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HR implementations that make sales happy and go live early may seem unheard of -- but they are possible with the right partner. Following a very smooth 18-month implementation that featured many early roll-outs, the HR department of a major U.S. flooring maker has set its sights on predictive analytics.

“If the sales people are really happy, you’ve done a pretty good job,” Mohawk Industries CIO Jana Kanyadan said of his company’s SAP SuccessFactors implementation. “We wanted to make sure that things are easy for them to use.”

“Can you believe predictive analytics and HR data? ... that is where I want to go,” Jana Kanyadan, CIO of Mohawk Industries, said during the SuccessConnect keynote last month. “We’re thinking of moving to SAP HANA, integrating the data structures and improving our predictive analytics.”

HR departments can use predictive analytics for turnover modeling, talent forecasting, targeting retention, recruiting and more, according to Much of HR’s success with new technology will rely on the department’s access data across the organization -- but that will also present certain challenges.

Know When to Call a Time-Out

“Human resources, having access only to its own HR-specific data, can only answer so many questions,” Lisa Rowan, research vice president of HR and talent management services at IDC, stated in TechTarget last month. “You can’t really address that bigger picture -- of bigger strategic business objectives -- with just the HR data.”

So knowing when to retool can be critical, especially if you cannot access critical data, according to Mohawk’s Kanyadan. After five years of botched implementation attempts -- one involving a payroll module that couldn’t reconcile with financials -- Kanyadan decided to call a time-out.

“In the middle of 2015, we evaluated and started our project with SuccessFactors,” Kanyadan said. “Within a period of 18 months, we are live with every module, including SAP Benefits, SAP Payroll and all of the modules of SuccessFactors.”

Unprecedented Success

“I had a very aggressive timeline of 18 months; if someone told me that they implemented any system -- ERP or HR system -- within 18 months and on-budget, I wouldn’t believe it,” Kanyadan said. “But as we started the project, we realized that there are things we can pull forward -- that is unprecedented, right? -- pulling forward on an implementation.”

Mohawk Industries implemented its Learning Management System ahead of schedule, and then used this module as the learning, training and change functionality for other modules.

Mohawk rolled out its Learning Management System within the first six months, and then used it as the learning, training and change functionality for the other modules, according to Kanyadan. Concur went live for travel and expense in the next three months, followed by performance management for employees in Europe, and subsequently in the U.S., and then Mohawk’s recruiting, onboarding and succession planning module.

“Every two to three months, we had a go-live of a module or a region,” Kanyadan said. “And we were still able to do this entire thing in the 18-month period.”

Big Data Imperative

“If HR wants to remain commercially relevant, it needs to be tuned into the HR big data debate -- and be able to provide senior executives with a predictive analytics-based justification for its key talent related decisions,” stated.

That’s why mastering big data is about more than successful implementations and clever use of predictive analytics, according to IDC’s Rowan. HR must prove to the c-suite that cutting-edge technology -- and HR professionals -- deserve a greater share of the organization’s resources.

“They need to ratchet up the visibility within the enterprise that they have a handle on analytics -- and they can actually bring something to the table to elevate the need for this,” Rowan stated. “They need to ratchet up the attention paid to this so they can get the investment.”

“You Can Do It”

HR departments can learn from predictive analytics success stories in other departments, according to Talent Analytics. For example, executives will spend more to develop marketing departments with track records of employing predictive solutions to improve sales, increase revenue and cut costs.

HR departments can use predictive analytics to help drive measurable business results via turnover modeling, talent forecasting, targeting retention, recruiting and more.

“Marketing stopped being ‘aligned’ with the business; Marketing was the business,” Talent Analytics stated. “Human Resources needs to do the same thing.”

There’s too much at stake not to implement cutting-edge HR solutions. So find the right partner, and make it happen.

“If anybody tells you that you guys cannot do this, the end-to-end implementation within 18 months, don’t believe it,” Mohawk’s Kanyadan said. “You guys can do it ... [and] you can do it in shorter than 18 months -- the whole thing.”

Follow Derek on Twitter: @DKlobucher

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