5 Steps Manufacturers Can Take to Achieve Global System Ownership


Managing a global workforce is complex and challenging, and it requires consideration of a variety of country-specific factors such as time zones, cultures, languages, and labor laws, just to name a few. Luckily, your global workforce management solution helps you stay on top of these factors and drive business outcomes. However, if you have multiple instances of the solution, you’re limiting its full potential. And, if your multiple instances are on-premise, it makes things even more challenging. 

There is a better way. Moving to a single, centralized solution in the cloud can help you better handle your workforce management needs and reap the benefits of global system ownership.

In fact, while UKG customer Komatsu, a leading manufacturer and supplier of earth-moving equipment technologies for the construction, mining, forest, and manufacturing industries, was upgrading their solution, they migrated their various instances globally into a single instance in the cloud. By doing so, Komatsu has experienced the positive impact of global system ownership.

Here are 5 steps – each with a tip from Komatsu’s own journey – that manufacturers can take to achieve a single enterprise database in the cloud:

1.    Define key elements of success. Create a team of internal solution experts and stakeholders and engage executive leadership to ensure support on the initiative. Komatsu TIP: Be sure to include your workforce management vendor and any supporting partners to help consult on and manage the project! 

2.    Decide where to begin and follow a timeline. 

  • To put all employees under one instance, the team must first identify which configuration each employee belongs to and ensure there are no duplicate employees or badge numbers
  • Consider starting with your most challenging region first knowing that you, while testing and getting ready for go-live in one region, you will have to simultaneously support the region which is already live.
  • Develop a realistic timeline and (try) to stick to it. Things can change quickly, and priorities sometimes shift (2020 taught us that) but it’s important to follow a timeline so that everyone knows what they are doing and when.
  • Komatsu TIP: Pick one region to be your baseline to ensure the correct naming conventions are used.

3.    Leverage subject matter experts (SMEs). It’s important to ensure that you are using the correct configuration, including languages and country- or region-specific labor laws, so be sure to collaborate with SMEs in each country to help ensure you get them right. Komatsu TIP: Use a subject matter at each site in each country or region as sites can operate differently from others in the region.

4.    Analyze each instance’s configuration. As a team, double-check each country to ensure that only relevant elements of the old instances are added into the new configuration. Komatsu TIP: Standardize the look and feel of the new instance so that all employees have the same user interface and experience.

5.    Develop a change management strategy. Upgrading a companywide system can be difficult for employees, so to guide them through the process and address their questions openly and transparently. Komatsu TIP: Create and distribute educational material that includes comparisons between the old and new versions. After doing so, Komatsu found that employees felt positive about benefits like reduced costs and labor and not having to maintain hardware and software.  

By consolidating your workforce management solution globally, you can:

  • Streamline policies and processes since various instances have their own distinct processes
  • Save your IT department substantial time and energy that could be put to more strategic and productive use
  • Achieve a single source of truth to easily find information and create a dashboard or report
  • See cost savings from owning one instance as opposed to several, which would require more support
  • Improve the employee experience by having an intuitive and consistent solution for all employees

Bottom line: Global system ownership leads to greater visibility, more agility, and better business decisions.


Be sure to read more about Komatsu’s journey to learn why moving to the UKG cloud was one of the best decisions Komatsu made for its workforce management

Read about Komatsu's journey here.