Cement Australia creates its own fully automated HR system

Replaces 20,000 pieces of paper

With no off-the-shelf products able to fill its needs, Cement Australia developed its own tailored human resources information system that now receives more than 10,000 visits per week from employees, suppliers and associates.

The HR RAFT (Remuneration, Automated Functions and Transactions) system replaced a patchwork of legacy applications and inherited business processes.

Cement Australia collaboration and development manager, Ian Norvock, said the company wanted a fully integrated HRIS, addressing the full gamut of HR transactions, learning and development and performance management while also analysing Intranet usage.

He said the company also wanted to leverage existing investments in the SAP ERP system and IBM Lotus Domino infrastructure.

Cement Australia engaged IBM business partner Eos Solutions to build a portal that would streamline management processes and make appropriate HR information available to staff.

"It made sense to build something we had full control over, that was affordable. We were able to start small and grow gradually," Norvock said.

"Eos designed the solution to ensure we didn't have to go out and buy servers to support a new system that no one knew how to use."

Eos Solutions project manager and principal consultant, Sean Kelly, said HR RAFT was built on IBM Web Content Management, Lotus Domino and Lotus Enterprise Integrator to simplify management tasks and provide a flexible framework for future projects.

"This environment delivered a secure framework to leverage existing business applications and SAP master data throug a user-friendly Web interface, addressing both HR and iServices top priorities for the project," he said.

The new system now provides a platform for accurate and up-to-date HR information where employees across the business can access payslips, leave balances, forms, recruitment processes and reporting online.

The portal also stores a vast and growing library of self-service information on HR policies and training, and allows managers to do routine tasks such as annual salary reviews and approving forms online.

Since implementation, average response times to transaction requests has been reduced from three to five days to less than 24 hours, and data accuracy has improved from 60 per cent to 98 per cent.

Cement Australia's general manager of people and performance, Wayne Beel, said there has been significant cost savings associated with removing 20,000 pieces of paper, which has translated to less administration work for the HR team.

"We now have a strong audit trail and our employees can track their progress in any approval process," he said.

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