ATS Corporation is an industry-leading automation solutions provider to many of the world’s most successful companies. With a heritage spanning 45 years, the company offers diverse, technologically advanced capabilities in custom automation, repeat automation, automation products, and value-added services. ATS addresses the sophisticated manufacturing automation systems and services needs of multinational customers in markets such as life sciences, food and beverage, transportation, consumer products, and energy.
Through mergers, acquisitions, and grassroots expansion, the company has grown from a small operation into a large global organization with a decentralized operating model and over 60 facilities and 80 offices on five continents around the world.
Attributing its success to a highly engaged workforce, a number of ATS employees have enjoyed continuous tenure for around 40 years. Committed to continuously developing, engaging, empowering, and energizing its people, the company proudly fosters a safe, positive, and inclusive work environment where everyone is respected and given the opportunity to thrive.
Modernizing Core HR and Talent Management Operations to Improve Employee Experience
With a renewed HR focus on enhancing the employee experience, automating processes, and integrating core systems, the company envisioned a workforce management environment with fewer manual tasks. The automation company also wanted to simplify the process of onboarding new employees, as its employee population had doubled in size since 2017.
When the time came to modernize its core HR and talent management systems to help it achieve these aims, ATS reached for next-generation HR technology in the cloud to support its ongoing growth. Investing in SAP SuccessFactors Human Experience Management (HXM) Suite allowed ATS to consolidate core HR and talent management processes throughout the employee lifecycle on a single technology foundation. Another bonus for ATS is that the suite helps simplify integration with various third-party solutions and other leading solutions from SAP, including SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition and SAP Concur solutions for use in expense management.
With the adoption of the SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central solution to help centralize access to employee information, the company streamlined the addition of new employees into its organization following mergers and acquisitions. An integrated suite of SAP SuccessFactors solutions helps connect processes and data from recruiting to onboarding, compensation, learning, and performance and goals management. Mike Stone, director of Global ERP and HR Information Systems at ATS, explains: “New employees gain access to the same benefits as existing employees from day one. They get access to the same learning and performance and goal management tools to support their personal and professional development. And it allows them to see what the organization offers and where they can go in terms of their career potential.”
Before adopting SAP SuccessFactors solutions, ATS was reliant on manual, paper-based processes and there was no simple way to track HR metrics. Now, the company can track employee turnover and better understand why its people leave. It can also keep a close watch on the time to fill open positions.
Bringing in the Right Resources as Skills Needs Change
As ATS has a highly trained and highly tenured workforce, including engineers and skilled tradespeople, it’s important for the company to define those skills and continue to grow its talent base in that area. The company also needs to understand which skill sets will be needed in the future and how to help its people learn those skills as needs change.
“The next stage of our HR transformation is developing a skills matrix and understanding who’s got what skills and who’s looking to grow those skills, then enhancing that skills composition within the company so that we have succession planning,” Stone explains. “With retirements, we need to know how fast we can fill those positions to get new people in place early enough so there’s a robust knowledge transfer and we don’t lose that tribal knowledge we have within the organization. SAP SuccessFactors HXM Suite helps us measure the important time-to-hire metric, meaning we can be confident hiring within a two-to-four-week cycle in North America. While in Europe, we know it’s a three-month cycle, which makes it a little more challenging.”
As ATS retools for the future, data insights from SAP SuccessFactors solutions are helping avoid situations where the company loses expert knowledge held within its people. It is also partnering with universities to create programs that align students’ learning with its needs for relevant skills and knowledge.
SAP SuccessFactors HXM Suite provides the people management technology foundation supporting ATS’s employee experience and ongoing growth. With solutions for core HR, recruiting, onboarding, performance, compensation, learning, and succession, ATS has the tools needed to build a future-ready workforce today.
To learn more about the core HR and talent management solutions used by ATS, visit us online.
Kristin Mestre is director of Brand Awareness and Advocacy for SAP SuccessFactors.