This blog is related to a most common fact which any SAP HR consultant comes across while supporting a BAU for any customer. In some cases, even with hundred thousand of employees there can be just 25 to 40 EBAs. Whereas in some Energy and Resource companies it can be more than 150+ EBAs with just around 30K or 50K employees. That’s the beauty of Energy and Resource companies in Australia & New Zealand Geo.
Before I move forward just a brief idea on EBA.
Enterprise Bargaining: The process of negotiation which is generally between employees, employer and the bargaining representative where the common goal is to create an Enterprise Agreement. It is strictly governed by the rule of Fair Work Act of 2009.
Some EBAs may be a completely new agreement which needs to be created from beginning whereas some may be changes in wage rates or other small update in an existing EBA.
EBA Configuration in SAP HR
New EBAs are created when a new bargaining takes places at a new site or organization. The requirement of configuration from basic HR configurations could involve creation or modification in
- Time wage type generation rules
- New payscale type, area, level and group
- Quota accruals
- Attendance/Absence counting
- ESG, PSG groupings
- Payroll Area
- Work Schedule Rule (WSR)
- Allowances or wage types
- Wage Rate, Time Type, Processing Class etc.
The New EBAs are generally complex and it requires a strong experienced consultant to understand it and deploy the changes.
Revised Agreement: Some agreement can be revised version of earlier agreement or just some addition or revision of Rates. The complexity is usually not very high. These are maintenance of fields, tables or rates which was pre-existing in the system. This is part of BAU mostly.
Being SAP practitioners we found some scope of automation and simplification here by automating some repetitive configuration tasks like rate upload and wage type creation. Such an automated or semi automated tool can help in reducing lot of manual configuration effort.
We designed a SAP ABAP Engine and a tool which was taught to be intelligent enough to understand different variations of these configuration requirements. This has brought very positive outcome in saving effort and at the same time has brought down our EBA implementation turnaround time significantly.
Scope of Automation: For the sake of simplicity we shall consider revision of an existing EBA with some changes that needs to be effective as per agreement in some site. We have seen the following key changes comes in most of the EBAs.
I have grouped them to subsets so that it is easier for our understanding. The broad classifications can be
- Personnel Administration
- PayScale Area and Type
- Work Schedule
- Contract Type
- Wage Type
- Time Management
- Time Type
- Overtime, substitution, pay day, holiday etc.
- Payroll Organization
- Different pay rules.
- Allowances Rate Loading.
We as IT professional, our moto is to ensure Business can understand our requirement. We must ensure that Business does not get into much complexity and gets a simplified requirement template.
This is where SAP HR Consultant will prove their ability to provide that simplified template, which Business can fill with ease and it should be user friendly with self-explanatory notes.
- Simplified Template: I am sure most Organizations follow this process. First, the EBAs are mapped in a template which fits the SAP model. This requires strong understanding of business process and how it co-relates with current SAP implementation. This template will be the feed for ABAP Engine. Since the mapping and simplifications are already done. The Engine will just pick up the fields from this template and store it in ECC.
- ABAP Engine: The ABAP Engine has a very easy task to perform. It will just pick up and store it in ECC to enable all the values to be read and understood by the Tool.
- The EBA tool: The tool now reads through all the values and it is designed to configure the straight forward configuration. The Schema and PCRs are logics and hence human interventions and hands on work will always be required to maintain them. However, for Wage Types, or other such table or transaction driven configurations, the tool is intelligent enough to configure without any further human intervention. Though SAP has provided standard reports for rate upload but still it has its own limitations when we are trying to upload multiple rate segments for the same grouping in one go. Hence a customised ABAP program has been built which can handle such variations.
- Report: After successful completion of the upload it also generates a file which provides a detailed log of all the configurations which were successfully maintained. This is also an acknowledgement of the completion of the process.
Some Quantitative Achievement
- Based on some 50+ Rate Change EBAs we have seen reduction of manual effort by 35-40%
- This has also a monetary saving of 30% or more for simple or medium complex EBAs.
- The Automation has drastically reduced defect with almost 90% accuracy.