Talent insights fuel international growth

Hyster-Yale harnesses global HR insights to build a future-ready talent bench
IBM Consulting
8-minute read
A man assembles a fork-lift in a Hyster-Yale factory

For more than 90 years, Hyster-Yale Materials Handling, Inc. has provided lift trucks and aftermarket parts to help clients handle materials quickly, safely and cost-efficiently. Building on decades of steady expansion, Hyster-Yale now aims to accelerate its growth, both in its domestic markets in North America and around the world.

John Bartho, Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Hyster-Yale, takes up the story: “As part of a wider business transformation initiative, Hyster-Yale has set out several key strategic goals. These include becoming a leader in independent distribution, delivering the lowest cost of ownership for our clients and increasing our footprint in emerging markets.”

To ideate and execute on these strategic objectives, Hyster-Yale knew that it would be crucial to onboard, develop and retain talent with the optimal skills and competencies. However, the company’s previous approach to HR and talent management made it difficult to gain clear insight into its global talent bench, impacting the ability to effectively plan for long-term talent requirements.

“Over the years, we had acquired many different systems across the business to drive core processes such as human capital management, payroll processing and workforce planning,” Bartho elaborates. “Because many processes relied on manual approaches such as email and spreadsheets, it was almost impossible to identify the skills, competencies, experience and profiles of our global talent base.”

At the same time, Hyster-Yale recognized that an increasingly stringent regulatory environment meant that manual HR and talent management processes exposed the business to significant risk.

A Hyster-Yale fork-lift parked next to a tall shelf of building supplies
There are a handful of technology companies that we consider to be strategic partners to Hyster-Yale, and of all those relationships, IBM is one of the most important.
John Bartho
CIO, Hyster-Yale Materials Handling, Inc.

“It was very difficult to ensure that our global HR procedures and best practices were being applied consistently throughout the organization,” explains Bartho. “With the arrival of the General Data Protection Regulation [GDPR] in Europe and similar legislation elsewhere around the world, it was important to strengthen our information security posture and enhance our data governance controls.”

Based on these imperatives, Hyster-Yale decided to replace its multiple human capital management systems and processes with a single, fully integrated solution. The goal was to liberate HR leaders from time-consuming, administrative tasks, embed and automate security and compliance processes, and empower HR professionals to focus on value-added activities such as talent acquisition, employee development and business transformation.

A group of Hyster-Yale employees sit around a boardroom table
A group of Hyster-Yale employees sit around a boardroom table
IBM helped us complete our global deployment of Workday solutions ahead of time and under budget — allowing us to bring forward the next phase of our transformation initiative.
John Bartho
CIO, Hyster-Yale Materials Handling, Inc.
Integrating the global business
IBM helped us complete our global deployment of Workday solutions ahead of time and under budget — allowing us to bring forward the next phase of our transformation initiative.
John Bartho
CIO, Hyster-Yale Materials Handling, Inc.

After a thorough evaluation process, Hyster-Yale selected cloud-based Workday HCM solutions to enable its unified global approach to human capital management.

“Of all the solutions we considered in our request for proposals process, we felt that Workday was the clear leader in a number of areas,” recalls Bartho. “One of the most important criteria was integration. Unlike other offerings we considered, every Workday module is pre-integrated, which significantly reduces the time and manual effort required during the implementation and configuration process.”

By selecting a cloud-based solution, Hyster-Yale was also confident that it could more easily meet its global regulatory obligations around information security and data governance.

Bartho confirms: “We want to focus on being the best we can be at helping our clients move goods around the planet safely — and while security and compliance are crucial for Hyster-Yale, they are not our core business. As cloud technologies have matured, we recognize that leading players like Workday can now protect data far more effectively than an individual company can. By choosing Workday solutions, we gain the peace of mind that our sensitive employee data is protected 24x7 to the highest security standards.”

Next, Hyster-Yale aimed to shape a set of globally consistent HR processes, based on industry best practices, yet also flexible enough to be adapted to the local requirements of its international business units. To provide trusted support and guidance during a period of significant change, Hyster-Yale turned to expert consultants from IBM.

“There are a handful of technology companies that we consider to be strategic partners to Hyster-Yale, and of all those relationships, IBM is one of the most important,” says Bartho. “Over the years, we have worked successfully with IBM on many projects, ranging from enterprise resource planning and content management to big data analytics and business intelligence. My own positive experiences partnering with IBM on complex, multimillion-dollar technology implementations made them the clear choice for this project.”

Working side-by-side with consultants in the US and expert offshore resources in India, IBM helped Hyster-Yale to map out its existing HR processes, define the new global standards and convert them into digital workflows in the Workday solutions.

To support domestic businesses in the US, the company deployed Workday HCM, Workday Onboarding, Workday Benefits, Workday Time Tracking and Workday Payroll. Following this successful implementation, Hyster-Yale and IBM completed the global rollout by implementing Workday Compensation, Workday Performance Management, Workday Talent Management, Workday Succession Planning, Workday Recruiting, Workday Leave of Absence and Workday Learning — already deployed in North America during the first phase of the project — for Hyster-Yale’s businesses in the EMEA and JPAC regions.

“Even though the COVID-19 pandemic struck during the project, IBM managed the transition to remote working quite seamlessly,” comments Bartho. “We were also impressed by the effectiveness of the IBM Design for Me approach. I know from experience that having access to proven methods, tools and templates can make a big impact on the success of an IT project, and that was certainly the case for us. The IBM approach provided us with direction when we needed it and accelerated many phases of the deployment work that might otherwise have slowed us down. In fact, IBM helped us complete our global deployment of Workday solutions ahead of time and under budget — allowing us to bring forward the next phase of our transformation initiative.”

Talent insights fuel growth

Since moving from multiple systems and processes to a central human capital management platform based on Workday solutions, Hyster-Yale has gained an accurate, global view of talent to support long-term strategic planning — helping it to drive its international growth.

“By partnering with IBM to build a new approach to talent management in Workday, we can deliver all that our leaders need to make well-informed decisions around everything from recruitment and training to employee engagement and benefits,” explains Bartho. “We can now easily identify gaps in the skills and competencies we need to achieve our strategic goals, and act rapidly on the insights: for example, with targeted recruitment or training.”

Using a set of best-practice digital workflows supported by Workday solutions, Hyster-Yale ensures that every part of the business follows the appropriate policies. Crucially, all data is protected in the Workday cloud, and available for regulatory reporting purposes at the touch of a button.

“Previously, it was practically impossible to demonstrate that our HR policies were being applied consistently. Now that everything is held within the Workday system, we can provide assurance to our regulators with a fraction of the previous effort,” adds Bartho. “Without question, the Workday solutions — expertly delivered by IBM — are helping us to strengthen our information security and compliance capabilities.”

In addition to supporting its high-level strategic goals, the Workday solutions are making a big difference to the productivity and efficiency of individual managers and employees, who can now check their pay, book time off and edit personal data from a single, intuitive interface.

In the past, the company’s annual merit process was coordinated via a large and complex spreadsheet, protected by a password and circulated to decision-makers via email. By replacing this process with an end-to-end workflow in Workday Compensation, Hyster-Yale has dramatically reduced the time and effort required.

Bartho comments: “We just completed our first merit cycle with Workday, and the difference couldn’t be starker. From a single web portal, we can provide our leaders with all the tools to complete the process — no spreadsheets or emails are needed. Next year, we plan to run our annual performance reviews on Workday Performance for the first time, and we are anticipating similar improvements to that process also.”

After rapidly completing its deployment of Workday solutions, Hyster-Yale is surging ahead with the next stage of its transformation. The company is currently preparing to deploy Workday Adaptive Planning, which will enable Hyster-Yale to align its budgeting and forecasting processes with HR planning and ensure that the right skills and competencies are in place to take advantage of sales opportunities across the global business.

“It’s rare to come across a partner that has deep knowledge both of HR and technology, and a team of experts that really takes the time to listen to your needs — but IBM truly delivered,” concludes Bartho. “IBM will continue to support us as we move ahead on our growth journey, and we look forward to finding new ways to enhance our HR and talent management capabilities in the years ahead.”

Hyster-Yale Materials Handling, Inc. logo
About Hyster-Yale Materials Handling, Inc.

Headquartered in Mayfield Heights, Ohio, Hyster-YaleExternal Link designs, engineers, manufactures, sells and services a portfolio of materials-handling equipment that is among the most comprehensive in the industry. Part of the Hyster-Yale Group, the company supports hundreds of end-user applications across more than 700 industries.

Solution components
Hyster-Yale Materials Handling, Inc. logo
About Hyster-Yale Materials Handling, Inc.

Headquartered in Mayfield Heights, Ohio, Hyster-YaleExternal Link designs, engineers, manufactures, sells and services a portfolio of materials-handling equipment that is among the most comprehensive in the industry. Part of the Hyster-Yale Group, the company supports hundreds of end-user applications across more than 700 industries.

Solution components