Chiquita tailors HCM tool to global requirements

With over 24,000 employees spread across operations in 70-plus countries, fresh food distributor Chiquita had a challenge in managing its highly distributed workforce.
As it grew, the company found its legacy human resources applications and processes were not up to the job, unable to support the wide variety of employment regulations, union rules and privacy laws it was subject to in various regions.

Chiquita evaluated various on-premise packages to supplement its existing systems, but found that in all cases, the burden of customisation required to accommodate these local idiosyncrasies would have been too great.

SaaS solutions are usually seen – with good reason – as less customisable than on-premise equivalents. After all, the code is not under the customer’s control but resides with the service provider.

But Chiquita discovered that the Human Capital Management (HCM) tool from SaaS ERP provider Workday could be more easily tailored to its global requirements than any traditional offering.

Critically, it was possible to establish an entirely different organisational model for each country. “In one country, we may use a traditional organisational structure where all department heads report to the country’s general manager,” says Chiquita CIO Manjit Singh. “But in another, we may alter the structure and have a marketing manager report to the regional marketing director. Workday gives us the flexibility to make these changes employee-by-employee rather than imposing a structure upon us.”

Workday has outlined that in order to meet Chiquita’s requirements it had extend the language support of its application. Indeed, the company says that the demand among global organisations for SaaS has exceeded expectations.

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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