Cebeo goes for an HR transformation with SAP SuccessFactors

Cebeo is a fast growing company in the electrotechnical distribution. As a consequence of their growth, the company realized their current HR environment was ready for digitization. Time for a complete HR transformation with SAP SuccessFactors!

Cebeo HR transformation SAP Success Factors

A supporting unit working on Excel

Cebeo is part of the international group, Sonepar. The company has been growing over the past years as a result of several acquisitions. As part of their growth, the company's offering expanded from wholesaling material to more complex services and solutions, like home automation. Logically, new services also meant hiring new profiles and onboarding new skills. That was getting more complex to manage for the HR department, who were still working with Excel files.

Annie Vanhoutte Cebeo

All information on our employees was extracted from a database hosted by our social secretary and copied into Excel sheets. On top of that, the database was only accessible for one payroll administrator, so whenever a manager needed information, this had to be requested to one person who then had a lot of extra work

Annie Vanhoutte - HR Director at Cebeo

What's more, the HR department grew in size over the past ten years and took on a key role. They shifted from an originally supporting role to a crucial business driving department for the company’s future.

In other words, to meet the needs of their own department and the needs of the evolving business it was time for a total makeover of their HR environment: an HR Transformation.

‘Sonepeople’: a digital HR with SAP SuccessFactors

As part of the Sonepar international group, which works decentralized, every country is run independently. Therefor, the most important goal of the transformation was to create a platform that would support a streamlined HR process in all countries. To achieve this, Cebeo opted for SAP SuccessFactors and branded it internally to ‘Sonepeople’.

Together with Flexso, the HR department mapped out an implementation plan. Initially they prioritized a few features for their new HR platform:

  • Performance & Goals
  • Succession & Development
  • Employee Central
  • Learning (LMS)

Other modules were considered optional at the start, but soon Cebeo decided to go all the way with SAP SuccessFactors and also implement other modules.

“We wanted to streamline the whole HR process, from hire to retire”, Annie explains. “Sonepar had a central project team for the largest countries like the US and Canada. These implementations were considered as the standard template for smaller countries like ours. But since we wanted an extensive implementation, we decided to find an external partner to help implement SFSF the way we envisioned it. Flexso was the ideal partner for this.”

Implementation and change management

As part of the HR Transformation project Flexso assisted in consulting on possible solutions and the technical implementation.

We were very happy with the expertise of Flexso, both for the definition of the scope and the technical implementation. They know the tool inside and out, but also have the right knowledge of HR processes.”, adds Annie.

Aside from the technical side of the transformation, change management was a vital part of the project. The change management part of the project was also managed and co-coordinated by Flexso, who took on communication to webinars and trainings for the team.

Results: ready for the future

Cebeo is already benefiting from the transformation, Annie explains. “The speed and efficiency of our HR department has increased dramatically. We have a centralized database with accurate and up-to-date information. The active directory is automatically linked to other processes like payroll, IT, client accounts, ….”

Another big advantage of the transformation, is that SAP SuccessFactors allows the HR team to review their own processes and optimize when needed.

I can truly say that this transformation has brought us to a futureproof and hypermodern HR environment. We’re continuously improving and implementing new features, but we are already up to speed to suit the business needs of our growing company, not in the least thanks to Flexso.

Annie Vanhoutte - HR Director at Cebeo

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