McKee Foods Selects Workday For a Complete HR Solution

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Saturday, May 16, 2009
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Privately-held and family-operated McKee Foods Corp. has been cooking up delicious snacks, cereals and pastries in North America since 1934. Best known for its Little Debbie brand of snack cakes, McKee also distributes granola bars, fruit snacks and cereals under its Fieldstone, Heartland and Sunbelt brands. The company has a deep commitment to its employees and embraces core values of quality, business integrity and delivering exceptional value to customers.

Before discovering Workday, McKee maintained and supported a 14-year-old ERP system for its HR and payroll management. Once state-of-the art, the system had become cumbersome and hard to use as McKee's needs changed and as employees increasingly leveraged the Web to get work done. From an HRIS standpoint, the complexity of the system had forced workarounds.

Costs associated with maintaining and supporting the company's enterprise application had increased beyond McKee's expectations. "Every year, our HR system became more and more expensive. There was a constant need to update, patch, fix and upgrade the system we were using," says Mark Newsome, senior corporate HR manager. "We would have spent twice as much on our next ERP upgrade as we spent on the previous upgrade. . .and that is a conservative estimate."

Transforming the HR Organization

McKee is now live on Workday Human Capital Management and Workday Payroll with more than 6,500 employees across the U.S. and Canada. With the new deployment, the IT demands and recurring costs of their old ERP system are a thing of the past.

"We expect to see a tremendous impact to our bottom line by deploying Workday," Newsome reports. "The savings come from no longer maintaining and supporting the infrastructure of an on-premise application. We truly are doing more with less and we fully expect to quickly recoup our investment." 

With a large portion of McKee's workforce located in manufacturing plants and a distribution center, many employees have limited experience with business applications. Workday's "Web 2.0" user interface looks and works more like a consumer application, so it is easy for people to get things done with little or no training because it works more like or Google than a traditional enterprise application.

"Instead of HR sending out forms for things like changing addresses in the system for employees, HR is now the recipient of an online self-service transaction initiated by managers or employees," says Newsome. "As a result, HR will be much more productive and managers will be happier with quick and easy online transactions -- and less paperwork."

A Revolutionary Payroll System

McKee utilizes direct deposit to distribute more than 350,000 paychecks per year through weekly payroll cycles. Since Workday HCM and Payroll share the same foundation, many of the business processes that feed payroll are now automated, resulting in fewer duplicated transactions. In the past, McKee relied on paper transactions to feed the payroll processes. Now many of those same processes are completed on-line in real time.

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Workday has made it possible to support HR and payroll across McKee's entire operation, including production facilities and distribution centers in four states. Workday's innovative calculation engine lets McKee define specific earnings, deductions, accumulations and balances.

"This is a great example of how we believe Workday is going to help us improve more of our business processes and payroll transactions over time," says Joyce Maxfield, payroll manager, "and this is a great foundation for us to build upon for the future."

"In my 27 years at McKee Foods, I've never had a software vendor be so concerned about our interests as a customer. Workday always says, 'Let's talk about it and see if we can help you get there,' " Newsome says. "It's the best customer service I've ever experienced with a software vendor."


Organization: McKee Foods Corp.

Headquarters: Collegedale, Tenn.

Primary Business: Privately-held and family-operated McKee Foods Corp. has been cooking up delicious snacks, cereals and pastries in North America since 1934.

HR Challenge: Workday provides McKee with an innovative Software-as-a-Service-based solution for managing human resources and payroll for the company's 6,500-plus employees.

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