Hilti’s HR Transformation Unlocks End-to-End Efficiencies

When the global manufacturer couldn’t find HR document management system that suited its needs, the HR transformation team worked with Workday Extend expert, Kainos, to build something completely new and innovative.

Hilti’s HR transformation unlocks end-to-end efficiencies

Even when the business case is crystal clear for moving beyond a subpar status quo, summoning the energy and urgency to initiate change can be a major hurdle – especially at global organisations grappling with complex operating environments across geographies.

That was the case at Hilti. The Lichtenstein-based company, which manufactures and sells products to the construction and building maintenance industries in more than 120 countries, implemented Workday Human Capital Management (HCM) in 2018. The change proved so successful that the HR team soon added talent management and compensation solutions to support its 32,000 employees worldwide.

Yet document management was far more fragmented – and even analogue in some locations. SAP, SharePoint and paper printouts were all in the mix, as different markets made use of disparate systems. Then, opportunity struck in the form of an immovable deadline. When Hilti leaders decided to discard an SAP HR module used by local entities for document storage, it presented an opportunity to modernise document management across the entire company.

“We were always clear about the functional requirements we needed at a high level,” says Zuzana Rozkosna, HR Global Project Manager at Hilti. “We needed to cover document generation, electronic signatures and document storage. Everything linked, everything flowing from one path to another, automated. And it had to be as little manual work as possible in terms of security, data protection, and compliance. Our ultimate goal is to make the life of HR teams easier, not more difficult, and be more transparent toward our employees, giving them access to their own documents.”

“We needed to cover document generation, electronic signatures and document storage. Everything linked, everything flowing from one path to another, automated”

Zuzana Rozkosna HR Global Project Manager Hilti

At first, the company’s HR transformation team worried that finding a single solution capable of meeting its lengthy list of tailored requirements might prove tough. The team looked at external vendors, but those would involve implementing and managing yet another software system, introducing serious drawbacks, like a disjointed user experience and slower data integration. Workday HCM didn’t immediately seem to solve Hilti’s custom requirements, like locally owned document templates and customised document access privileges.

But then Hilti began to explore the potential of delivering this capability inside Workday, using Workday Extend. They began working with Kainos, a leader in the development of Extend apps, who had heard similar document management challenges expressed by several other customers. Rather than building a custom app to solve Hilti’s challenges alone, it was agreed that Kainos would build a robust, configurable document management system inside Workday. With this approach, Kainos could both address Hilti’s requirements and develop a product to help other customers facing the same issues.

Kainos worked hand in hand with Hilti's HR transformation team, transforming their pain points into what became  Kainos Employee Document Management, the first end-to-end document management product of its kind available for the Workday environment, which has since been approved as a packaged solution by Workday.

“The potential value was clear, in terms of leveraging existing systems and delivering a consistent end-user experience, Rozkosna says.”

“It enables us to have one system, build everything together. We can be compliant. We can meet all the functional requirements. We can increase the efficiency of our HR administration teams. We can empower our employees.”

Zuzana Rozkosna HR Global Project Manager Hilti

Local control, global integration

With its transformation vision top of mind, the Hilti and Kainos teams moved forward focused on three key areas: template management, document generation and document storage.

In terms of template management, the solution enables local HR team ownership and management – no need for global HR or IT to be involved. Specific team members can be given access to certain templates across a range of document categories, e-signature types and workflows.

The solution provides “all the possible templates HR teams are working with from the whole employee lifecycle, from hiring, job changes, compensation change, termination, employee relations – anything you can imagine,” Rozkosna says.

Because templates are fully integrated with Hilti databases, document generation requires far less time or manual work. “The Workday data are pulled into placeholders. The user can review it, adding manual data on top if they have to,” Rozkosna explains. “They can do last-minute adjustments and then the generation continues with the workflow for e-signatures.”

Once signing is complete (thanks to a DocuSign integration), the app stores documents automatically, drawing on information entered into the template and awareness of the document type. “So the HR team members don't have to touch it. The documents are stored and displayed in a structured way,” Rozkosna says. “We even have a special HR-only category for HR team members, so HR can see the document, for example, not the employee. And we have very detailed security metrics built with information about who can view and/or modify different documents. The level is super granular.”

That granularity also helps Hilti easily freeze files to satisfy legal and HR requirements around things like sick leave, parental leave, or termination. In the event of litigation, “we can push a button so that documents cannot be deleted by accident and cannot be purged until the legal hold is lifted,” Rozkosna says.

“This document management solution is really something that is so imperative to our business. Having this use case and this experience now opens the door for us to look at how else we can use it.”

Charlotte Okosun Hilti

The transformation journey continues

Hilti’s transformation team is rolling out Kainos Employee Document Management in phases, beginning with the 11 countries impacted by the SAP service decommissioning. Employees in those countries began using the new solution in late 2022, with the full roll-out completed over the next two years.

Kainos Employee Document Management provides a comprehensive, efficient platform for HR teams. It is a testament to the power of collaboration and innovative thinking. As a Workday-approved solution, it now stands ready to assist other organisations in overcoming their document management challenges, just as it has done for Hilti.

For other organisations undertaking a similar transformation, Okosun offers a word of advice: “Do your prep work before you start the project,” she says. “When you think about all the things that you need to take into consideration – like legal requirements, document retention, data protection, in all of the different countries – really allow yourself the time to be able to manage all of these different topics.”

That upfront planning and prep is now paying off, as the Kainos Employee Document Management scales across the company. But Okosun is clear that Hilti is just getting started, when it comes to tapping the full value of its future-ready DMS.

“As an organisation, we're already looking at what else we can utilise it for,” she says. “This document management solution is really something that is so imperative to our business. Having this use case and this experience now opens the door for us to look at how else we can use it.”

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