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SUCCESS STORY Champignon Cheese dairy successfully digitises HR with us in record time

2 years ago

A traditional company in the age of digitalisation

The Champignon-Hofmeister group of companies is one of the most successful German dairies and today supplies around 50 different types of soft cheese to over 55 countries (including the USA, Japan and China). With over 1,000 employees, the company from Lauben (Allgäu) produces products of the highest quality for cheese connoisseurs, gourmets and bulk consumers worldwide at 5 locations in Bavaria and Saxony. Innovation and the use of modern technology are firm pillars of a sustainable corporate policy at this traditional, owner-managed company. As part of an extensive investment programme, work began in 2019 to digitize numerous business processes (production, logistics, purchasing, financial accounting/controlling, etc.) using SAP S4/Hana.

Under the overall responsibility of the IT manager Mr. Michael Moser and technical project management by the HR manager Mrs. Dagmar Baldus, the personnel processes were restructured and examined with regard to digitization approaches. On the basis of these results, a program management should be created, which also leads the numerous personnel management processes into a further phase of digitalisation. Two statements are intended to illustrate the circumstances under which this project stood at the time. Mr. Moser defined the challenges for the digitalisation project, also in the personnel area, as follows: „... The fact is that media breaks should be a thing of the past, process chains must be streamlined in order to become faster. The effort for maintenance must be reduced and calculable on demand.“ Ms. Baldus' main concerns were as follows: „As head of a service department, I want to be the most efficient processes possible, which are the benchmark for customer satisfaction through a high degree of automation and user-friendliness. But digitalisation also means taking everyone along. The topic of further education is of fundamental importance.“

Initial situation in the area of human resources

Technically, the Champignon-Hofmeister Group had been equipped with an SAP HR system since 2000, but without any major further development. The introduction of cloud-based application tools as a "stand alone" solution (in 2012) and the introduction of the so-called "Everyman File" for the provision of documents to employees in 2018 were the first steps in the automation of labor-intensive processes.
Organizationally, however, there were many hurdles to overcome. Many manual processing and review processes as well as a time-consuming handling of billing and time management put an above-average strain on the existing personnel capacities. There was not enough room for strategic personnel issues. The manual, very "paper-heavy" File management and document generation consumed further valuable resources

Upstream management and Process-Consulting

Management, IT management and personnel management agreed to have a personnel IT strategy and the resulting program management developed by a specialist. The aim was to incorporate as many best practice approaches as possible into the conception before software decisions and implementations are even started. Together and moderated by Mr. Joachim Volpert from novamusHR01 GmbH, an HR-IT development plan was developed. The HR-IT development plan includes the analysis of the current state and the future fields of action of human resources management at the Champignon-Hofmeister Group. In addition, based on a prioritization of the main and sub-processes, various work and application packages were underpinned and digitized with best practice approaches. Finally, a detailed value/cost analysis was derived.

The HR-IT development plan of novamusHR01 provided the management with a high level of transparency for the upcoming investment decisions, among other things through the included ROI analysis. In this way, a detailed phase plan (guideline) for all further activities was created via the accompanying opportunity and risk assessment and the value contribution presented for the respective specialist topic. The company was now able to access a reliable analytical basis for the software and hardware decisions to be made as part of the digitalisation project. In addition, the study contained realistic assessments of the expected temporal dimension for the entire implementation project.

Parallel to the preparation of the HR-IT development plan, a model for the out-tasking of parts of the payroll processes was developed and implemented via a make-or-buy analysis, especially for the area of payroll accounting. With this measure, the necessary capacities for the implementation of the upcoming digitization projects were created.

Implementation Phase

From the resulting digitalisation strategy in the HR-IT development plan, several implementation phases could be derived over a realization period of 2-3 years. In the first implementation phase, the focus was on the following topics:

  • Introduction of SAP SuccessFactors with the subcomponents Employee Central, Goals- and Performance, Compensation and Learning
  • Simultaneous introduction of the electronic personnel file, context-related document generation and the introduction of a certificate generator

NovamusHR01 was awarded the overall contract for project management and implementation of all implementation topics.
For the technical and conceptual realisation of the SAP SuccessFactors applications included, NovamusHR01,
involved ABS Team GmbH as implementation partner. For the realization of the electronic personnel file, certificate generator and document generation, the software manufacturer Aconso was commissioned in coordination with the client. Through the introduction of SAP SuccessFactors (the graphic provides an overview), a large number of previously manual processes were technically replaced. In this context, for example, the complex processing of further training due to legal requirements in the hygiene area of production should be emphasised as a milestone of the project.

Lauben (Allgäu), November 2020

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