What is Workday, our Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution?

Workday is a new, comprehensive solution for campus business processes, from administrative to academic. Workday provides us with a useful, modern software solution that addresses human resources, financial and operational needs in an integrated fashion.  Workday will provide us with significantly more easily accessible data and give us the ability to perform many functions on our mobile devices.

An Enterprise Resource Planning solution, or an ERP, combines services such as payroll, human resources, and finances with our important academic activities, including registration, advising, grading, connecting with students, etc. It is a unified system. The alternative would be disparate systems tied together through integrations. There are merits to both approaches, but an ERP is the most unified of options.

Isn’t Workday Just Replacing Capstone?

No. Replacing Capstone, due to its age and other factors, started the effort. But early on we decided that this was a great opportunity to install a more comprehensive, integrated system, so we expanded it to an ERP. So the Workday solution stretches far beyond simply a Capstone replacement.

What is Workday Replacing?

Human Resources does not have a formal Information System (HRIS) in place. Finance will be replacing Financial Edge. Payroll will eventually replace our current partnership with JetPay. And, of course, Workday Student will replace Capstone.

What is Workday not Replacing?

We will be keeping some products, and uniting them to Workday through integrations. These include Slate for admissions and recruiting and Powerfaids for financial aid. Note that Workday does not include an advancement product, and therefore we will continue to use Millennium for that capacity.

What new functionality is Workday providing?

Workday will be a comprehensive digital transformation for the campus. As a result, there is a great deal of new functionality coming with its implementation. The biggest changes will be simply reducing the amount of paper forms we use today, in favor of completely electronic processes. This has the downstream benefit of less time spent processing these documents.

Workday also will eventually provide online management of several services, such as benefits and expense reports. A comprehensive document management solution will unify purchase orders and other electronic files with copies of the accompanying physical documents such as invoices.

Why did we make this change?

The initial driving force was the need to replace Capstone. This Student Information System (SIS) has been in place for many decades at Muhlenberg and has been facing declining fit to our core process needs for some time. This is not to say that everyone is dissatisfied with Capstone, but the time for change has come.

As we researched options, a new opportunity arose. With a full ERP solution, we could integrate all of our operations into a single system, ranging from HR to Financials to the SIS. This would smooth out our processes across the board.

Finally, we chose Workday because it was the most powerful ERP tool with a forthcoming Student module that was being built from the ground-up, in response to today’s academic needs.

Who is in charge of what changes are being made?

Some design features were chosen over others by the respective operational groups - HR, Finance and Purchasing. Most of these were based on our environmental and process needs - what we needed to accomplish, rather than how we’ve done things in the past. This approach allowed us to think broadly about how Workday could meet our needs.

Many of the changes that will occur with the implementation of Workday are due to the design of the system itself. For instance, how vacation accrual will be addressed (see below). Note that it is a standard system feature across all products we examined to, for example, track leave accrual and therefore require entry of leave into the system.

Who are Managers and Colleagues in Workday, vs Managers and Staff Associates at Muhlenberg?

Workday uses different terminology than Muhlenberg. All faculty and staff are “Colleagues” in Workday.

Traditionally at Muhlenberg, a Manager is a salaried, “exempt” member of staff. A Staff Associate is paid hourly. There are some leave accrual differences, too, but the salary structure is the biggest difference.

In Workday terminology, a Manager is anyone who supervises another colleague, including faculty who are department chairs or faculty supervising staff.

Who will be affected by what changes?

To various extents, virtually everyone at the college will be affected. For instance:

In Human Resources, timesheets for non-exempt employees will move from multi-part paper forms to electronic entry, automatic calculation of total hours, electronic approvals by supervisors, and tracking of accumulation and use of vacation and sick leave.  Faculty and staff members will be able to make changes to benefits electronically, via self-service within Workday, with those changes transmitted directly to our health and dental insurers.

  • Timesheets, leave, and absence recording
    • All staff will track vacation usage in Workday
    • Staff Associates will transition to electronic timesheets from the current paper-based process in use.
    • Supervisors will need to approve these timesheets electronically, in Workday
  • Purchase orders and requisitions
    • With Workday comes a new purchasing system, which means a new purchase order and requisitioning system. Those that create requisitions and POs will have a new system to use, and many will now have a new system for approvals.
  • Tax forms and benefit changes
    • Entry/changes to W4s will be done electronically
    • Modifications to benefits to recognize life changes (e.g. birth/adoption of child) will be handled in the Workday system

I heard that we’re changing our {fill in the blank} policy because of Workday. Is this true?

Policies are created and and administered by the relevant departments. For example, Human Resources creates and administers policy with respect to vacation time, etc. The Finance Office sets policy on how budgets are created and submitted. Implementing Workday does not mean that policies will change, but how users interact with policy may change.

For example, we have an existing policy that full-time exempt staff accrue 2 days of vacation per month, except for the last month of each contract year, for a total of 22 days for 12-month employees, 20 days for 11-month and 18 days for 10 month employees. The lack of a comprehensive tool for reporting time off meant that tracking of vacation time available according to this policy was inconsistent.

The decision to keep the policy belongs to the department of Human Resources, the implementation of that policy into Workday is what will result in a change felt by employees at the College. Workday cannot ignore accrual rules, and will indicate an error if one attempts to take more time off than is accrued. However, this error can be overridden by managers if approved.

What modules are being installed, on what schedule, and what can they do?

For phase 1, we are activating components of the “Core ERP” Workday solution. These are slated for go-live in January 2018. This includes:

Human Capital Management (HR)

  • Absence Tracking
  • Demographic Data
  • Benefits/Deductions
  • Time Entry

Finance and Purchasing

Phase 2 is implementation of the Finance and Purchasing components of Workday. These will go-live in March 2018.

  • Purchase orders and requisitions
  • Expenses for reimbursement


Phase 3 includes implementation of Payroll, which will start around mid-2018 and go-live in January 2019.

  • Pay stub look-up


Phase 4 is implementation of Workday Student. This will start around March 2018 and run roughly 18-24 months. The full feature set is still being designed by Workday.

When will we hear more about Student?

We will be developing the timeline for Student implementation early Spring 2018. This preliminary timeline will be presented to campus shortly thereafter. We are already beginning discussions with departments to help inform the process.