Schwan’s Company, one of the fastest-growing leaders and producers in North America’s food industry, is dedicated to bringing people and cultures together through global flavors and delicious ethnic cuisine. Founded in 1952, the company has grown to become a leading provider of frozen foods in retail stores and food-service venues throughout the U.S. Learn how Schwan’s partnered with ADP to reimagine HR processes and prepare for future growth.

The amount of complexity removed from our technology stack is incredible. We eliminated five vendors, over 200 custom programs and over 100 integrations by going all in with ADP Next Gen HCM.

Julie Hartle, Vice President, Business Relationship Management
Schwan’s Company


  • Looking to reinvent the way they do work required simplifying and innovating across all core HR processes

How ADP helped:

  • ADP Next Gen HCM provided key modules and a robust mobile experience that enables employees to have quick and easy connection to systems and work processes - helping them feel connected to each other.


Scott Peterson, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
Julie Hartle, Vice President, Business Relationship Management

Goals and growth strategy

Scott: Through innovation and new product development, our goal is to become the number one ethnic food player in the world. We feel the only way to scale is to simplify and ensure we have best practices.

This was not just about implementing a new system for us. We took a step back and looked at how we could simplify and reinvent how we work. We wanted to streamline the employee experience to make it more robust and ensure that when employees came to work, they would have access to cutting-edge tools to help make their jobs easier and their workday smoother.

Julie: We have about 7,000 employees, and our strategy is to grow organically and through acquisition. It became apparent that the HCM systems we had in place weren’t sufficient to support our growth objectives, so we began brainstorming ways of doing business differently. We challenged our employees to come up with 250 simplification ideas, and they completely exceeded that goal by proposing over 900 ideas on ways we could simplify our processes.

Why ADP Next Gen HCM

Scott: We picked ADP Next Gen HCM because it had the key modules that were important to us. Recruiting and onboarding, HR and payroll, compensation and a mobile experience that would enable our employees to have quick and easy connection to our systems and work processes — and help them feel connected to each other.

Julie: Our culture is around being first, best and different. We felt ADP Next Gen HCM was the product that could help us reinvent work and get us to our future vision of what we wanted in our HR system. We also really liked that ADP offered both the technology and services together.

Partners in innovation

Julie: When we go into business with a new vendor, we view that as a partnership. As early adopters of ADP Next Gen HCM, we committed to working together as partners, and we truly believe that if ADP is successful, it will help us be successful.

Scott: We’re revolutionizing HCM in implementing this across our company, and ADP has been very receptive to our thoughts and ideas to innovate.

Advice to others considering HCM transformation

Julie: I’d encourage anyone planning an HCM transformation to make sure you spend enough time and put enough resources into your change management plan. We took it very seriously at Schwan’s because this was the most significant change management effort we’ve ever made regarding a technology solution.

Scott: Understand that transformation starts with process redesign. It’s not just a system implementation — it’s changing how you work, and you need to know that before you sign up for such a major project. The key is to make sure you’ve got a partner with the system and, frankly, the team to support that process redesign.

On winning the Innovation at Work award

Scott: Winning the Innovation at Work award is an amazing way to recognize all the ideas our employees provided and implemented to improve how we work. I’m incredibly proud of our employees, but I also want to credit ADP because many of our proposed ideas hadn’t been implemented before. It took a very receptive partner willing to listen and be open to those ideas to ensure we had a system to support our efforts to be innovative.

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