Britehouse adopts SAP cloud technology to transform human capital processes and position the business for future success

In an effort to remain ahead of the curve, Britehouse, an accredited SAP Africa partner, has invested in SAP SuccessFactors technology as part of its business transformation journey. The objective was to help the organisation successfully achieve its ambitious business growth strategy bolstered by a focused and innovative people development strategy.

Embracing innovation and transformation are critical for any growing organisation. Britehouse has grown by almost 150% over the last seven years and now has over 1 000 employees. This type of rapid growth significantly impacts not only processes and systems but employees and their productivity.

One of the challenges that Britehouse faced with this swift expansion was the need to quickly and efficiently transform HR from an operation to an innovative and strategic business function. Managing paper-based performance reviews and record keeping was no longer a smart or reliable way of running the HR function.

Not only was the process itself outdated, but the potential for human errors – such as misplaced data or incorrectly allocated information – was there. "It was time for Britehouse to transform its HR processes along with the rest of its business, "said Themba Chakela, Director of Human Resources and Transformation at Britehouse. "The goal was to move HR from being a traditional transactional division to become a truly strategic business partner and thereby help empower the business do better by effectively leveraging its own talent and free up the HR team to spend their time on more strategic topics. We needed technology with a super cool user experience that would address these challenges and help us become the best company to work for. SAP was the answer."

For Britehouse, choosing SAP SuccessFactors was a simple decision. As a long-standing SAP partner, Britehouse already had deep insight into the power of SAP technology. The solution offers a comprehensive human capital management (HCM) suite that includes all the important pillars of talent management, core HR, collaboration tools and workforce analytics. "Having been an SAP partner for years, this presented a perfect opportunity to drink our own champagne," said Chakela.

Britehouse has been successfully running SAP SuccessFactors since 2013 and the organisation now manages talent centrally. Management have access at all times to a digital 360 analytical view of its workforce remotely, including insight into people's career aspirations as well as detailed reporting. The Britehouse SAP SuccessFactors solution is also embedded with Employee Profiles, Goals Setting, Learning, Development, Recruitment, Workforce Analytics and Performance Review capabilities.

"As with anything critical to business transformation, it is vital management invest time and be an integral part of such a project team," added Chakela. "One of the immediate benefits was the simplicity of the new processes, for example an easy-to-understand online one-pager training manual for employees and we had the immediate ability to pinpoint skills developmental areas that are germane to our specific business growth." Another value-add was the modern user experience with remote access to the Britehouse address directory by profile and or speciality categories, all centrally located and easily accessible without going through the traditional manual search process for employee records. "The SAP technology has helped us reduce errors and we are becoming far more efficient in how we run all our HR operations."

SAP SuccessFactors has also brought the matrixed Britehouse business closer together with 80% of the workforce based in remote locations. "The SAP solution has allowed Britehouse to put the ‘human' back into HR in a unique way. The biggest HR challenge is being misunderstood by business The SAP technology has also enabled Britehouse HR to speak in a language that the business understands. With SAP, we are now able to report to executive management on HR insights that impact the business." he concluded.

In terms of lessons learned in ensuring that one truly reaps the benefits from the implementation of an effective human capital management solution, Chakela stressed that the most important lesson is to have consensus and clarity into an organisation's HR strategy and goals. He underlined that this type of transformation takes both leadership commitment and business partnership.

"The SAP SuccessFactors solution is the most adopted cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SAAS) business software in the world. Today, we have approximately 20 million subscribers from more than 3 600 customers in more than 177 countries using our application suite in 35 languages across more than 60 industries. It is a very comprehensive best of both worlds technology combining – Talent and Core HR functionalities in one. Many companies, just like Britehouse, are making use of our technology to drive meaningful and sustainable business execution" commented Brett Parker, Managing Director of SAP Africa.