How MFGx Capabilities Enhance Human Capital Management

by Christine Strachan

Case study: How MFGx Capabilities Enhance Human Capital Management

Shape Corporation is a Michigan-based global company, manufacturing automotive impact energy management systems and performing advanced custom roll forming and fabrication for the furniture, agricultural, recreation and healthcare industries. Shape Corp is North America’s top manufacturer of automotive bumper systems, with specific focus on highly-engineered light weighting technologies and multi-material content.

Shape Corporation Roll Forming – Grand Haven, MI

 

In Shapes Words: What it was like before MFGx?

Having implemented ADP in April of 2018, we had been in dual maintenance mode with our HR master data for months.  We were seeing twice the data entry time spent, timing and accuracy issues arising, etc.  It was driving our HR team crazy, with our HR SOR (System of Record) and ERP systems getting further and further out of sync.

Shape Corporation rationale for investigating MFGx

We needed to eliminate the dual maintenance and automate the employee management process as much as possible.  ADP is now our HR system of record, and the core data items needed to be replicated back to Plex in a timely manner.

In Shapes words: MFGx stood out from other options and how it compared to the competition

The key was the level of Cumulus knowledge and experience with Plex, expecting there would likely be changes to work through on the Plex side along the way.  We were breaking new ground; building integration that had not previously existed for Plex.  The Cumulus team has both depth of knowledge of Plex HR and a long and cooperative relationship working with the counterpart development staff. They’re authorized to write code/procedures, not simply provide reporting, and have developed other Plex integrations. The Cumulus team is open to collaborative and flexible discussion regarding method and options. We knew that Cumulus would be able to help us to navigate any necessary adjustments as we worked our way through the process.  The MFGx platform subscription establishes a great foundation and partnership for Shape to develop future integration opportunities.  Michelle Potter, Business Analyst II

How MFGx works:

Our MFGx ADP integration consists of two separate software components which are linked together on Shape’s private version of our MFGx Platform. The initial step was to provide customers with software capable of consuming events triggered by ADP’s event processing system.  The second step was to build a custom HCM (Human Capital Management) endpoint in the Plex Manufacturing Cloud.  This custom endpoint supports user creation, update and termination by exposing over 70 unique fields in Plex across many tables.  Finally, the two ends are ‘stitched’ together or ‘mapped’ using the MFGx Scripting Language.  This language allows us to map as much or as little of the employee’s information back into Plex as the customer requires.  Mike Medwith, Director of Development

Background and Team Experience:

Michelle has many years of experience in the IT world, beginning as a Programmer Analyst and progressing to her current position as a Senior Business Analyst. She is going on her 19th year at Shape Corporation, and has been involved with the design, testing and implementation of significant Plex development projects in the HR and foreign financial areas. She supports all HR applications for the Shape companies (Plex and ADP) and teams with other Business Analysts to support the Finance functions (Plex and OneStream).  Shape has a team of 6 Business Analysts, the core of which has been in place since the Shape Plex implementation back in 2005. The team supports all PCN’s worldwide from the Grand Haven location.

Why MFGx is the best solution:

We’ve known some of the individuals at Cumulus for a very long time and feel that we’ve built a very good working relationship. I’ve enjoyed the open dialogue and joint development ~ discussing the possibilities and identifying the options that work best for both of us.  It’s been a learning curve on both sides; my understanding of how to manage integration and detailed learning on the Cumulus side for dealing with ADP as a data partner.  ADP definitely brought a unique set of challenges. We’ve eliminated the vast majority of our dual maintenance, with only a few remaining fields to manage manually. I’m trying to hand over the monitoring of the interface to our HR Team, but not much luck with that yet. Still working on that part…

In Shape’s words: What it’s like after MFGx

Moving forward…

There are situations remaining in the development queue for enhancements to the integration, and we’re continuing through those items one at a time.  It’ll be a work in progress for a while, but we’re very happy with the results!

“The long-term vision is paying off… yay…  here’s the cool part.”

We had implemented the integration from ADP with 5 Plex PCN’s, and we’re now in the process of bringing our foreign region PCN’s into ADP as well.  With the forward-thinking way that the integration has been developed, their data will then automatically flow into Plex properly.  No further development required unless we find odd data field issues to try and accommodate.  We’re in that analysis right now, so wish us luck!

References: Shape Corporation, Plex, ADP

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