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HR HERO:  JD Downing, Williams Lea

Solving Global HCM Challenges Using Cloud Technology

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Effective HR technology is critical to today’s businesses, and JD Downing at Williams Lea is a shining example of how outstanding work can make a tremendous impact on an organization. She has been a star player in providing higher levels of services to the company’s multinational employees and supporting overall business operations.

Williams Lea, Inc. is a global provider of business process outsourcing (BPO) and marketing services, with more than 3,500 employees in 200 locations in the U.S., Canada, India, and several countries in Central and South America.

Before going live on UltiPro in 2008, the company had been using multiple, disparate methods to manage its dispersed workforce—payroll processing with a service bureau, different systems for both benefits enrollment and recruitment, and a combination of forms and spreadsheets for performance management. As a result, HR teams and company leaders were very limited in achieving optimal human capital management (HCM), especially with its global resources.

Downing, director of HR technology at Williams Lea, has worked diligently to transform the company’s people management by leveraging the full power of UltiPro—helping consolidating the company’s HCM for all the countries it serves; empowering its dispersed, primarily remote workforce with quick access to information; and streamlining a range of administrative processes.

“We have a widely distributed workforce that works in many time zones all over the world, and we’re very happy that we are now providing all of them with instant access to their personal information—wherever and whenever they need it,” said Downing.

“For example, we have an HR team in India that supports our U.S. operations and, as far as their ability to communicate with us and get their work done, our India-based associates could be in an office around the corner.”

“If we had an HR system on our servers, we couldn’t use our offshore team. Leveraging cloud technology gives us significant freedom and flexibility, and now our teams are making the most of our resources because we have eliminated the obstacles that used to get in our way.”

According to Downing, one of the primary benefits of Ultimate’s cloud technology is the convenience it offers the company’s thousands of employees—75% of which are remote and do not sit at a Williams Lea computer.

“Now we can better meet the needs of our diverse workforce. Our employees with a nontraditional schedule can use a single login to manage their own information and access the latest company news via kiosks, mobile devices, other computers, or from home,” said Downing. “Employees have the flexibility to get things done without having to wake up in the middle of the night to contact HR when there is a question or when info has to be updated.”

Downing is also taking advantage of UltiPro’s easy-to-configure platform to meet unique or changing business requirements. “We have established different business rules and settings for each country where we have employees, and one of the best business benefits is that our multinational employees are now connected and aligned to our business no matter where they are because of our HCM technology.”

Congratulations to JD for her exceptional work in using HCM technology to solve complex challenges!