CASE STUDY: Herman Miller, Inc.
- Keeps employee-related administrative costs flat despite growth
- Improves reliability and accessibility of information with unified systems across the organization
- Supports environmental initiatives by migrating to paperless processes
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES
COMPANY PROFILEHerman Miller provides services for inventive designs, technologies, and related services that improve the human experience wherever people work, heal, learn, and live. Its ingenuity and design excellence create award-winning products and services, resulting in more than $1.6 billion in revenue in fiscal 2011. Innovative business practices and a commitment to social responsibility have also established Herman Miller as a recognized global company. In 2011, Herman Miller again received the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation’s top rating in its annual Corporate Equality Index and was also cited by FORTUNE as the "Most Admired" company in the contract furniture industry.
THE CHALLENGESPreviously, Herman Miller was using a hosted HR/payroll solution provided by a payroll service bureau. However, the service bureau didn’t deliver the cohesive functionality, technology, and access to records that Herman Miller’s HR leadership wanted in order to improve its processes. With outdated mainframe technology, inflexible deadlines, and lack of control over critical information, Herman Miller determined its best course of action was to review the marketplace for a new vendor.
THE SOLUTIONWith a large and growing workforce, Herman Miller’s HR executives wanted to facilitate expansion, control expenses, and enhance services to employees. Herman Miller purchased UltiPro in 2006 and rolled out employee self-service, including Web functionality for benefits enrollment, access to current pay details, and the ability to view year-to-date compensation history.
UltiPro’s self-service provides employees with quick, easy access to their personal HR/payroll data, regardless of their shift or time zone, because information is available 24-7 via a Web browser. UltiPro’s self-service is also a means for HR departments to address the needs of employees without adding staff because employees have the tools to serve themselves.
“With UltiPro, we have a comprehensive HCM solution that brings years of best practices for processes, compliance, and more. Ultimate Software knows our market size well, and just as we look for customers who we think of as partners, we wanted to select an HCM provider who we viewed the same,” said Laura Williams, senior manager of eHR & payroll for Herman Miller.
“We have a goal to utilize as much of UltiPro’s self-service as possible so that we can keep our internal customers happy and ensure that the HR team remains as lean as possible. Since we started using UltiPro, we have much less tactical work on our plate, and we were able to realign resources to much more strategic and value-added activities.”
By giving employees ownership, Williams has seen significant improvements in data integrity. Because employees can see and edit individual contact information, benefits choices, and beneficiaries, they can help ensure data is accurate. HR/payroll associates also can evaluate gross-to-net calculations before paychecks are issued so potential problems can be avoided.
UltiPro’s comprehensive functionality, with robust payroll capabilities and real-time reporting, is contributing to vast improvements in the precision of work-related facts. “With UltiPro, the information we provide to employees and executives is more reliable, and we can maintain a high-level of accuracy and generate reports faster than ever,” said Williams.
Since Herman Miller uses the UltiPro portal for its employees, the furniture designer and manufacturer does not need to print documents, such as employee forms, handbooks, and company news, because these can be conveniently accessed via the Internet from home or work PCs or through one of the company’s 50 kiosks for those employees who are without computer access. In 2007, the company stopped printing direct deposit advices because these are now available on UltiPro. Although the company is saving more than $50,000 annually in printing and mailing, its primary goal was to reduce its carbon waste. As a company value, Herman Miller seeks to make the world a better place through supporting environmental advocacy, volunteering time, and contributing to nonprofit groups.
“It’s part of our legacy that our founder D.J. DePree stated back in 1953: ‘Herman Miller will be a good corporate neighbor by being a good steward of the environment.’ So we plan to move as many processes as we can from paper-based to electronic with UltiPro,” said Williams.