Case Study - How Outsourced HR Shared Services saved 50–60% for one of the Largest Retail Chain in India

Case Study - How Outsourced HR Shared Services saved 50–60% for one of the Largest Retail Chain in India

It is said stories connect better than speeches and articles. Hence we decided to present a best practice case study that illustrates the massive advantages of Outsourced HR Shared Services. Please note these insights come from providing Outsourced HR Shared Services to the organization, to show a bigger picture as its easier spotting a Burj Khalifa even in a stuffed Manhattan.

Let’s begin the process of documenting our experience with Bharti Walmart India Limited, a highly respected and easily recalled brand with a presence in all states across India.

The following case study is an inspiring chronicle of how Bharti Walmart initiated their HR transformation process by thoughtfully choosing an outsourced HR Shared Services Model. This choice helped them add value to the business as well as employees of the company, significantly perked up customer satisfaction, increased operating margins, offer standardized HR responses and grow adoption rates among employees and managers globally.

You’ll be captivated by the study as you realize how Bharti Walmart benefited from the outsourced HR Shared Services model to save costs in a range of 50–60% for the core process areas as well as make life easier for its managers and employees across all states of India and in 5 languages.

Scope of Project: Design for the globe, implement in India:

1. Headquartered in India, Bharti Walmart wanted a centralized operation base.

2. 5 languages: English, Hindi, Punjabi, Kannada, and Telegu.

3. 7000 employees.

4. Core Process areas: Job Line, Employee Data Management, On Boarding and Induction Process, Query Resolution, Employee 100 days Handshake, Leave and Attendance Management. Policy Information and Employee connectivity even after FnF.

5. Technologies included: Phone Help Desk, HR Portal, Document Management, etc.

Business Drivers:

1. Align the core business objectives with HR processes.

2. Be future ready with a scalable but sustainable growth.

3. Manager and employees should have more control over career resources.

4. Customer Experience should be enhanced by implementing new processes.

5. Operating costs should come down.

Organizational Pain Points:

1. Decentralized data mitigated accuracy and badly influenced efficiency.

2. Employees queries didn’t had any consistency and answers varied depending on locations and sources.

3. The HR intranet was more of an agony. Unreliable and non-intuitive.

4. HR processes were mostly word-of-mouth; tangible documented solutions were missing.

5. Customer service were inconsistent, again heavily location specific.

Open Mind’s Tiered Model:

1. Tier 1: Phone Help Desk.

2. Tier 2: HR Portal

3. Tier 3: Face-to-Face interaction Over 90% of all queries were resolved at Tier 1, while 8–9% of were resolved by a visit to the intuitively designed and easy to use HR portal. Less than 2% of ALL HR queries required a direct, face-to-face interaction.

Our Guiding Principles:

1. Uncomplicated: Easy to use, with minimal steps, we ensured our outsourced HR shared services delivered a clear and transparent experience, thus enabling decision making at the lowest applicable level.

2. Uniform: The fundamental effort was to create functional global processes that could be easily executed, while minimizing localization to prevent workarounds. This was the base around which HR service delivery model was enhanced and integrated.

3. Empowerment: The phone help desk eventually empowered the employees and managers to resolve queries at their convenience, from their comfort zone. This way, bulk of transactions between them and the HR division ceased.

4. Systems: We were able to streamline collection of data and reporting it in a timely and accurate manner by optimizing technology and automating most processes. The scalable model also ensured the organization was ready to meet future challenges.

5. Analytics: One of the most critical attributes of this whole exercise was the analytics reports we generated regularly. Reports like most common pain paints can make an enormous impact in rearranging the processes such that transactional time and costs come down drastically.

6. Reachability: Phone help desk ensures even your low rung employees- the blue collared workers- have an easy access to their HR related anxieties. Forever living on the edge, even very small amounts mean a lot to them and they remain one of the most vulnerable segments of the workforce. Simply delivering adequate answers to their everyday queries and boosting trust between them and the organization lead to substantially reduced attrition. Imagine if they were expected to comb answers from an HR portal!

Tech Requirements:

1. Deliver basic HR services more cost effectively while retaining or improving efficiency, leveraging the phone help desk.

2. Leverage the HR portal for lower cost.

3. Cost efficient, quick implementation and reliable maintenance.

Knowledge-base Requirements:

1. Knowledge-base is critical for an effective phone help desk implementation. The current KB was integrated with HR database, and was only in Question and Answers format.

2. We created a KB that provided highly personalized content for phone help desk queries and for the HR portal, while supporting multiple content types.

3. The new knowledge-base was attentively unified with case management to provide fast answers.

4. Content management costs were determinedly kept very low to keep it scalable to grow with organizational needs.

Advantages of this Knowledge-base:

1. Increased efficiency in delivering HR services.

2. Accurate and targeted information resulted in a splendid phone help desk experience.

3. Radically minimized volume of mundane HR queries directed to senior HR managers and C-suite.

Key Business Insights from the project:

1. A realistic goal for stabilization is never 3–6 months; more of an 18–24 months window.

2. Data integrity grows painfully slow. Patience and Commitment helps keep sanity.

3. Change management is a hostile territory. Don’t make tall promises.

4. You cannot predict everything, so don’t even try. Stay humble, stay flexible and listen.


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