Building on e-HR success

first_img Comments are closed. e-HR in action B&Q’s HR project manager, David Foote,explains how the DIY retailer is reaping the benefits of a solid e-HRinfrastructure with its SAP HR systemOn average, B&Q has 1,100 new joiners, 800 leavers and 10,000 contractchanges each month across its 320 UK stores. With a significant increase in thelabour force expected in the coming years, HR project manager David Foote knewhe had to find a way of easing the strain on the HR department by streamliningprocesses. That was in 2000, and while many companies are still debating the whys andwherefores of an e-HR strategy, B&Q leapt straight in. Foote’s willingnessto bite the bullet has meant that the number one DIY retailer in Europe isreaping the benefits of a solid e-HR infrastructure on which to build from bothan HR and business standpoint. “We needed to upgrade our HR technology to make sure we benefited fromextra functionality, increased accuracy of information, extended reportingmechanisms and streamlined processes,” says Foote. “Our SAP HR systemhas given us this.” To help achieve its aims, B&Q employed the services of HR specialistArinso UK, which has a track record in implementing SAP systems. Arinso madesure the design of the system was tailored to a store-based environment,encouraging exhaustive testing by the organisation. “We had two user testing groups – one that took 2,000 existing payrollrecords that were entered into SAP HR to see if the same pay figures werearrived at, while the other team was tasked with dreaming up wacky HR andpayroll scenarios to see how the technology reacted,” says Foote. “Wespent five months on this phase, but it was worth it as the first payroll wentsmoothly.” A working party was established to assess the best way to roll out SAP HR.The personnel administration and organisational management modules were rolledout first, with time management (which includes a clocking facility) followinglater. An interim solution was developed to allow the administration of the HRprocesses to be managed by the existing central HR team, but many tasks wouldeventually be devolved to store managers, and it was planned that each storewould be online to the SAP HR system via a PC. Roll-out to stores initially focused on the larger B&Q warehouses thatalready had mini HR infrastructures and strong administration capabilities andthen continued with the B&Q supercentres. Training on the systems and the reviewing and modernising of businessprocesses emerged as the major issues. The latter saw most of the HR work ableto be managed at local level, dispensing with manual reporting systems, whichhad involved duplication of effort. As well as increased capability, efficiency and access to information, Footeidentifies a major benefit of the system as putting the control of informationin the right hands as well as ultimately fulfilling the dream of making the HRfunction more strategic. “We have seen a substantial reduction in the number of pay queries andcalls to our support desk. Also, we anticipate being able to reduce our storestaff costs simply by giving managers accurate reporting of weekly costs,”he says. “The HR function across B&Q will increasingly be one ofexpert consultancy, providing advice, support and guidance to line managers onHR issues.” Despite positive reports one-HR, it still remains to be judged on itsability to provide a prompt return on investment. With pressure on the function to adopt the business partner’s approach, thisis hardly surprising, but as Wayne Carstensen, managing director of Arinso UK,points out, the less immediately apparent benefits should also be recognised. “Employee/management reviews, for instance, can be done online and thenprovide the basis for needs analysis and allow an organisation to workone-learning programmes and career-pathing,” he says. “E-HR is a strategic enabler and, as such, a part of the sharedservices and business process outsourcing options available to business to workin a more efficient manner, says Carstensen. “However, if an employer doesnot have a structured technology backbone it can become costly to implement andintegrate a holistic solution to realise benefits. The bottom line is thatlong-term benefits are achievable, but the actual timescales depend very muchon the organisation and industry.” Building on e-HR successOn 7 Oct 2003 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more