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Young woman in an HD Supply dress shirts stands among cubicles with her arms crossed
HD Supply logo

HD Supply transforms the HR experience to keep pace with rapid business growth

75%

Of HR email inboxes turned off within a month

40%

Self-service adoption—higher than expected

350+

Searchable knowledge articles

Using ServiceNow HR Service Delivery, HD Supply replaced manual HR processes with self‑service and automated workflows, creating the opportunity to shift HR resources from transactional work to high‑value advisement and strategic activities.

Transforming the HR service experience

HD Supply’s HR team needed to shift from transactional associates to strategic advisors
HD Supply is one of the largest industrial distributors in North America, providing a broad range of products and value-add services to 500,000 customers. With 275 branches and 44 distribution centers across the U.S. and Canada, HD Supply employs more than 11,000 associates who provide localized services that contribute to their customers' success.

HD Supply focuses on disciplined growth via greenfield initiatives and strategic acquisitions. To support continued growth, the company’s HR organization needed to scale to match the needs of the business, both now and in the future. HR agility and flexibility are key to HD Supply’s dynamic strategy as it continues to maximize the value of its business.

The HR team simply had to transform the way it operated. According to David Van Deventer, HD Supply’s Vice President of HR Planning and Operations, “We had specialist corporate HR teams and HR business partners in each of our business units. However, we didn’t have a tier-one HR support team, which meant that our corporate and business unit HR associates spent far too much time on repetitive transactional work, and not enough time on advisement and strategy.”

HD Supply logo
HD Supply
CUSTOMER
HD Supply
HEADQUARTERS
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
INDUSTRY
Services
EMPLOYEES
5,001 to 50,000
In the parking lot of an HD Supply store

We’ve transformed the HR service experience for our associates, reduced the amount of transactional work for our specialist HR teams, and created visibility across our entire HR organization.

David Van Deventer

VicePresident, HR Planning

Van Deventer further explains, “When we worked with an outside consultant to assess where we were spending our time, 43% was transactional and only 17% was advisement. And, we only spent 5% of our time on strategic work. To support our business, we needed to flip this so we could devote our time to helping associates with their critical challenges and opportunities—and to helping our business to achieve its goals.”

Without an HR service delivery platform, HR associates struggled to find information and track requests
HD Supply had a challenge standing in the way of its transformation—it didn't own an HR service delivery platform. Van Deventer says, “We relied almost entirely on emails and manual paper processes. And, because we didn’t have one place where our associates could go for information, they had to talk to HR for even the most basic help. When we did have information online, it was scattered across intranet sites and difficult to search for. And, from an internal HR perspective, we didn’t know what people were working on day to day because we didn’t have any effective tracking mechanisms.”

HD Supply needed to give HR associates a single point of self-service access. “We wanted to provide a frictionless experience for our associates, including letting them track the status of their requests,” says Van Deventer. “A knowledge base with strong search capabilities was also key so our associates could find the information they needed by themselves. And, we needed a centralized case repository with workflows that would allow us to automate our processes and KPIs to measure and improve our organization’s performance.”

After careful consideration, HD Supply chose ServiceNow as the foundation for HR service delivery across the organization
According to Van Deventer, “Our IT team was about to adopt ServiceNow for information technology service management. However, we didn’t want to make the convenient choice. We wanted to make the right choice. So, we went out to RFP.” After looking at a number of vendors, HD Supply decided that ServiceNow met all of its requirements. “We were impressed with ServiceNow’s roadmap and reputation for listening to its customers’ needs. Of course, having IT on the same platform was a bonus,” says Van Deventer.

HD Supply’s associates have a single HR portal that they can access at anytime.

After running an initial pilot, HD Supply successfully launched ServiceNow HR Service Delivery across its entire business. “We didn’t want to introduce a tier-one team right away,” says Van Deventer. “Instead, we wanted to lay the foundation by empowering our associates with self-service and by tracking cases across our business unit HR associates and corporate HR teams. That way, we could get immediate results and validate our assumptions about the benefits of a tier-one team.”

HR associates eagerly adopt self-service—with 40% on board and 75% of email inboxes turned off
Today, HD Supply’s associates have a single HR portal they can access anytime from a laptop or mobile device. The portal includes more than 350 searchable knowledge articles, 40 service-catalog items, and a full case-management interface where associates can submit and track their cases. “It’s been a real success,” says Van Deventer. “We’ve already got 40% user adoption, which is much more than we expected given that 60% of our associates are in stores, warehouses, or distribution centers. Our associates like it, and they want more.”

HD Supply’s HR team is enthusiastic as well. According to Van Deventer, “Our business unit HR partners and corporate HR specialists are excited about helping our associates become self-sufficient, and they like how associates can track the status of their cases. Initially, some HR service owners were worried about the approach, and they asked to hold on to their existing email inboxes for associate requests. However, within a month of launch, more than 75% asked to have their email inboxes turned off. That’s a true measure of how well the new HR portal has been accepted.”

HD Supply reduces transactional work for HR specialists and sets the stage for a tier-one support team with ServiceNow
HD Supply has now quantified the benefits of setting up a tier-one HR support team. Van Deventer explains, “With ServiceNow, we now understand how much transactional work our specialist teams are handling. For example, approximately 60% of the cases that come to our benefits team are transactional and could be handled by tier one. Our specialist teams can’t wait for us to get our tier-one team set up so they can focus on high-value, high-touch activities.”

Van Deventer concludes, “By introducing a tier-zero knowledge base and automated self-service portal, we’ve transformed the HR service experience for our associates, reduced the amount of transactional work for our specialist HR teams, and created visibility across our entire HR organization. And, we now have the data we need to justify investing in tier one–which means that we’re going to see even more benefits down the road.”

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