Internet admin network helps spare HR’s blushes

Ford Europe’s global Internet HR system has ironed out embarrassing mistakes caused by administration errors, according to its head of HR systems and planning.

Bob Blenkinsop, Ford Europe head of HR systems planning, said that under the traditional system employees had been registered as living at the wrong address or even as being the wrong gender.

HR Online provides employees with summaries of company policy, forms for general administration and a pension estimator, and is now considered the single authoritative source for HR information and services in the company. “The system allowed people to e-mail us directly and sort out these problems,” he said.

The company uses a Peoplesoft system, and Ford claims it now reaches 100 per cent of its global car production business.

He said the system now has 10,000 users each week and conducted over 25,000 self service transactions, with 77 per cent of customers claiming the site was their first point of contact with HR within the company.

Blenkinsop told delegates at the Business Intelligence organised conference that it was considering extending its Internet- enabled HR system to Ford’s newly-acquired subsidiary companies Volvo and Landrover.

“We do not want the brand of those organisations to be changed, but there are some obvious synergies to be gained from having the same back office systems,” he said.

The system operates around secure intranet links to Ford’s main system, which is password protected and uses codenames to identify people logging on.

It was launched in January 1999 in the US and introduced to Europe that summer.

The system is personalised to each employee and will be constantly reviewed via customer surveys, phone and e-mail feedback and focus groups.

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