place – the complexities the project team were facing weren’t just across the Group, they were within business units as well.

“This is just one small example of far too many rules for a single system to manage, and when we take into account every HR, finance and operational process that makes up one business, let alone a Group, the result is chaos.”

Selecting Workday meant that Ahmed and his team could entirely redesign the Group’s approach across all HR-related matters. In the case of leave absence rules, for example, there are now just two rules in place.

“This not only makes everything far easier, it’s also saving the company millions of rands because people can manage their own leave. This means they are more aware if they are at risk of forfeiting their leave, dramatically reducing our leave liability and ensuring the well-being of our employees is being taken care off. That’s just one example of many such instances across the Group.”

Finding one solution to rule them all

When in 2019 Adcorp began the journey of implementing a technology refresh across the Group to support the business’s growth strategy and replace it’s separate HR, finance and operational systems, our leadership team was determined to deploy the clear best-in-class solution for these respective areas.

“All our research indicated that Workday was the right solution for our HR team,” says Ahmed. “No other platform delivered the same level of functionality and integration. In particular, incorporating the different HCM modules meant our data intelligence would be at a far higher level.”

Of course, implementing a project of this size is extremely complex, and the global pandemic striking just as Adcorp was poised to begin the implementation of Workday made it more so. As well all know, South Africa went into complete shut-down. 

“The first week of implementation was horrendous,” says Ahmed. “But because Workday is a SaaS solution, we could be flexible and innovative. We initiated a new plan, which mitigated COVID’s impact on the team and enabled us to implement Workday on time and within budget.”

The way Workday is configured means its users can continually evolve,  and get the best available solutions to support our people objectives.

Configurable to our precise business needs

Over the past two years, business has experienced just how user-friendly Workday is. For example, it is easy to tweak Workday’s design to meet precise requirements.

“To start with, there is a great base to work from,” Ahmed says. “We’ve found the simplest solution is to implement Workday’s ‘out the box’ process, which is built on international best practice, implement it, and then figure out what we want to change based on our specific needs and processes. We have sat in design sessions to agree exactly what we want, and then found that we actually only need to change around 20% of what’s already in place.”

For the business, this is incredibly empowering, because it means that Ahmed and the teams involved don’t need to continuously reach out to consultants for help. “We are fully enabled to run and manage our system,” he says.

Ownership and support across the Group

Above all, Ahmed has found that leveraging Workday functionality is creating a better working environment across the business.

“You can really manage your people well,” he says. “When you are able to integrate your talent, your performance, your pay, your equity and your diversity, you can tell a better overall company story. Workday is truly holistic, giving us everything we need in one system, one place.”

Support for Workday is enthusiastic across the group, Ahmed continues, with a strong sense of ownership. “Our people are increasingly using Workday as a verb—they say ‘I’ll just Workday that!’—and refer to it as ‘our’ system. I think that’s great. It shows our integration strategy has really worked at every level.”

Find Out more about how Adcorp is investing in the future here

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HR Executive: People Enablement
Adcorp Group

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