CapitaLand is one of Asia’s largest real estate companies, with a diversified portfolio of homes, offices, shopping malls, serviced residences, and mixed developments. It also operates one of the largest real estate fund management businesses with assets located in Asia. Established in November 2000 from a merger of two government-owned real estate companies, CapitaLand’s operations span more than 110 cities and 20 countries.
CapitaLand’s complex, global, organizational structure operated on numerous human resources (HR) systems, policies, and procedures across business units, offices, and countries—causing data duplication and time-consuming manual processes for gathering, consolidating, and reporting corporate information.
CapitaLand decided to implement Oracle’s PeopleSoft Human Capital Management solution as the single platform across its HR business processes to provide a global view of its operations and workforce. With the implementation, CapitaLand saved more than US$2 million in work hours per year and US$300,000 in outsourcing costs, cut headcount reporting time from 14 days to 30 minutes, and reduced training approvals from two days to five minutes. It also streamlined its global human resources function, reduced data error by 70%, and eliminated time-consuming manual processes.
CapitaLand used many disparate systems across its global operations to gather and report workforce information. With complicated organizational structures, including joint ventures and managed properties, the company had difficulty gaining timely information about its workforce. Its manual processes for gathering, consolidating, and updating information were time consuming, error prone, and duplicative.
For example, it recorded headcount data on Excel spreadsheets, which changed hands many times before being consolidated at the head office each quarter. The company spent a lot of time verifying accuracy.
“Previously, many business units and offices operated independently with very little process standardization,” said Steven Tan, vice president, HR, CapitaLand. “It was difficult to balance and align local needs with global needs, and data entry duplication was both costly and time-consuming.”
By Implementing the PeopleSoft solution, CapitaLand standardized HR activities and processes across all locations, providing a single view of the company’s workforce on one globally standardized system. Now, one person in each office inputs information into one HR system, and CapitaLand can generate headcount reports in 30 minutes, instead of 14 days. Moving to a single HR platform drastically reduced error rates and reporting times, and enabled staff to focus on value adding activities.
“Having one single source of HR information has reduced work duplication and slashed data error by 70%,” said Tan. “Improved accuracy means our data is more valuable, reliable, and useful for workforce analytics and performance planning.”
“We have global workforce visibility, we know who works for us, how they perform, what training they have received, their aspirations, and their fit for our organization. We have improved our workforce planning and knowledge, as well as our ability to manage staff performance and attract the right talent to our business.”
Manual consolidation of multiple reports from CapitaLand’s global offices was inefficient, costly, and time consuming. For example, the corporate scorecard included a metric that each employee should complete 40 hours of training per year, and each HR team in each country would keep a separate spreadsheet tracking these training hours. The corporate HR team would then manually consolidate the hours from each office for corporate reporting. This process had to be repeated on a quarterly basis, requiring many work days of effort.
“By eliminating manual data consolidation through PeopleSoft Human Resources, CapitaLand saved more than US$2 million in HR worker hours and reduced our global HR activities by 23,000 worker days,” said Tan. “We now have online workflows for key approvals, such as leave, performance reviews, training, and recruitment, and our staff can focus on helping review turnover, attract the right talent, and manage our workforce.”
Additionally, business units in Singapore had outsourced HR functions like payroll that, due to unsatisfactory vendor performance, were being returned in-house to a HR shared center in Singapore, eliminating US$300,000 in outsourcing costs per year and enabling global consolidation of all office HR functions.
CapitaLand used PeopleSoft Helpdesk Employee for Self Service to provide a single self service platform for employees and managers in English, simplified Chinese, and Japanese.
“Our employees in China or Singapore offices can now participate in induction and training programs online, reducing travel time and training costs,” said Tan. “We can support and ensure all staff receives the same training and development.”
Employees can also complete all training selections, requests, and approvals online, reducing training approval time from two days to just five minutes.
Prior to the PeopleSoft implementation, executives received individual reports on workforce numbers, performance, and training, but it was very difficult and time consuming to get a complete view of global headcount status and staff performance.
With PeopleSoft Portal, CapitaLand’s executives now have a single global workforce view through the executive dashboard. Managers can view information and run reports online including global headcount, turnover trends, and training hours. They can also drill down into more detailed information by business unit such as shopping malls, offices, or serviced residences.
“Previously, we had no integrated system that could provide an end-to-end view of our global workforce—from human resources to finance—and timely and accurate data analysis. The dashboard has given us visibility of our global workforce and the analytics required to improve our strategic planning, reporting, benchmarking, employee retention, and turnover analysis,” said Tan.
“For example in China, where CapitaLand operates four business units across 42 cities and 75 properties, the size of our operations led to fragmented reporting processes. With standardized HR processes and improved workforce visibility, we can better manage our business activities and allocate resources more efficiently throughout different provinces to ensure our strategic investment is successful.”
Standardizing the HR platform and automating all HR functions and processes delivered additional resource savings, with CapitaLand cutting its paper use by 200,000 sheets annually, equivalent to one ton, or approximately 80 trees per year.
“Saving 200,000 sheets of paper per year is an enormous achievement for CapitaLand and our commitment to being an environmentally responsible organization,” said Tan.
CapitaLand has a strong commitment to building capability through better recruitment processes. One of the key challenges it faced was a lack of documented best practices to attract and retain high-performing talent.
CapitaLand implemented a single job portal for its internal and external recruitment processes, such as hiring real estate consultants for shopping malls and offices.
“We now have one portal on our website where we advertise jobs to attract talent to our organization. People can now search for any role in any country or search through keywords,” said Tan.
CapitaLand also needed a standardized talent management process to better manage employee performance and compensation. The lack of an integrated HR platform made it difficult for the company to compensate the best skills with the right pay or bonus. It was also very challenging to align people with the right positions or employee objectives to corporate goals.
Now, with PeopleSoft’s performance management module, CapitaLand is able to communicate the corporate key performance targets across the company, enabling staff to align its goals to achieve strategic outcomes. With PeopleSoft eCompensation and PeopleSoft Recruiting Solutions, CapitaLand now uses a standard template for new hires or compensation reviews across all countries and business units. The company also incorporated training plans and reviews into employee performance appraisals, and automated the process for probation and exit interviews, reducing the face-to-face time needed to conduct interviews and standardizing information gathering processes. As a result, CapitaLand cut its new hire record maintenance time from one hour to five minutes.
CapitaLand shortlisted Oracle and one other enterprise system provider for its human capital management project. After a series of presentations and reference checks, CapitaLand decided that Oracle’s PeopleSoft suite was the preferred software for implementation across the company’s global business.
"CapitaLand chose Oracle for its ability to deliver an international human capital management system that would cross all boundaries and take us into the future. Oracle understood our business, the complex real estate markets we operate in, and the challenges we would face with global implementation." – Steven Tan, vice president, HR, CapitaLand.
CapitaLand began the global implementation of the PeopleSoft Human Capital Management solution in 2008 and managed it through three phases over five years.
Phase 1 began in 2008 and focused on creating a simple system to capture basic employee data to generate a global record of all employee details. PeopleSoft Human Resources went live in January 2009.
Phase 2 implemented all transactional and strategic modules such as leave, payroll, HR, and self service and went live in July 2010. Oracle Consulting managed CapitaLand’s implementation from phase two and engaged an additional Oracle Consulting specialist team for the China implementation.
Beginning in August 2010, Phase 3 entailed implementing all transactional modules across the rest of CapitaLand Asia and initiating the China roll-out.
The global rollout was completed in February 2013 with the solution successfully deployed to all locations and business units.
“Oracle Consulting knew our requirements and understood CapitaLand,” said Tan. “It provided a very experienced team with an outstanding project manager who had experience with successful implementations in China. We had a very good working relationship with Oracle Consulting.”