Interstate Batteries: Charging Up the Road to Mount Awesomeness

Onyeka Nchege is CIO at Interstate Batteries, the number one automotive replacement battery brand in the U.S. The 1,400-person company, which also has lines of business in recycling and industrial-scale power, is quickly growing into an internationally known company.

“The legacy systems we had weren’t going to be able to take us to what we started calling Mount Awesomeness.”
—Onyeka Nchege, CIO at Interstate Batteries

In 2015, Nchege, who is responsible for ensuring Interstate Batteries has the right technology to meet business needs, was at a crossroads. There were too many manual processes, and IT was focused on “keeping the lights on” rather than growing the business.

Nchege says that before Workday, any sort of change to an employee’s record—a name change, a pay raise—was a time-draining manual process. The company also needed a better system for performance management, to help all of its team members grow their careers. And, of course, robust security and data privacy capabilities were must-haves.

Nchege helped lead an extensive process of reviewing existing technology investments against long-term goals and assessing new offerings from a number of software providers. No matter what system the company decided on, Nchege knew that user adoption—or lack of—would decide the ultimate fate of the deployment.

And, he was right. Thanks to widespread user adoption, after Interstate Batteries went live with Workday the number of time cards entered manually each month went from 1,200 to zero. Additionally, tracking time in Workday makes it easier to ensure that the company is complying with regional laws for meals, breaks, and overtime.

Nchege told us that in the selection process, his company was looking for a partner that shared similar values. He says that Interstate Batteries and Workday both have what he calls “a servant’s heart,” meaning both value integrity and taking care of their people—customers and employees.

He’s especially proud of the fact that for the first time in Interstate’s history, every team member across the business had an annual performance review. “We also set goals for all of our team members in Workday,” Nchege said. “Our previous manual process to create goals left significant holes, and we discovered that many team members either didn’t have goals or never updated them throughout the year. Today, these goals can be easily accessed and updated by the team member or the manager throughout the year. We also managed our annual merit increase in Workday, and that allowed us to ensure that each eligible team member received their increase and that the budget was not exceeded.”

Interstate Batteries recently went live on Workday Payroll, and Nchege said the company will continue to take advantage of functionality like total rewards statements, succession planning, and more complex reporting.

He sums up how the transition to Workday impacts employees: “Because we care for you, we want to provide the business-focused technology solutions that make your life easy.”

Learn about Workday Launch, a deployment model specifically designed to help medium-sized companies quickly see the value of their technology investment.