When the need for a new HR reporting system became evident at the end of 2004, Cleanaway Germany still belonged to the Australian Brambles Group. At that time, the Brambles Group was looking to obtain more detailed KPIs for the HR section. Among other things, it required HR costs, staff turnover rates, staffing-level data, absences from work, and absence rates from diverse sources to be combined in a single report. Brambles also wanted the KPIs to be mapped using an automated reporting system. However, because there was still no standardized HR solution at Cleanaway, this proved to be a very laborious task.
The KPIs of the individual companies therefore had to be compiled in what was a long and elaborate process. The operatives in the HR department requested the data by telephone, imported it from various files into Excel and passed it on to the management. In the German companies that worked with SAP R/3, the components for Human Resources (HR), Personnel Administration (PA), Payroll Accounting (PY) and Personnel Time Management (PT) were incorporated into the KPI acquisition process. However, it was not possible to map the whole organization in this way. Nor was Cleanaway able to implement the comprehensive queries that were required.
What the company required was a standardized tool spanning the whole organization that would take care of HR controlling, reporting and control of HR processes. Cleanaway therefore decided to introduce SAP Business Information Warehouse (SAP BW). Partner for this project was the consultancy company treorbis, with whom Cleanaway had worked since 1999. treorbis oversaw the whole project from planning to user training.
Critical KPIs . . .
The project kicked off in February 2005. The first phase involved building the data structures in SAP BW, developing the extractors and extraction, transformation and loading processes, and implementing the reports and queries within the solution. The relevant KPIs were mapped mainly by transferring data from the HR solution. Priority was given to those KPIs that were of primary importance to the management of the then parent Group, e.g. staffing levels and Full Time Equivalents (FTEs) (the full work time of an employee corresponds to one FTE). Further KPIs included the staff turnover rates, associated information such as personnel joining and leaving the company, or organizational changes relating to personnel, personnel times, e.g. attendance figures, overtime, absences from work, vacation, sickness days and sickness levels.
The solution has been live since summer 2005. To prepare the KPIs for the queries, “Infocubes” are created in SAP BW that contain certain information, e.g. on a particular employee. This data may be sourced from various SAP components and from external applications. It can be analyzed with the help of various views. Jens Schütt, Application Manager SAP at Cleanaway, explains: “SAP BW provides us with a living system for our HR reporting, in other words, it is continually evolving. In addition to analyzing KPIs, our company will soon be able to harness the benefits of other SAP BW functionalities.” These include an Internet portal with reports and planning scenarios that will serve as a “Management Information Cockpit”.
. . . at the touch of a button
The direct user group of SAP BW is the HR department. The master data of the Cleanaway employees imported here into the HR solution goes automatically into SAP BW. HR operatives can use the solution to make queries, and they receive the required KPIs at the touch of a button.
For Jens Schütt, the main benefit of SAP BW lies in querying information from different solutions: “The data is loaded completely in SAP BW, which means that information from various sectors, e.g. accounting results and attendance times, can be linked and analyzed in response to a single query. All KPIs can be interlinked and analyzed automatically.” Comprehensive analyses like these were previously only possible using very laborious methods. To do this, Cleanaway used to have to generate two queries initially and then combine them using Excel.
The new solution therefore saves the company a lot of time and outlay in determining information. The HR department first sends the monthly reports about the key operating figures to the management of Cleanaway, who then pass it on to the management of SULO. This process is partially system-controlled in SAP BW. The data is checked and then forwarded in the form of Excel sheets.
SAP BW also enables the integration of European Cleanaway companies that work with HR applications from other providers. The branches send Excel files that can be imported into SAP BW and accessed by the HR department at the touch of a button. However, this process is only a transitional solution, as Cleanaway is gradually equipping its European companies with the HR components from SAP R/3.
High quality, low costs
The outcome of the project has been positive for all concerned. SAP BW enables automated reporting for the employees in the HR department and saves them a great deal of administrative outlay. They can create high-quality reports that map the whole company at the touch of a button. The solution allows them to rapidly implement additional requirements, such as new reports based on changed KPIs. The management benefits from being able to make much more effective use of information than previously. The data is now much higher in quality and the former diverse reporting landscape has been standardized.
The new solution offers transparent and reliable HR data that makes it easier to identify opportunities and risks. The age distribution of the company workforce is made transparent and the staff turnover rate provides information on whether staffing levels are likely to decrease too much in future. This helps the management to respond promptly and save costs. For Cleanaway, this offers considerable competitive advantages.
The next project phase, due to start in 2006, will incorporate additional query functions for HR accounting data already available in SAP BW. These will relate to HR cost planning (planned/actual) and HR cost controlling.
Also on the agenda are the introduction of a balanced scorecard and web-based reporting for the company management. Last but not least, Cleanaway’s move to the SULO Group has placed new demands on SAP BW. These include standardized reporting for HR and absence statistics and a uniform reporting system for the whole Group.