Major Multinational Distributor Gains
Unprecedented Visibility of Their Global Payroll
Turning Global Payroll
Results into Actionable
Labor Expense Data
and Workday’s Cloud
Connect For Third-Party
(DNOW), has turned
payroll results from 14
countries into easily
expense data used
to make informed
DNOW has reached the
optimum level of Human
(HCM) and payroll
integration with Workday
Global Payroll Cloud
Partner, SafeGuard World
DistributionNOW (DNOW) is one of the largest
distributors to the energy and industrial
sectors spanning a rich history of over 150
years. DNOW provides a comprehensive line
of products for the upstream, midstream,
downstream and industrial market segments including: pipe, valves and
valve automation, fittings, mill and industrial supplies, tools, safety products,
and artificial lift systems to the oilwell and pipeline industry. DNOW is also
recognized as a leading supply chain solutions provider of value-added
services including supply chain management, project management, and
DNOW’s roots are derived from two oilwell industry giants--National
Oilwell and Varco International. In 2005, these two companies merged to
create National Oilwell Varco (NOV). In late 2013, NOV decided to divest its
distribution services creating DistributionNOW. As a result, DNOW had to
determine how to pay all of its employees in 24 countries spread across over
300 processing and plant locations.
NOV, a global company with over 60,000 employees worldwide uses an
on-premise payroll for its U.S. and Canadian employees and a mix of other
solutions around the world. Seeking a more streamlined approach and
improved access to data, the newly independent DNOW first selected
Workday Human Capital Management (HCM) as its global HCM and Workday
Payroll for U.S. and Canada as its payroll solution for those countries. Next,
DNOW quickly needed to ensure its international distribution employees
could get paid properly and on time.
DNOW distribution center in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Workday and SafeGuard World International
SafeGuard World International, along with DayNine, a leading Workday
implementation partner, were selected after an accelerated, three week
evaluation. SafeGuard World’s contract stipulated that the initial phase of
the countries outside the U.S. and Canada, constituting approximately 600
employees, had to be fully operational within three months. This had to
work alongside DNOW’s deployment of Workday HCM and Workday Payroll
for over 5,000 employees in the U.S. Additionally, the international based
employees had to be integrated within the Workday HCM system of record.
SafeGuard World was selected because of its
longstanding relationship with Workday as a Global
Payroll Cloud Partner and its success with other
Workday HCM clients. As a Global Payroll Cloud
partner, SafeGuard World offered Workday certified
pre-built connectors for each country in which DNOW
operates. This meant that DNOW could take advantage
of Workday’s seamless and proven bi-directional
integration capabilities. Payroll data could now move
from Workday HCM to the international payrolls and
How the Integrated Solution Works
Workday’s HCM application is the single, trusted source for DNOW’s HR data,
including organization codes, general ledger codes, positions, and employee
demographic data. By leveraging Workday’s Cloud Connect for Third-
Party Payroll, data is seamlessly passed to SafeGuard World’s proprietary
software, Unity®, which is used to manage the data flow between DNOW,
SafeGuard World’s global shared service centers and SafeGuard World’s
in-country payroll processors. SafeGuard World has over 100 Workday-
certified, pre-built, country-specific, connectors. These connectors lower the
cost and reduce the burden of interfacing Workday’s HCM to Unity®. The
complex work of understanding in-country data requirements is undertaken
and maintained by Workday and SafeGuard World, extending the value of
DNOW’s investment in its global Workday HCM.
Moreover, some payroll data necessary to process payroll in different
countries is not typically maintained in a global HCM. These include variable
pay data such as pension and stock options, as well as supporting documents
including proof of employment eligibility, employment contracts and proof of
absences. SafeGuard World leverages its own Unity® solution to receive data
directly from DNOW – regardless if that data is globally, regionally or locally
SafeGuard World, which now serves as DNOW’s centralized global payroll
manager, oversees all aspects of the local payroll processes. SafeGuard
World ensures all the inputs for each country payroll have been received and
validated for completeness, then seamlessly dispatches data to the relevant
payroll in-country experts. These country experts compute the gross-to-net
calculations in accordance with all local statutory requirements and return
the detailed gross-to-net data to SafeGuard World. Data is automatically
aggregated into Unity® for detailed payroll validation, reporting and
analytics before being submitted to DNOW for final approval. SafeGuard
World then generates the requisite bank and general ledger files, along with
the final payroll reports, tax filings and employee pay slips.
The complex work of
data requirements is
undertaken and maintained
by Workday and SafeGuard
World, extending the value
of DNOW’s investment in its
global Workday HCM.
DNOW had to address some fundamental operational questions before fully
deploying this solution such as:
• Where is the payroll data housed?
• What would it take to access and retrieve the data?
• How must the payroll calculations be done?
• What is the best way to integrate the data with Workday HCM?
• Who would be supporting the operations internally?
Additionally, DNOW management wanted access to underlying payroll data
to support strategic decision-making, something previously unavailable.
However, the expertise to assist with these questions resided in NOV, and was
no longer available to DNOW. This was a big challenge for both DNOW and
SafeGuard World. There was no longer any centralized support available to
handle the payroll issues that arose across the various operating countries
Consistent with DNOW’s recognized “Do it NOW” mentality, the challenge
was to have all payroll distribution processes live within three months to pay
the employees in the first set of countries - without any interruption.
Approach – Experience Pays
First, DNOW and SafeGuard World had to tackle those fundamental
questions. In some countries, no one person had the experience to gather
the necessary requirements within SafeGuard World’s project methodology.
SafeGuard World responded by structuring a global team - a combination of
global solution designers and regionally based payroll experts aligned with
SafeGuard World deployed its team to conduct onsite discovery meetings
to rapidly gather requirements for the new solution by reviewing existing
payrolls, end-to-end processes, resources and constraints. Because future
global reporting and data analytics were an extremely important business
outcome, SafeGuard World’s global solution designers worked to harmonize
the data across all the countries as granularly as possible, especially given
many country variations.
Simultaneously, the DayNine integration team worked on the Workday HCM
deployment. To meet the deployment time lines and ensure that employees
were paid, clear and constant communication between all parties was crucial.
This deployment quickly became an orchestrated dance with all parties
ensuring that the downstream payroll processes were synchronized so that
accurate and timely payment of employees would not be jeopardized.
The challenge was to have
all payroll distribution
processes live within
three months to pay the
employees in the first set
of countries - without any
SafeGuard World responded
by structuring a global
team - a combination of
global solution designers
payroll experts aligned with
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The new payroll deployment was a resounding success, the proof being that
there was no interruption, no missed payroll, no missed filings, no pushback
or complaints. Essentially, there were no problems.
Wave one, covering seven of fourteen countries, sped through a two month
payroll implementation, going into “live” payroll production in the third
month. The Workday integration followed the next month after integration
testing was completed – a timeframe almost unheard of given the
complexity involved. The next payroll waves mirrored a similar path.
What did DNOW gain from the seemingly astonishingly quick
implementation approach? The overall benefits achieved were quite
significant and justified