Based in Stockholm, Sweden, Essity is a leading global hygiene and health company dedicated to improving well-being through its products and services. The company sells its global brands in approximately 150 countries. Its largest sales markets are the United States, Germany, China, France, the UK, Spain, Mexico, Colombia, the Netherlands, and Italy.
Although Essity had been using an on-premise UKG® Workforce Central® solution at its locations in the Americas, some locations tracked time and attendance in the solution while others did not. Inconsistent use of the solution created fragmented processes that didn’t provide an organization wide view of critical labor data. This resulted in Essity managers having no visibility into real-time workforce data to align staffing with shifting production demands and to control labor costs.
Managers spent time away from the production floor trying to gather whatever information they could to operate their production lines efficiently. This reduced their interaction with employees, hindering employee engagement.
Employees at different locations also used disparate systems to manage time off and track accruals, which hampered the company in gaining a single view of its accrued time liability across the organization.
Wanting to harmonize and standardize its global people systems, Essity implemented UKG Dimensions™, which has created a seamless integration with the organization's global HCM and payroll solutions. Ultimately, approximately 12,500 of the company’s employees will be using UKG Dimensions.
“We not only upgraded our workforce management solution but also upgraded our platform to allow us to advance into the future and be more harmonized within our company,” said Sean Brown, Global Systems Administrator at Essity. “It all came full circle moving to UKG Dimensions.”
Prebuilt as a configurable platform, UKG Dimensions has enabled a seamless integration with Essity’s global HCM and payroll solutions. This supports continuous sharing of workforce information between solutions.
To enhance the use and adoption of Dimensions, Essity utilized solution job aids for supplemental employee training. These aids create a repeatable process for global training and deployment of the solution across the organization.
"We found that we were able to reduce the number of employees per shift and still meet production demands with appropriate scheduling, and not based on what the manager thinks is best for the business, but what the application [UKG Dimensions] is telling us is best for the business."
Global Systems Administrator
Now, with insight into workforce availability, managers can more easily align labor to production demand and improve resource utilization. In addition, access to real-time labor data has improved Essity’s labor cost control and operational decision making.
“We found that we are able to reduce the number of employees per shift and still meet production demands with appropriate scheduling, and this is not based on what the manager thinks is best for the business, but what the application [UKG Dimensions] is telling us is best for the business,” said Brown.
Visibility into workforce data at a granular level is reshaping scheduling decisions to address production demands. “We made changes, such as reducing the number of employees working an early morning shift and moving more employees to midday shifts, when they tend to have more energy and are much more productive,” explained Brown. “We never thought we would find that type of data in our time and attendance tool.”
Essity’s peak season is typically November to March, during which the company hires 10% more temporary workers to meet demand and to prepare for the year. Analyzing workforce data relative to the manufacturing process has shown how the company can realign labor so it can hire more employees while relying less on overtime to reduce overall labor costs, both during peak and normal seasons.
Previously, managers scheduled workers according to anticipated demand and didn’t always account for the impact of overtime. With overtime tiles displayed in Dimensions, managers can see on their mobile devices while they’re on the plant floor which employees are approaching overtime. They also receive alerts with this information as well as recommended actions they can take to avoid overtime ― including making schedule adjustments ― all while they strive to keep production at peak level to meet demand.
“Analyzing overtime data and how it relates to our manufacturing process has helped us save money and already pay for our investment in the application,” shared Brown.
With visibility into real-time workforce data on their mobile devices from anywhere, managers can strategically realign employees. They also can see which employees are on site and which are not, as well as who is leaving early, helping them better manage their workforce to meet production demands.
Mobile technology has freed up managers to get out of the office and out on the production floor to support and engage with employees, which Brown said “has been a positive experience.” This is helping to build stronger relationships between managers and their employees, improving employee engagement.
Mobile functionality also gives employees access to their time and accrual information from anywhere, furthering their engagement. As employees see they are approaching the overtime threshold, their manager may suggest a schedule adjustment, or employees themselves can suggest they take time off to avoid overtime.
At Essity’s Latin American and European locations, employees are using the solution’s mobile app with geofencing to clock in and out and request time off. This has reduced the need for employees to touch timeclocks, an important change during the COVID-19 pandemic. Responses to time-off requests are automated according to rules configured in the solution, saving managers’ time and quickly delivering responses to employees so they can better plan their schedules and their lives.
Global harmonization of Essity’s workforce management solution has streamlined its workflow processes, better aligned staffing with production demand, helped control labor costs, and increased employee engagement.
“I’m interested to see where we go next and how we can use the [UKG Dimensions] application to work with our changing environment,” said Brown.