Unlocking the full potential from a global network

A business where people are the core asset

We worked closely with Dentsu Aegis, one of the world’s largest advertising and media businesses, to deliver a global people management platform that enabled a network of over 140 different units to compete more successfully in a changing market, both internationally and locally.

The challenge: making complexity a source of strength

Dentsu Aegis operates in 61 national and sector markets and competes in a dynamic, rapidly-evolving industry. The company has doubled in size since Dentsu and Aegis merged in 2013, resulting in over 140 acquisitions since then.

Each acquisition has brought new capabilities, value propositions, market positions and client relationships. They have also led to great complexity, with the potential for duplication and cost. In this industry, people are the key asset, so how best to maximise human potential while enabling strategic management and enhanced operational efficiency? PwC was called in to advise on the right approach, then work with the client in executing the chosen solution.

“To deliver excellent service to clients globally or locally we need to understand what capabilities exist horizontally as well as vertically and how we can mobilise these talents.”

Caroline Mellor Project Lead, Dentsu Aegis

The solution: networked, cloud-based, creative and collaborative

We helped to build a people management solution that has brought consistency to the global network while remaining flexible and empowering to local management. We realised the right solution must be cloud-based to avoid the costs and disruption in rolling-out a conventional system.

The solution also struck the right balance between data centralisation, looking across the entire network to identify all capabilities and human skills, while respecting the decentralised nature of the business. The goal was to maximise synergies and scalability, while minimising central interference.

To increase empowerment and engagement, we invited over 200 people from across the business to take part in the process. They experienced demos, tested options and made recommendations, finally choosing Workday as the key software.

The results: mobilisation and empowerment

Our solution was much more than simply a software implementation. The new Workday-based solution replaced more than 100 individual HR and data systems within the network and is critical for unlocking its full potential. It facilitated successful campaigns by identifying the capabilities, skills, experience and creative talents within different parts of the network, while providing the detailed people and data knowledge needed for compliance and financial performance.

A complete HR platform has been developed and implemented, with 33,000 employees in 61 markets now connected. Consistent processes are in place to manage the key aspects of HR management: HCM, compensation, benefits, absence, talent and performance, learning, recruiting andintegrations.

Business leaders across the network now have improved access to detailed people data, empowering them to deliver more effectively for clients, while ensuring better morale by opening up more fulfilling employee career paths.

The details: collaborate for transformational change

We knew that the programme would be exceptionally complex due to its global scale, together with the unpredictability and dynamism of the market, itself. We designed a four-stage implementation process, keeping each stage flexible and open to engagement with people at every level in the network.

For the first stage, we collaboratively chose the core software component of the solution. In the second stage, our technology team worked with Dentsu Aegis’ inhouse resources to build, test and implement the central architecture.

In the third stage our joint teams rolled-out the solution in all key markets, evaluating and often redesigning or replacing processes, bringing greater consistency to people management and realising savings through enhanced efficiency and closing down redundant systems. Now we are carrying out the fourth stage of implementation, with culture and process change at the heart of our work.

As the Dentsu Aegis project leader, Caroline Mellor, says: ‘Todeliver excellent service to clients globally or locally we need to understand what capabilities exist horizontally as well as vertically and how we can mobilise these talents.

This requires very granular data covering diversity, compliance, working conditions and everything relevant to delivering the service. Our solution is scalable, flexible and intuitive, helping to deliver the right outcomes while making positive, continuous change areality.’

Contact us

Jeremy Lief

Partner, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7718 339701

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