Puma finds the right fit for its people with Workday HCM

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As the third largest designer and manufacturer of sportwear in the world, Puma has seen successful 12-15 percent growth in all but three years since 2000.  

Given geopolitical and macro-economic uncertainties, as well as the impact of the pandemic on mental health and business operations, the sportswear goliath wanted to ensure its people were supported in the best ways possible in the workplace. Puma aimed to solve as many problems for its people as possible, as well as finding, training and retaining talent and supporting standard HR processes such as diversity. 

Working on the go for the employee 

After attending Workday Rising in November 2016 in Barcelona, Puma chose to partner with Workday as its preferred HR solution globally, signing in January 2017.  

With most people in Puma working in retail or warehouses in decentralized units, the mobile elements to Workday enabled Puma leaders to maintain access to employees on the go. Using a singular system provided a good quality of real-time data and the user experience available meant that limited training was required for the end user, only the managers.  

Dietmar Knoess, global director of people and organization at Puma, oversees the entire Puma ecosystem of people and buildings globally, and said: “Why not SAP or Oracle? When we looked at it for us, it was not finding a solution for us HR people, but more a solution for people and the managers. If you just want to map the processes you already have, then Workday is going to be painful, because it’s not how Workday is designed to work – it’s for the manager and the employee – not the HR people.” 

With Workday, the programs help us take care of people, and we can offer more help as an employer”Dietmar Knoess, global director of people and organization at Puma

Despite experiencing a high turnover of implementation partner consultants mid-project, 12 within three months, the go-live was only delayed by a month, and Workday HCM and reporting was live for Puma after seven, as well as payroll in US and Canada. For payroll elsewhere, Puma chose to stick with Sage in France and SAP in Germany. 

THE leading solution taking care of Puma’s people  

Now, a self-proclaimed happy Workday customer since 2017, Puma has 20,000 employees using Workday across 55 countries.  

“Workday is THE lead system for us. Even the IT guys are quite happy about it because we have data consistency across the organisation. If the person isn’t in Workday then they don’t exist,” said Knoess. “It’s really quite intuitive, the way that you use it. From a training effort we really had minimal investments, and from the feedback we hear ongoing since the implementation, it was the right decision. 

“The biggest thing for me now is how to take care of the mental wellbeing of our people. With Workday, the programs help us take care of people, and we can offer more help as an employer. There are a lot of nice features that are already there to help you flag some behaviour or change to give an indication about the mental wellbeing of people.” 

Automating processes with Workday, HR managers are more process managers and orchestrators, with the employee and the manager empowered to take action. Time consuming tasks like providing a long list of data to managers, manually importing spreadsheets and sending long emails with information are now obsolete for Puma, replaced with dashboards and real-time data. IT resources have been saved and applicant tracking is also much easier but – most importantly for Puma – the mental wellbeing of its teams is better too. 

Next, after the announcements from Workday Rising in Stockholm, Puma will be looking to Peakon to give a greater voice to its employees.