Heading the IT function for the over Rs 3,500 crore group, Kumar found that each business unit within the group had its own way of dealing with HR. Each had its own job requirements, designations, and people processes even while dealing with employees of a similar profile.
This disparity led to instances where the companies engaged in mining, steel, power, and value-added steel products were unable to cross-leverage skills and resources not only among themselves but even among the multiple plants of a single unit. Without a centralized knowledge portal the LOB heads had little visibility into the organizational structure of their sister concerns and were losing out the opportunity to learn from each other. “For example, a highly skilled technician at our Rourkela plant can help solve some issue at the Jamshedpur facility only if we have the visibility into such resources,” says Kumar.
Initially at Adhunik, every aspect of people management—right from recruitment to retirement—was decentralized. Employees were losing close to 10-15 percent of their time chasing the HR department for things like claims settlement, leave records, and pay slips. This was time that top management wanted its employees to spend on productive work rather than on mundane follow-ups.
“This also affected the appraisal process for employees within the group as there was no uniformity in the process of evaluating their performance,” says Kumar. He sought to put an end to these incongruities without burning a hole in the company’s pocket and considered the implementation of a human resource management system (HRMS). “But the system needed to be agile and flexible enough to incorporate the necessary changes demanded by either the business or regulatory authorities,” he says.
Moving our HRMS onto the cloud has helped foster collective wisdom within the group.
Kumar considered using the modules of SAP that would help him consolidate employee information of the group companies. But that didn’t come cheap. “We would have had to spend close to Rs 2.5 crore on licenses and there was an additional 22 percent cost on the licenses for annual support,” he says.
While he knew that such a deployment would just about serve the immediate purpose, he knew that this expensive proposition wouldn’t be flexible enough to readily incorporate newer features that might be required in the future even at an additional expense. Moreover, user acceptance was the key in a system that hoped to encourage self-service by employees.
Kumar reasoned that a cheaper and more agile alternative would be to engage a cloud service provider who’d take care of upgrades, functionalities, and compliance. And the fact that a cloud service provider who was willing to cater to the needs of 3,500 odd employees within the group at a total cost of Rs 30 lakh per annum—a mere two-thirds of the annual support costs he would have otherwise incurred—made the deal all the more sweeter.
With this new system on the cloud, the group has been able to streamline its HR processes and sort the disparities with respect to the nomenclature and pay grades. “This has helped foster collective wisdom within the group,” says Kumar. Moreover, the employees of the group are happy taking care of their HR queries through an automated anywhere-anytime solution and it has helped the company regain the 10-15 percent loss in time spent on such activities.
“We also saved on servers and storage that would have been needed if we had opted for SAP,” says Kumar. With his centralized HRMS on the cloud, Kumar has successfully managed to bring the CEOs and department heads of the various business units and plants onto the same page. At 10 percent of the cost of its alternative, the cloud has been a win-win overall.At 10 percent of the cost of its alternative, the cloud has been a win-win overall.