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Travelex replaces 26 legacy HR systems with global Workday deployment

Matthew Finnegan | Aug. 8, 2014
Travelex has consolidated disparate HR systems onto a single Workday cloud platform, helping reduce costs through streamlined recruitment processes.

Travelex has consolidated disparate HR systems onto a single Workday cloud platform, helping reduce costs through streamlined recruitment processes.

The foreign exchange firm, which supports 8,000 staff across 30 countries, began a project two years ago to overhaul its ageing HR systems, spread out geographically across its operations.

"I had the mandate to radically transform and digitise our employee experience," said Gareth Williams, group HR director at Travelex.

"What that meant was moving away from our legacy systems — a mixture of spreadsheets and archaic systems — and streamline as much of that as we could."

He added: "By the end of the transformation there will be around 22 percent of [HR] operating costs that will have been reduced."

Legacy systems

The company had previously relied on a variety of HR systems, including a fifteen year-old Ceridian implementation in the UK and US, ADP in France, as well as Excel spreadsheets throughout other parts around the world, such as Australia.

The previous systems created a number of problems for Travelex, such as generating inaccurate data with no 'single version of the truth' regarding staff headcount or cost per employee, explained Williams.

"We had basic things go wrong like not being able to pay people on time and accurately in some parts of the world. We weren't able to allow employees to participate in the regular types of activities — such as applying for internal opportunities, or the opportunity to be part of leadership and talent programmes and development," he said.

"But the primary driver was the inefficiency cost of having so many legacy archaic systems," he said, adding that bureaucratic and complex managment processes which could take weeks to complete are now resolved within 'minutes if not seconds" with Workday.

"So, for example, new starters or when someone leaves the business, holiday requests, managing the compensation processes, talent management — all of those basic processes, which organisations perhaps take for granted, were affected."

Cost reduction

The deployment has already shown cost benefits since going live with Workday in the UK, ahead of a launch in North America and continental Europe in the coming weeks, says Williams.

Reducing the average time for staff recruitment from 45 days down to just eight by automating processes could potentially result in 'millions' of pounds of savings, for example.

By moving away from paper and Excel-based records, the margin for error for its £228 million payroll spend could also be reduced.

The process improvements have in part been enabled through the creation of a central HR hub in India to "fully leverage the Saas technology", providing support for the Workday implementation globally, as well as services such as recruitment and payroll admin.


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