How Ryder made the move to the HR cloud with MyRyder

Ryder System, the truck and van rental company, had a unique HR challenge: The transportation and logistics company needed an effective and up-to-date employee portal to serve its 40,000 white-, gray- and blue-collar employees in the U.S. and Canada.

This HR technology project was more than building a replacement for the organization’s late 1990s and early 2000s-era employee intranet, according to Galyna Kruglov, senior group director of HR Employee Services Operations for Ryder System. The company also needed to upgrade its decades-old SAP HR system, migrate all data and HR solutions to the cloud, and offer the HR support that modern employees expect from a name-brand employer.

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“We had a very outdated HRIS system and we did not have a lot of consistency in our processes,” admits Kruglov. “Our employees, including HR, believe it or not, did not have direct access to employee information. We had a very antiquated process to do the simplest things like changing an employee’s address, promoting somebody, changing compensation and more.”

Kruglov and her team began looking at solution providers in 2018 in what she calls “a long-coming project” and after receiving support from executive leadership, Ryder began vetting new HR solutions in earnest a year later. Even at the start of the selection process, Kruglov and her colleagues knew that the company had to move away from its fleet of back-office servers and employee workstations to uploading all people data and software to the cloud. Offering HR applications and support for smartphones was a must, as well.

“That was one of the conditions under which the project had to move forward. Everything had to be on the cloud,” she says, adding that she and her team were also looking for a suite of employee engagement and HCM tools that supported the entire employee life cycle.

Ryder chose ServiceNow HR Service Delivery, IT Service Management and its unified employee portal Employee Center Pro to create MyRyder, the rental company’s first employee portal. The aim was to improve employee experiences and boost productivity for employees working at desks and in the field.

The implementation—which Kruglov calls a “transformation”—encountered some challenges early in the pandemic when Ryder went into lockdown and had to push back some elements of the project to allow for some testing and other activities. But ultimately, Ryder stuck to its July 1, 2020 go-live date for the rollout of the new HR solutions.

What was more difficult was the new HR service call center’s “dress rehearsal” for training its HR employees onsite for two weeks with mock phone calls and HR requests. This had to be moved into a remote environment for the HR team who was working from their homes, says Kruglov. 

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“It was a major hit because the teams suddenly went remote but the last pieces of the implementation of the system weren’t that hard because you’re on the computer anyway,” she recalls. “But where it really hit us hard and called for some very creative solutions was our service dress rehearsal.”

“We did have implementation partners but even they did not have [much] experience because nobody ever went live remotely,” she says. “We had to figure it all out on the fly.”

According to Sancho Pinto, senior director of product management and employee experience for ServiceNow, Ryder executives understood that they needed easy-to-use technology that could be accessed from anywhere—whether on a mobile device, desktop or laptop. “We also understood that Ryder employees struggled to find information like Benefits or Payroll and often didn’t know who to ask or where to go for help,” he says.

As a result, employees leaned heavily on their local HR organization, which was then bogged down with simple requests and couldn’t focus on high-impact work,” says Pinto.

MyRyder currently enables employees to access most HR services with a single sign-on credential from most mobile devices. Starting next week, MyRyder will move to the company’s new mobile app environment. This will give employees in Ryder offices and in the field access to all HR information, such as inquiry request forms and other helpful resources.

Working with Ryder’s IT team was a key part of the HR department’s success with ServiceNow. “It truly was a transformation project that crossed through HR, IT and finance,” recalls Kruglov. But because the ServiceNow migration was a combined project, she says that the HR, IT and finance teams assumed responsibility for their respective pieces of the migration.

Kruglov adds, “Everybody supported their own work stream plus collaborated quite nicely, I have to say, toward the common goal.”

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Phil Albinus
Phil Albinus is the former HR Tech Editor for HRE. He has been covering personal and business technology for 25 years and has served as editor and executive editor for a number of financial services, trading technology and employee benefits titles. He is a graduate of SUNY New Paltz and lives in the Hudson Valley with his audiologist wife and three adult children.