Trailblazing HR digitalisation at Honda France Manufacturing

Following a benchmarking project to assess suitable solutions on the market, SAP SuccessFactors was selected for its Performance and Goals module, to be followed by the Succession and Planning module. Already familiar with SOA People who had been working with Honda in the UK on other HR-based modules, it was the natural choice to become technology partner for the implementation.

About

Honda France Manufacturing (HFM) is a Power Products Division of Honda. Honda globally manufactures around 500,000 lawnmowers per year in the USA, France, Australia, China and Italy, supplying them across the world but primarily into its two largest markets, North America and Europe.

HFM was created in 1986 as part of Honda’s policy to make products where they are in demand. All its lawnmowers incorporate GXV or GCV engines that are designed to be high performance with low fuel consumption and clean exhaust gas emissions. Honda is currently developing the BBC*2 safety mechanism that immediately stops rotation of the blade when the clutch is released, and the VMS*3 mechanism that allows to freely control the processing method of the cut grass.

Challenges

To support Honda’s overall strategic aims and vision, the HR department of HFM faced a number of challenges around managing its human resources and harmonising its processes. From mass retirement from employees who all started at the same time, to identification and integration of new skills, and new technological products on the horizon, HFM needed the tools to be able to give HR visibility and make productivity gains.

HR had been set a target of digitalising its appraisals and performance and goals processes within a three-month time frame, to meet the deadline of its Japanese HQ’s new fiscal year. The current procedures were manual and time consuming, using a combination of Excel and Word. With up to 200 members of staff that needed appraising, HFM’s HR department was looking to reduce the time it took to administer their appraisals, and at the same time address security risks around GDPR issues.

Moving to digitalisation would require a change in mindset and the HR department had its work cut out to meet the deadlines set by HQ. Within the manufacturing plant, there was around 40% nearing retirement age and many staff were not comfortable using computers.

“We needed to look at ways of addressing time management and becoming more efficient by digitalising our key HR processes” says Pierre Toussaint, Human Resources and Associate Relations Manager, HFM.

In addition, as HFM drives towards future technologies and innovations, such as electric-powered Products, the firm had a requirement to attract talent with these new skillsets and expertise in order to stay competitive.

Benefits

  • SAP SuccessFactors is accessible by everyone wherever they need to work, providing all the data managers need to do their own ‘self-service’ HR, reducing the workload of the small HR department.
  • The modules have helped to coach and train associates on how to conduct appraisals, providing them with much more confidence in their roles, not just as line managers in their own specific departments but also in their HR responsibilities during appraisals discussions with their line staff.
  • HFM has confidence it has the right people in the right roles and that KPIs and objectives are structured and being met.
  • With SAP SuccessFactors, the ‘state of mind’ has really changed. Appraisals have become much more collaborative between associates and workers, who are fully involved in the process and there is a realisation that everyone has a part to play in the appraisal activity.

"We were proud to be the first department at HFM to implement digitalisation into our processes”

“We received an excellent endorsement from a union member who told us that this was the most efficiently managed HR project ever experienced in the history of HFM. We all learned a lot, and the project gave many of our associates opportunities to make new connections and encourage better team working”

Pierre Toussaint, Human Resources and Associate Relations Manager, Honda France Manufacturing

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