Kaba is an international supplier of solutions for access control, time entry, the capture of operating data, door systems, security doors, locking systems, and system integration. The company has more than 1,100 customers who also use SAP software. Acting on its motto of “Total Access,” Kaba has consolidated its market presence in all European countries into a single, consistent Kaba organization. Its goal is to improve efficiency by handling all business with customers and partners with a single, uniform organization that presents one face to the customer. The conversion occurred in the core markets of Germany, Austria, France, and Switzerland on July 1, 2006. In Germany, the merger of Kaba Türsysteme in Bühl, Kaba Benzing GmbH in Villingen-Schwenningen, and Kaba GmbH in Dreieich created a uniform sales and distribution organization and a new organizational structure in HR.
Unifying heterogeneous payroll systems
The fusion required the centralization and standardization of HR processes, such as HR administration, time management, and payroll. The individual companies handled these processes separately using different systems. Payroll for the employees of Kaba Türsysteme was processed with Exact, and Kaba GmbH outsourced payroll to Datev, a tax consultant. Kaba Benzing GmbH handled all HR processes with SAP ERP Human Capital Management (SAP ERP HCM). Kaba Benzing had integrated and mapped all other business processes from production to financial accounting with the SAP ERP application.
“The heterogeneity of payroll systems that had developed over time meant we lacked a uniform base of data that we could use to create payroll across individual companies or to evaluate the vacation time or flex time of employees,” explains Bernd Gassner, head of human capital management at Kaba GmbH. “As part of the merger of the companies in Germany, we could finally deal with the consolidation of HR processes.” The goal was to standardize HR processes to reduce process costs. The company decided to use SAP ERP HCM to create a base of integrated and uniform data for HR processes and analysis. “The application links comprehensive HR functionalities with a high degree of assurance of a good future,” says Gassner as he describes the decision.
Finding the right service provider
Because the project involved sensitive HR data, Kaba simply had to find the right service provider for the project. Because Bernd Gassner was already familiar with ITML GmbH from earlier HR projects, there was no question about using ITML to support the current project.
Kaba awarded the IT service provider with the project in June 2006 and outsourced responsibility to the company for payroll, time management, and HR master data. The schedule was relatively tight because the July payroll for about 380 active employees of the new, consolidated company had to be processed with SAP ERP HCM. ITML was able to adhere to the schedule; the conversion, including data transfer from the legacy system, took a total of only five staff days.
Clear distribution of tasks
The project was completed rapidly because of outstanding collaboration between the two-person ITML project team and the three Kaba employees assigned to the project and because tasks were clearly distributed. For example, gross amounts for government-sponsored pensions or tax contributions reside in specific tables in SAP ERP HCM. Non-SAP systems store the data according to different criteria and distribute it to other tables. ITML determined which amounts should be converted from the legacy system into wage types in the SAP software. The Kaba project team took care of procuring the payroll data for various types of deductions from the individual companies and manual maintenance of the tables. The experts from ITML used a special payroll account transfer schema to import the table entries during the payroll run into the payroll results for employees and transferred the payroll accounts to SAP ERP HCM.
According to Ralf Seemann, the ITML project leader at Kaba, transferring payroll accounts for the current fiscal year that contained previously calculated wages or salaries involved a great deal of effort. If the transfer had occurred at the beginning of the fiscal year, it would have involved only cumulated values. But because this case involved the current fiscal year, all prior transactions had to be imported into the payroll accounts of the SAP software and then assigned correctly. That is particularly important for certificates of wage tax deductions that are produced when an employee leaves the company. “We were nevertheless able to perform the conversion in a timely manner,” says Seemann.
Consolidation accelerates processes
Kaba benefits from the consolidation of payroll processes in SAP ERP HCM in many ways. All HR master data, such as wage payments, contribution certificates for health insurers, payments of health insurance premiums, and notifications and certificates of tax payments, are now combined centrally in one system environment in the HR department and maintained uniformly across all locations. Personnel expenses and payments are then transferred directly to financial accounting and controlling departments. The financial accounting department pays the wage taxes to the government and reconciles the figures. The controlling department analyzes vacation time, absences, and flex time.
Gassner sees a clear improvement in speed and transparency thanks to the workflows that are now automated. Even reports are produced more quickly now, because the data needed for the reports is available in the SAP software. Gassner concludes, “The consolidation of HR processes in SAP ERP HCM provides us with direct access to current, consistent, and complete HR data. Payroll processes can be integrated according to legal requirements, making them quick and easy to perform.”
Other conversions in sight
HR-related processes never stand still. HR departments must constantly deal with new legal requirements or new contractual arrangements. The specialists from ITML are currently using special SAP software to enable SAP ERP HCM to handle the requirements of new regulations triggered by a new contract negotiated by the German metal and electronics industry (ERA-TV in its German abbreviation). ERA-TV involves a comprehensive redesign of remuneration systems that must be mapped in the software. Changes include removal of the current groupings of blue- and white-collar employees. The previous groups of those paid hourly wages and salaries will be replaced with remuneration groups that are oriented to the tasks that employees perform. The new groups must be analyzed and repopulated with employees. “With the help of HR experts from ITML, we’ll be able to meet these requirements as intended and seamlessly,” says Gassner.