SAP HR Helped Us Re-look at Our HR Business Processes in a Conjunctive Manner

Bharat Petroleum’s Comments on Their Implementation of mySAP HR

Bangalore, India

Name: Bharat Petroleum
Industry: Oil Refining & Marketing
SAP Products deployed: mySAP HR

In a pro-active move to adapt to the emerging competitive environment and make the corporation more responsive to customers, Bharat Petroleum undertook a massive restructuring exercise in 1996. As part of this move to embrace change and find a fulfilling balance between product, processes and people, among many other interventions, it implemented mySAP HR. “We did not want mere technology implementation but changes coupled with speed and effectiveness. SAP HR helped us re-look at our HR business processes in a conjunctive manner. It was an unlearning of old ways and relearning of new ones with technology acting as the fulcrum. It helped us notch several milestones as a mega-corporation,” says a company spokesperson.


Bharat Petroleum is one of the largest oil refining and retailing companies in India with a diverse range of products in the domestic, industrial and transportation sectors. Its market share stands at 22 per cent and with a cumulative average growth at 3.2 per cent; it is the fastest growing company in the industry. The Corporation was awarded the Business World’s ‘Most Respected Corporation’ award for the year 2003 in the petroleum and petroleum products sector.


Before the implementation of mySAP HR, there were multiple HR databases on different platforms with their own disparate logic, resulting in duplication of data and effort every time any information needed to be retrieved. The systems had little or no interface within HR and only a limited interface with Payroll. Paper communication between HR and Finance was rampant as the systems were not integrated and not always on-line. To put in a nutshell, “The systems were akin to an archipelago with no bridges in between them!”


To meet the impending challenge of deregulation, Bharat Petroleum wanted to move from a function-based structure to a process-based one with a new focus on customer responsiveness. Operational effectiveness leading to enhanced profitability was the goal. It realised that to meet this goal it had to question the existing systems. “It was similar to shifting home went you question what goods need to be kept, what to be discarded and what to be refurbished,” says a company spokesperson. A stark outcome of this exercise was the realisation that fragmented systems with limited functionalities, especially in HR, had to be revamped. It was discovered that the legacy systems lacked standardisation, integration and flexibility. This was the take off point for considering SAP HR , along with other modules.


The corporation was not merely looking for a technology solution but using the opportunity to redefine, tighten and streamline its processes to meet the larger corporate goal of customer satisfaction both within and outside the organisation. It was found that SAP offered a very robust and time-tested HR solution that met all the transactional and development aspects of HR. It also had a defined road map for enhanced HR functionalities. Besides, it very well supported the larger aim of introducing standardised, integrated and flexible systems. The single point data maintenance offered was a bonus.


The components that were implemented at Bharat Petroleum include Personnel Administration, Organisational Management, Training & Event Management, Payroll, Time Management (limited to Payroll ), R/3 reporting and BW. mySAP has also been implemented at the company subsidiary – Kochi Refineries, as a separate activity.


The project preparation began in October 1999. The Project was implemented in two phases. In the first phase, organisation management and personnel administration modules went live for 3500 management staff, followed by Payroll. By December 2001, the Organization Management and Personnel Administration modules were rolled out to 9000 non-management staff in the refinery and various marketing regions, followed by Payroll in April 2002. By April 2003, BW had been implemented.


According to Bharat Petroleum, mySAP HR lead to the creation of a master data for employees that has become a single source of information for records of 13,000 employees. It re-engineered a number of processes, questioning the status-quos and enforced integration between HR and Finance. Finally, a system is in place that was seamlessly integrated, on-line, multi-functional and process-based. The result is greater knowledge sharing and access across different domains.

With SAP implementation, processes and transactions involving increments/promotions and salary revisions are user-friendlier and the drudgery of manual updates and calculations is driven out. Information mining has become far simpler. The system demands greater accuracy and quality in maintenance of HR and other Masters. There is more accountability and transparency of information.