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With Accenture's help, a leading Indian cement manufacturer transformed its HR function to support its aggressive growth plans and help it achieve high performance.
The transformation includes an HR strategy aligned to the business as well as improved delivery via a shared services center. The company’s most important asset—its workforce—can now play a key role in driving growth.
The client is one of India’s largest cement and ready-mix concrete manufacturers, with a network of 14 plants, 20 sales units and 10,000 employees.
This top Indian manufacturer had staked its continued success on a number of strategic imperatives, including aggressively capturing new market share, building and capitalizing on new capacity, and becoming a leader in quality—all while continuing to keep control of costs.
The company had identified complementary human capital imperatives it viewed as essential to supporting its growth agenda. These included attracting and retaining the right people, in sufficient number, to run the company’s expanded operations; building a strong performance mindset aligned to the firm’s vision; breaking down organizational silos to create a more responsive and transparent culture; developing aligned and effective leadership (including middle management); and inculcating a “people developer” mindset among line managers.
This was a tall order, particularly given the company’s existing HR capabilities. Despite significant investments in technology and people, the current HR function was not well aligned with the company’s pursuit of growth and high performance. For example, HR was overly hierarchical and had many layers of bureaucracy, which kept it from effectively recruiting, promoting, and re-assigning employees.
Such challenges meant that the company’s “engine”—its workforce—was not pulling it in the right direction or at the right pace. In light of Accenture’s deep experience in HR transformations and with the challenges of the manufacturing sector in India, the company approached Accenture for help in creating an HR function that could it achieve its growth and other strategic goals.
Accenture worked with the company to lay the foundation for more powerful HR capabilities that would support the company’s pursuit of growth and sustainable high performance. Accenture and the company determined key elements of this foundation would include a comprehensive HR strategy aligned with the business strategy, a revised HR service delivery model and a strengthened HR governance and organizational structure.
One of the first steps in this direction was an assessment to identify specific HR processes that did not support business goals or fell short of global leading practices.
Accenture’s assessment revealed that key improvements could be made in learning, training, performance management and leadership development. In particular, Accenture found that changes the company was making in the way work is done, to support its business objectives, were creating challenges for the workforce.
Accenture also helped the company improve how it delivered HR services and identified specific HR processes that could be outsourced to a shared services center and built a detailed business case for this transition.
Accenture estimated that over five years, the shared services center would generate roughly $14 million in savings, plus greater scalability, higher service quality and customer satisfaction, and faster process cycles.
Accenture also helped the company identify employees who were performing at exceptionally high competency levels and then create customized career paths for such employees.
As the engine of any successful organization, human resources must run at full power and in proper alignment with business strategy for growth and high performance to be attainable. For this client, Accenture has helped put in place an HR strategy—as well as HR skills, processes and capabilities—that can help make this goal a reality.
The company’s new approach to HR not only boosts alignment between the function and the business, but also allows line managers to utilize optimized HR processes and make people development a critical aspect of their jobs. This, in turn, allows the company to deploy its best people in its most compelling growth opportunities, and shore up areas in which its performance lags. For example, the sales unit on which the project team had focused during the transformation has since gone from one of the lowest performers in the company to one of the best.
With better methods in place to unlock the value of its human capital, the company now is in a much stronger position to pursue growth and market share while maintaining the cost control and quality levels required for long-term success. In short, Accenture has helped this company transform HR into a strategic ally to the business and has made the function a key player in the drive toward high performance.
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