CRU boosts efficiency and increases workforce visibility

Sage Business Cloud People provides CRU a scalable and flexible HR and people system, live in just 10 weeks

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Market intelligence and analysis



United Kingdom


Sage Business Cloud People allows CRU’s HR team to get accurate people insights instantly, find essential information easily, and build employee engagement across the globe with better experiences across their entire workforce.

The background

CRU has 260+ employees and is an independent authority offering business intelligence on the global metals, mining and fertilizers 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 including the Americas, Europe, China, Asia and 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, 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 globally.

Selecting the right system

Back in 2016, CRU was using an HR system which made it difficult to run reports and pull employee information they needed. 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 time consuming to manage, not to mention the inaccuracies and costs caused as a result. Key challenges included: Manual, time-consuming; HR processes (spreadsheets); Lack of visibility across global locations; Inaccurate and out-of-date information.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 vendor was not quite what we were looking for in terms of having the flexibility to reach all of our global employees. The other vendor was quite expensive and also had long implementation times. We wanted something that was more flexible for us which we could get up and running quickly,” said Simmons.

“Sage People has helped us with the visibility of our employee data and it’s created a single source of truth.”
Eleanor Simmons, HR Business Partner, CRU

The solution

In 2017, CRU went live with Sage People. The HR team at CRU were committed to their implementation project with Sage and during the process, they dedicated their time to really learn the system.

“The implementation with Sage was a really good experience and we went live within just 10 weeks,” explains Simmons. “We worked with the Sage People 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 Sage People, the paperwork involved with basic HR processes has been eliminated. Employees can now 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 Simmons 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. Simmons explains: “Sage People has helped us with the visibility of our employee data and it’s created a single source of 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.”

“The management team at CRU are really, really pleased with the system.”
Eleanor Simmons, HR Business Partner, CRU

Tailoring the employee experience

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,” Simmons 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.

“Another great feature of the system is the internal communications. We use them a lot in the user end of the system and what can really target the communications to the audience that we want to reach,” adds Simmons.

“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 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 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,” says Simmons.

“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 the business with a few clicks,” she adds.

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,” suggests Simmons. “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 People 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,” Simmons concludes.

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