How do energy companies attract, hire and motivate talented people while reducing cost to serve?
Working with IBM, EDF Energy deployed SAP SuccessFactors to support all HR activities, enabling the company to build a workforce that will help to meet the UK’s energy needs today and tomorrow.
25% reductionin cost to serve of EDF Energy’s HR function
StreamlinesHR processes, and delivers unprecedented visibility
HelpsEDF Energy to attract, engage and develop its employees
Business challenge story
Powering a nation
As you boil the kettle or light your stove, it’s easy to forget about the tremendous effort and manpower that goes into supplying gas and electricity. To keep the lights on in homes and businesses up and down the UK, EDF Energy mobilizes an expert team of over 15,000 dedicated people.
With new market players entering the UK energy sector, it’s more important than ever before for established providers to ensure they are running lean, efficient and sustainable organizations.
As the UK’s largest supplier of electricity to the nation’s businesses, EDF Energy is on a mission to streamline its organization by making dramatic efficiency savings. At the same time, the company is also committed to developing the low-carbon and renewable energy infrastructure that will power millions of homes for decades to come. For instance, EDF Energy is currently working on building Hinkley Point C—the first in a new generation of nuclear power stations in the UK, designed to supply more than six million homes with electricity.
Competing effectively while also undertaking huge infrastructure development projects places significant strain on EDF Energy’s human resources. What’s more, as experienced engineers reach retirement, the company must attract, train and nurture new staff to ensure continued success.
Having grown through acquisition over two decades, EDF Energy inherited multiple HR systems and disparate processes. This complex landscape reduced operational efficiency and left the company struggling without a single source of the truth for HR data to support decision making.
Ian Hammond, Future HR Projects Director at EDF Energy, elaborates: “The energy sector is highly competitive, and the pressure is on to develop low-carbon, stable sources of energy in the decades ahead. That’s why we are undertaking a number of large infrastructure-development projects to strengthen energy security in Britain and solidify our leading market position.
“To ensure that our large infrastructure development projects are successful, we must recruit and train hundreds of new employees. At the same time, it’s essential that we empower each member of staff in our Customer Business to develop their skills and help EDF Energy to continue to thrive as market conditions change. Only in this way can we meet the energy needs of the UK now and in the future.”
Simplify, standardize, succeed
To simplify its HR function, EDF Energy chose to establish a single platform for all of its HR processes. This would provide a unified human resources view across the entire company, helping to support the thousands of existing and new staff that would drive the company’s future.
EDF Energy engaged IBM Services to assist with this mission-critical project, and selected SAP SuccessFactors as the enabling technology. Through a series of design workshops, IBM helped EDF Energy evaluate and re-design many core HR activities to establish best practices. By working with IBM to investigate ways to improve its processes and integrate them with modules in SAP SuccessFactors, EDF Energy optimized each process to deliver maximum efficiency.
IBM helped EDF Energy move most of its existing HR systems from an on-premises instance of SAP ERP Human Capital Management to SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central. To build a comprehensive platform for HR, EDF Energy deployed the SAP SuccessFactors Compensation, Employee Central, Onboarding, Performance and Goals, Recruiting, Succession and Development, and Workforce Planning and Analytics modules.
Once fully implemented, each SAP SuccessFactors module will combine to create EDF Energy myHR: a central, self-service hub that enables employees to complete a wide variety of HR-related tasks with ease and convenience.
“This project offered us a great opportunity to transform our people-management processes, not only to simplify them, but also make them much more employee-centric,” recalls Ian Hammond. “IBM really led the way, running a series of workshops in which we involved HR staff from across the company to help us work out how we could make our HR function work more efficiently. Thanks to the IBM team’s focused, agile approach to development, we managed to redesign and standardize 63 processes and reduce the number of performance management schemes from 9 to 2 in just a matter of months.
“We wanted an implementation partner that had extensive experience deploying SAP technology as well as the technical expertise to tailor the solutions to our specific needs. IBM ticked these boxes and worked with us to minimize disruption to the business during the implementation.”
He continues: “We chose SAP SuccessFactors as the best way to create a single source of truth into all HR activities. SAP SuccessFactors offers employees a natural, intuitive user experience, and we have already received positive feedback from our user community—and we expect more as we enable additional features for all employees.
“The implementation has been very successful. For example, using SAP SuccessFactors Compensation for the first time, we completed the pay cycle for more than 15,000 employees with the lowest level of error and fewest number of queries that we have ever seen.”
Building a brighter future
Since deploying SAP SuccessFactors, EDF Energy has achieved significant improvements in HR efficiency, and provided a much better user experience.
“We are still in the early stages of going live with SAP SuccessFactors, however we have already seen a significant improvement in the operational efficiency of many of our core HR processes,” explains Ian Hammond. “All time saved on HR administration is more time that our employees can spend adding value to our business. What’s more, we have also reduced the cost to serve of our HR function by 25 percent by implementing SAP solutions.”
He adds: “Deploying SAP SuccessFactors with assistance from IBM has helped us improve data quality too. Throughout the implementation we identified and corrected 32,500 data errors in legacy systems, enabling us to improve accuracy.
“SAP SuccessFactors unites all our HR processes, reducing complexity and hugely improving our people management capabilities. For instance, by redesigning our core processes with the help of IBM, we have replaced nine performance management systems with two.
“Before, we struggled to help individual business units tap into talent elsewhere in the company. In the near future, we will be able to recommend internal hires from an enterprise-wide talent pool. This way, we can help every employee succeed and strengthen our position in the market.”
Ian Hammond concludes: “SAP SuccessFactors and IBM help us to attract, retain and develop the people we need, enabling us to increase Britain’s energy security with low-carbon, affordable power and sharpen our competitive edge.”
EDF Energy is the UK’s largest producer of low-carbon electricity, producing around 23 percent of the nation's electricity from its nuclear power stations, wind farms, coal and gas power stations. The company supplies gas and electricity to more than 5.5 million business and residential customer accounts each year.