Premier Foods brings HR strategy to life with SAP SuccessFactors

Picture1.jpgPremier Foods creates food the nation loves – many of its much-loved brands have been part of UK life for more than a century. You will find their products in around 95% of British households and increasingly in homes abroad as a result of their international expansion. Premier Foods sells its products in supermarkets, convenience stores, online and at wholesalers. Operating from around 15 locations across the country, with approximately 4,000 staff, its focus is to create food the nation loves most for modern life.

The business challenge

production-image-carton-french-fancies.jpgPremier Foods had gone through a substantial amount of change, having restructured and implemented a new business strategy around two years ago. To support its focus on growth, a renewed emphasis was placed on the people within the organisation. As a result, a People Strategy was developed to support the new business plan, with unlocking the potential of all colleagues at its focal point. With such an ambitious People Strategy, it was recognised that there was a need for a strong Human Resources (HR) infrastructure to be put in place to underpin the plans.

While already utilising an SAP HR system, Premier Foods had an additional number of disparate systems including manual, web and Excel-based methods of data collection at various locations. The need was identified to deliver better consolidated HR management information across the business with a single source of the truth.

Given the development of a strong People Strategy, with a focus initially on performance, and talent and succession planning, it was vital to introduce an application that could meet these needs and support Premier Foods’ growth ambitions.

The solution

Having considered various solutions, Premier Foods IS & Change Director, Mark Vickery, identified SAP SuccessFactors as the application best suited to meet its needs. Not only was it user friendly and Cloud-based, but it also fitted well into its existing SAP landscape. The solution built on Premier Foods core SAP-based applications strategy and its strategic drive towards a Cloud-based infrastructure. 


Bluefin worked together with Premier Foods to form an implementation strategy, acknowledging that while it wanted to implement all modules available within the SuccessFactors suite, it would not be practical to roll them all out simultaneously. The modules which would see the biggest wins for the business and the biggest buy-in from its users were highlighted as the priorities, with the rest to follow in a phased roll out.  

Bluefin and EPI-USE partnered on the implementation, bringing together their rich experience to ensure a successful and timely rollout. With dates for performance development reviews already set within the company’s HR calendar, it was vital the rollout did not fall behind as these modules needed to be available to staff for the review process.

An interim integration between SAP HR, Premier Foods existing system, and SuccessFactors was designed. In addition to this, the following modules were installed:

Performance & Goal Management which puts employees at the centre of the process, ensuring the workforce is focused on the right business objectives, while providing a platform for ongoing feedback and coaching. It also helps management to have a more accurate measure of the value and impact of its employees.

Succession & Development which assists companies to successfully manage their talent, identifying talent gaps, and maintaining a continuous supply of internal talent to fill critical roles. With powerful analytic tools, this allows companies to make informed decisions and empowers employees to reach their full potential with a targeted development plan.

The benefits

“The launch of SAP SuccessFactors has helped enable the HR strategy for Premier Foods. It has improved both the user experience, and the quality of data available. These have come together in one common platform and our colleagues have responded really positively.” David Wilkinson, Group HR Director, Premier Foods

This is the beginning of the journey for Premier Foods with SuccessFactors, with further modules earmarked for implementation, and early feedback and adoption is positive;

  • Goals are now aligned across the company, and clearly linked to company values.
  • A single platform integrated with all HR data provides one version of the truth.
  • Mid-year reviews were completed by double the number of staff than in previous years.
  • Line Managers have visibility across their teams in a single place for the first time.
  • Excellent user uptake, helped by the project team’s communication and engagement with the end user.
  • Delivered a single platform with all people data linked to SAP Payroll, which can be built upon for future SuccessFactors modules, enabling the People Strategy.

There is a strong belief among the team at Premier Foods that the implementation of SuccessFactors will help drive its People Strategy forward, along with finding a number of efficiencies, both in reporting and the management of talent. With the addition of further modules, Premier Foods looks forward to having a single HR Portal for all HR tools and services.

Why Bluefin and EPI-USE?

“Premier has worked with Bluefin for many years, and we know they’re a good quality partner. Together, Bluefin and EPI-USE understood the project and the implementation process, and they have a good feel for our business. They tend to strike the difficult balance between listening to our needs and challenging where appropriate. They’ve delivered a quality project on time and within scope." Mark Vickery, IS & Change Director, Premier Foods


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