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Global Distributor Touts Power of Single Payroll Solution

By Kerry Cole

A single solution that handles payroll in countries across the globe is cost-effective and provides limitless data for reporting and analysis, a Workday executive and a client of the company said in the GPMI webinar “Adopting a Fresh Approach to Global Payroll Management.”

Laurent Botella, Workday’s Senior Director of Product Strategy, and Craig Anglemier, Director of Global Payroll for Distribution NOW, touted the benefits of an integrated solution. 

“Payroll remains local, complex, and detailed,” Botella said. “Each country has its own compliance, its own set of earnings, deductions, taxes, and reporting requirements. They’re all different and evolve at different paces based on local legislation. In spite of the pace of change in the technology world, the payroll ecosystem remains complex and opaque.”

Such complexity results in organizations having inefficient payroll and HR systems that make data unreliable. 

“You should be looking for one global HCM solution to handle all of your countries,” he said. “From a payroll perspective, you can have in a single place all of your payroll data that’s generated across the globe.”

He acknowledged that changing to a single, cloud-based solution is complex and doesn’t happen overnight, saying, “It does make sense to go step by step and to move to the cloud at your own pace.”

Anglemier and his team at Distribution NOW didn’t have the luxury of excess time when the company spun off from National Oilwell Varco and had to pay employees in 300 locations across 24 countries.

“We essentially had the opportunity to completely change our systems,” he told the webinar audience. “We took none of the hardware, none of the software from the previous HR and payroll systems with us. We started completely fresh, which gave us a real opportunity to make decisions on what works best in the current market.”

The distributor to energy and industrial firms was acquiring companies at a rapid rate and had to figure out how to pay new employees in multiple countries without negatively affecting its current workforce.


“While we may have been in compliance, we didn’t necessarily know that we were,” he said. “If you’re running payrolls in a lot of countries, you probably are experiencing the same thing. In some small countries that are located far away, you don’t see day to day what goes on. It’s that visibility that gives you the added confidence that you’re in compliance.” 


Distribution NOW chose Workday in combination with payroll aggregator SafeGuard World International.

“Workday met all of our requirements for a global system,” he said. “It reduced our costs significantly. SafeGuard is really an extension of our corporate payroll department, and both of our vendors maintain their software integrations.” 

GPMI Director of Instructional Design and Learning Development Nicole Smith hosted the webinar, which is available on-demand.