The science of HR transformation

As DowDupont prepared to spin its material science division (Dow), KPMG helped transform the division's HR systems worldwide.

Global HR transformation
  • Client challenge
  • Benefits to client
  • Approach
  • KPMG insights

Client challenge

In early 2017, Dow set about to provide a state-of-the-art customer experience in the most effective way possible: by enabling a best-in-class employee experience. Dow sought to shift the way it worked by redesigning the way it delivered value through human resources (HR). Coming from a highly customized, on-premise PeopleSoft environment, Dow wanted to move its worldwide HR systems to the cloud. The transformation would have a wide impact, changing every single HR process that touches employees.

Benefits to client

Upon completion of the program, Dow now has a single, cloud-based global HR platform featuring the same processes and performance metrics for all 37,000 employees in 63 countries. The new platform:

  • delivers a positive employee experience to attract and retain high performers, improve customer satisfaction and accelerate business growth
  • provides a wider range of job opportunities through a broadband career framework
  • improves visibility into workforce data and analytics for leaders and managers, along with increased empowerment and accountability
  • reduces costs by centralizing work functions and driving transactions through self-service technology.


KPMG was granted the opportunity to work with Dow in helping them assess their HR software needs and determine what to expect once their HR processes were moved to the cloud. We worked together with Dow to help them set up a series of impartial informational sessions on the capabilities of each cloud vendor and how they aligned to Dow’s needs and expectations.

In December 2016, Dow and KPMG continued to work together on the company's HR transformation program, called HR NextGen. Workday was selected for its cloud platform. 

KPMG provided support for Workday’s HR cloud solution, ServiceNow’s HR case management, and IBM Watson’s intuition to rapidly translate Workday information into multiple languages for Dow’s global employee base. 

KPMG’s Powered Enterprise solution for HR proved to be especially valuable for this massive transformation. The pre-configured solution accelerated the Workday implementation, reduced risk, and delivered certainty of outcomes for faster ROI. Powered HR contains a repository of continuously updated and integrated tools, operating models and business process designs based on our deep business and technology experience and leading practices in back-office transformation.

Clients typically take advantage of 80 percent of KPMG Powered Enterprise pre-built processes, but Dow wanted its employees to have more input into the development of those processes. In combination with the Workday team, we conducted four weeks of experience design workshops for Dow’s global employees to better align HR processes. In addition, we delivered HR function and solution center design, experience design and engineering, analytics design, tax advice, and comprehensive change management. We are also working closely with ADP in its implementation of a North America payroll and global time and absence system. 

The new HR system was unveiled globally in September 2019. The new Dow is a digital Dow, and this HR transformation effort is a symbol of this direction for the future. 

KPMG insights

Really understand what the client wants to do

While technology innovation is often viewed as the lever giving the most immediate results, true transformation focuses on the effects to business strategy and processes.

Under promise and over deliver

Building relationships and establishing trust with the client is paramount. While the engagement centered on a full-scale transformation strategy and new technology implementations to improve the employee experience, the ultimate focus was their people. To instill confidence, we demonstrated our understanding of their user and technology needs by under promising and over delivering on our commitments. Collaboration between the client’s HR and technology professionals was nearly indistinguishable from the KPMG specialists. Working side by side, we helped transform the employee experience.

Modernizing HR reporting capabilities at Dow 

KPMG’s Powered Enterprise solution for HR proved especially valuable for this massive transformation.
Todd Randolph, Principal, KPMG U.S.