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Toasting To HR Tech Project Success

When Breville, the Australian kitchen appliances success story, rolled out an international growth strategy underpinned by simplifying and unifying global HR processes, the iconic kitchen whizz enlisted Pinpoint HRM and Cornerstone to deliver digital transformation magic.

In 2019, with Breville on a projected trajectory to achieve $1 billion sales by 2022, Paul Davey, Breville’s Global Head of HR, knew a central HR platform with follow the sun support to enable its international workforce, was critical to underpin and expediate this growth strategy.

“We recognised Breville couldn’t do what we needed to do anymore on the back of spreadsheets, through inconsistent manual work and ad hoc processes across 20 countries on four continents,” says Paul, previously with Nestle and Nuplex Industries, and now located at Breville’s headquarters in inner city Sydney.

“We wanted more visibility of our rapidly growing workforce, and the ability to see data more quickly”. Which is not unusual for a business like Breville experiencing rapid growth and global expansion.

Breville selects Cornerstone to lay the foundations for growth

In parallel with bringing onboard Claudia Wentworth, as HR Technology Manager to help kick-off their project, Paul put a global business case to the Breville Board to take HR operations such as recruitment, onboarding and performance, digital and into the future.

“We knew we had to build the business case to enable intangible savings and build capabilities to become a more strategic partner to critically support Breville’s growth” says Paul.

He tasked Claudia with going to market to find the best fit-for-purpose solution for Breville.

“The business had already done some work in scanning the market when I arrived but I also knew a fair bit already about the HR Tech landscape, so I was confident in what we needed in an HR vendor, once we had Board buy-in,” says Claudia.

Claudia and her team quickly got the shortlist down to four solution providers to take into a more detailed evaluation process.

With key distribution and sales centres also located in Krefeld, Germany and Los Angeles, USA, non-negotiable criteria for the new HR platform included security, being 100% global as well as ensuring follow the sun support.

“We knew we needed to go with a vendor Breville wasn’t going to outgrow in five years; one that could work with our global processes, particularly around compensation and the matrix structure of our organisation. Also given our timeframes, and the pressing need for HR change, we were advised ‘if you’re going to do it, you need to do it now and you need to do it fast!”
Claudia Wentworth, HR Technology Manager, Breville Group

Breville landed on Cornerstone and have never looked back.

“Cornerstone ticked all our boxes, and it didn’t feel like we were buying a Ferrari to drive to the corner store. Rather it felt achievable and doable especially coupled with Pinpoint’s advice and implementation experience.”

Pinpoint enlisted to prepare and deliver a transformational HR experience

With employees across four continents, and a then workforce of 600, achieving international HR synergy was crucial. With the help of Pinpoint, Cornerstone’s key modules of Core HR, Performance, Compensation, Talent Succession and Recruitment were identified to transform workforce data into the new streamlined solution.

In terms of selecting the sequencing of these, Claudia says “Without a single system of record across the business we knew we had to start with Core HR. But that’s not exciting to anyone except HR folks! So we looked at the time of year and it aligned with our performance review cycle which touches most people. Which led us to choosing Core HR and Performance for Phase 1.”

Helping prepare Breville’s HR, and other executive teams to fully appreciate what the HR transformation would look like was also crucial. “Pinpoint ran a series of workshops to help us understand what we needed to do and how to prepare before implementation from November 2020,” says Claudia. “It was as simple as ‘for Core HR you are going to need these five things in terms of data’ and we were like ‘right where are we going to find that?’ “

From here the Pinpoint implementation team expertly led by Katie Gricius and Phil Currie shepherded Claudia and her team through the design and delivery of their Cornerstone solution.

“We could not have done it without Pinpoint, they were really fantastic – they took the lead, held our hand and gave us the confidence that we were going to get this right!”

Aware communication is key, and that HR cloud and digital transformations may not be viewed in-house as ‘the most exciting developments’, Claudia engaged Breville’s in-house design team to bring the concept to life. The result was ‘The Hive’. Launched to Breville’s now 1000 strong workforce in June 2021, it is a user friendly, hands on, world-wide employee HR platform that simplifies and unifies Breville’s global processes into in one system and now includes Recruitment and Onboarding, Performance, Compensation and Succession.

“We spent of a lot of time trying to get the brand right and keeping the messaging to our employees simple and clear: here is The Hive, this is what it does, and this is how it makes your working life easier’,” says Claudia.

“We needed to constantly remind ourselves that what we were implementing is touching 1% of someone’s work day – it has to make things better for them, not cause more problems. As simple as you think it needs to be, make it even simpler!!”

Benefits and future?

“I think it will take another one to two years to really embed but it is truly unbelievable what we are now able to do digitally that two years ago was being done in spreadsheets. The best feedback I’ve received is from our Head of Germany who told me he was ‘positively shocked’ by The Hive’s compensation capabilities. Taking problems away from people that they didn’t even know they had; now that’s success!”

For Claudia, some of the other measurable benefits of The Hive include the analytics and dashboards recently released to Breville’s executives. “These capabilities show more data than ever before such as staff turnover and global distribution and provide valuable insights into what HR need to do to support our business globally,” says Claudia.

“It’s no longer a case of ‘what do we need The Hive for’ but more a case of ‘can The Hive do this’ or ‘can we get a report on that’? So in a short space of time we are delivering much more value and insights than we ever could before.”

“We are already looking forward to what else The Hive can do to utilise more functionality within our core HR module. And looking forward to synergizing our payroll systems, which we haven’t tackled yet, but which will enable further growth – when we’re ready!”

A recent 100% acquisition of Italian-based espresso machine distributor LELIT by Breville has required the unification of employee data into The Hive and Pinpoint were again on hand to deliver the training of LELIT’s Italian staff on using the platform.

With Pinpoint actively supporting and optimising The Hive, Claudia, Paul and the team are feeling upbeat about HR’s new role in helping drive Breville’s growth.

“Breville has a diverse workforce which is not always office based or sitting in front of computers. We have people working in test labs and kitchens doing quality control or health and safety inspections on the production line,” says Paul. “So just as millions of diverse people around the world use and love Breville products, we have had to think about all the different scenarios and personas of our workforce around the world.

“Our guiding principle with this vital reboot for people technology and processes at Breville was always keep it simple, and keep it globally aligned. I think we are on our way now to achieving that.”

Number 1 lesson learnt?

“We knew we were going to need a lot of extra hand holding and advice during the project as we didn’t have the resources to do it ourselves so bringing Pinpoint in early and getting the extra funding to help us get prepared was one of the best decisions we made!”

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