Magazine article Workforce

Morinda Juices Up with Software Solutions

Magazine article Workforce

Morinda Juices Up with Software Solutions

Article excerpt

Kerry Asay isn't nuts. He's just crazy about fruits. Several years ago, two scientists introduced the president of Morinda Inc. to a simple plant from French Polynesia: M. citrifolia. The fruit, he learned, yields a strong-tasting juice that Polynesians have used for more than 2,000 years for its health benefits. It was an "aha" moment, the kind that led to the creation of Morinda Inc., a multi-level marketing firm based in Provo, Utah.

Today, Morinda harvests, processes, and flavors Tahitian Noni Juice and distributes it to the United States and 19 other countries worldwide. Not counting its independent distributors, the four-year-old company has more than 1,050 salaried employees, about half of them outside the United States. Morinda reported annual revenues of $289 million in the 1999 fiscal year, said Russ Wood, senior manager of corporate information systems.

After the initial glow of success, however, Asay faced another "aha" moment. As a global competitor in the multi-level marketing industry, he couldn't afford to bury his four-person HR team in unnecessary paperwork. Until October 1999, human resources still managed personnel records, payroll, benefits, and purchasing records on simple Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and three separate manual systems. Employee information often was entered several times-once for payroll, again for benefits, and a third time for performance reviews. Fast-growth companies, large or small, require flexible software to integrate their HR functions, and Morinda turned to Oracle Corporation's human resource management system (HRMS) software to address its needs. Morinda now is able to seamlessly automate many of its HR functions, allowing it to save time and money. "We had to have something that supports our growth and keeps us integrated around the world," says Wood.

Match your needs with product features and reputations

When Wood arrived at Morinda, he immediately assessed the new employer's needs. The software system would have to be flexible, easy to maintain, and easy to use. "We were a high-growth company with multinational requirements," says Wood.

Oracle's software was Morinda's best solution. The components would provide the following features:

Human resources: It would allow HR to adopt structured approaches to attracting, retaining, and developing good employees and using their critical skills and knowledge.

Payroll: The global payroll management system would enable HR to quickly and easily process many payrolls in a single day. The payroll engine allows rapid response to changes in pay and benefits policies. In addition, it provides for the management of all aspects of in-house payroll: year-end reporting, adjustments, and legislative reporting.

Training administration: This component would support the full range of business activities associated with training and development. Its purpose is to ensure that HR improves the ability of its employees to meet current and future objectives in a cost-effective and targeted way. It would also provide a training organization or business with the capability to define training activities, schedule events, and manage and schedule resources required to deliver the training.

Self-service HR: The final component would help Morinda make the best use of its human assets. Ease of use, combined with relevant and accurate content, is critical. Line managers and employees would be able to update and use people information through interfaces personalized to their roles, on-line experience, work content, language, and information needs. …

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