CRU boosts efficiency and increases workforce visibility with Sage Business Cloud People

Sage Business Cloud People's collaborative, supportive approach delivers cultural fit as well as 30%+ productivity gains

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The background

CRU has 260+ employees and is an independent authority offering business intelligence on the global metals, mining and fertilisers industries through market analysis, price assessments, consultancy and events. Founded nearly 50 years ago, CRU is a market leader with a proud history and ambitious plans for the future.

CRU has offices around the world: in the Americas, Europe, China, Asia and also Australia. As a growing company they’re constantly looking for new talent to add to their existing workforce. ‘At CRU our people are why our business succeeds, we focus on attracting the best talent and retaining that talent within the business’, Eleanor Simmons, HR Business Partner at CRU explains.

CRU were ready to embrace their people data and build tailored and personalized communications for their employees, no matter where they were located and knew they needed a single, scalable and flexible HR and People System to support all its employees around the world.

The challenge

Back in 2016, CRU was using a HR system which made it difficult to run reports and pull the employee information they needed from the system.

They ended up resorting to spreadsheets for admin and reporting. Not just one spreadsheet, but multiple spreadsheets across multiple teams, offices and locations – which became unruly and timely to manage, not to mention the inaccuracies and costs caused as a result.

Key challenges:

  • Manual, time consuming HR processes (spreadsheets)
  • Lack of visibility across global locations
  • Inaccurate and out-of-date information

‘When we were looking for a new HR system, we looked at a few different providers. One of them was not quite what we were looking for in terms of having the flexibility to reach all of our global employees. The other was quite expensive and also had long implementation times. We wanted something that was a more flexible for us which we could get up and running quickly,” said Eleanor.

The solution

In 2017, CRU went live with Sage Business Cloud People. The HR team at CRU were committed to their implementation project with Sage and during the process they dedicated their time to really learning the system. ‘The implementation with Sage was a really good experience, we went live within just 10 weeks’ explains Eleanor. ‘We worked with the Sage implementation team to learn the system and that’s really helped us to understand what we were building, and what we could build upon in the future.’

Through the self-service features of the People System the paperwork involved with basic HR processes has been eliminated. Employees can request holiday, update key personal information, make HR requests and more from one online portal. The experience for employees has improved and it’s also freed up the time spent on inefficiencies, so Eleanor and the team can focus on their people and engagement.

‘It’s been really great to see the self-service aspect used widely across the business. It’s really easy for all of our employees to access the system to book holiday, change personal details and access important information at any time’, she adds.

Visibility and accurate employee information was a big driver for CRU, and the team have seen a huge improvement. Eleanor explains: ‘Sage has helped us with the visibility of our employee data and it’s created one-source of the truth. We’re confident that our data is up-to-date and accurate, it’s easy to change, and we can easily create reports for management when needed. Sage has helped to improve productivity across the business and particularly within the HR team.’

At CRU they have a continual cycle of performance reviews. ‘We work to a continuous feedback approach and Sage has really helped us to embed that across the business’, Eleanor adds. ‘We can use the continuous feedback feature, so managers and employees keep a track of conversations and it’s really helped them in their communication.’

CRU have used the system to provide a tailored experience for every one of their employees. The self-service portal is branded to reflect the modern style and culture of the company, while the information served up is personalised for different groups of people.

Eleanor adds: ‘Another great feature of the system is the internal communications. We use them a lot in the user end of the system and what I like about those is that we can really target the communications to the audience that we want to reach.

‘Before we had lots of information on our system that wasn’t relevant to certain areas of the business but now we can really target our information so that employees are only seeing the information that they need.’

By using Sage Business Cloud People, CRU has improved the overall visibility of their global workforce and provided more tailored and engaging experiences for their people, thereby improving efficiency, productivity and engagement across the board.


“Since implementing Sage Business Cloud People we’ve changed the way we work as we’ve streamlined our HR processes. It’s really helped us to gain better visibility of our employees across all of our offices.”

Eleanor Simmons, HR Business Partner, CRU


Eleanor adds: ‘The management team at CRU are really, really pleased with the system. They can go in, they can look at their employees, they can see data and information really clearly. Our CEO likes the fact he can go in and see a total employee number across business with a few clicks.’

The future

CRU have big growth aspirations and are opening another office in Asia in 2018 so will have more employees using the system. ‘Sage definitely makes it easier for us to grow,’ says Eleanor. ‘We’re looking at opening a new office in Asia and it is really going to help us contact those employees, help with communications, and build our company culture in the new offices out there.

‘Sage is growing with us; we’ve added to the system as we go. It being so flexible is a big bonus. We’ve implemented the recruit module and we’re currently working on the onboarding and performance features. We’re always looking at ways to use the system to see where we can add value to our employees and ultimately the business.’

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