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Customer Success Story: DCC

DCC uses HR data to shape their talent management strategy

About DCC

  • Industry: Oil, LPG, Healthcare and Technology
  • Headquarters: Dublin, Ireland
  • Employees: 11,500 across Europe


DCC is a supplier of LPG, Retail Oil, Healthcare and Technology products and services across 20 countries. The growing complexity of DCC’s multi-country structure, combined with growth of its standalone businesses, was making talent management a challenge. Nicola McCracken, Head of Group HR at DCC plc, wanted to address this using HR data and to future-proof the existing talent pool and build the right skills for growth.

Addressing the Talent challenge

Having worked on previous HR modernization projects with Alight. DCC subsequently asked us to design and build the digital HR and payroll platform. It had to be able to underpin the company’s ambitious global talent and people management strategy.

“Our talent remit continues to change. Skills have to adapt to the changing demands and expectations of our customers; how they want to buy products and services from us. While certain processes can be automated, people remain key to customer satisfaction and loyalty.

“Therefore, it’s vital that employees remain engaged and motivated. Providing a clear career path helps with this. By moving to a group-wide HR data source, we can work with all employees to map their strengths against actual or potential talent gaps in any of our companies.” Nicola McCracken, Group HR Director, DCC plc

Transformation objectives

  • Create single source of HR data supporting global talent management strategy
  • Integrate workforce analytics into business planning
  • Move from standalone company to group HR reporting
  • Standardize HR to support pan-European business expansion
  • Build credibility of HR as a core business function

HR tech challenges

  • Merge two existing SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central instances and deploy a third to create a single instance
  • Amalgamate 13 local payroll providers into single, centrally managed HR platform
  • Integrate all HR data into a single instance
  • Build system design and workflows to support rapid onboarding of new businesses
  • Complete phase one in seven months

Business culture

The group of companies focuses on growth and extends its ambitions to its workforce. DCC leadership knows that employees are key to success. Its talent model, therefore, is to grow and promote from within. Drawing on the existing value and intellectual capital of loyal employees.

Creating group-wide HR data visibility

It is only possible to get group-wide visibility by standardizing the HR platforms and processes. A single source of data therefore gives a real-time picture of existing talent and potential internal candidates. In addition, training needs in order to progress people are visible. As are potential skills gaps.

Furthermore, budgets mapping is easy. Integration with finance systems provides visual views of hiring budgets against the returns on the salaries, rewards and benefits paid to each employee.

Managing change

Before presenting the business case for the digital HR transformation project, HR stakeholders from across the group had to be convinced of the business benefits. Initially, there was resistance. Why?

DCC has grown largely through mergers and acquisitions. Each company continued to operate independently. As a result, each had its own HR platform, payroll provider and processes for managing employee lifecycles.

Exertis, for example, completed a major HR and payroll transformation project in 2015. Working with Alight, it implemented a hybrid HR platform combining SAP SuccessFactors with Alight’s own payroll platform.

In 2016, DCC Energy worked with Alight to deliver SuccessFactors Performance and Goals as well as Succession Planning.

A demonstration of the impact integrated people data could have on HR team success, plus the added value this would bring to the group, not just to HR processes, convinced the HR leads that SAP SuccessFactors was the direction to take.

When choosing an implementation partner, we look at numbers of successful implementation projects completed. We don’t want to be a test case. We want to benefit from experience and best practices as well as having a partner that challenges us. Question why we want to do something. They are, after all, the experts.

Olwyn Kerns, Vital
a DCC plc company

Planning for the future

The single source of HR data is key. It provides real-time intelligence that is reported at a group level. The analysis then forms the foundations for growth. DCC has a clear vision for 2025. Where the business should be.

Step one was to ensure the platform would support the people processes needed to achieve this growth. Talent acquisition and retention, performance management and learning and development are all key at a group and well as local level.

Going live on time

The two major barriers to success for Alight related to the size of the client group.

  1. Differing levels of SuccessFactors   experience. Training ensured all companies went live simultaneously
  2. High volumes of data were cleaned and transferred into the new integrated HR platform

The go-live dates for SuccessFactors Employee Central and for the Succession Planning module were achieved and within the seven-month window specified.


HR teams across the group report major benefits from the single source HR data. In addition, it is used for talent and succession management. HR data is also used to guide the management team. Consequently, it plays a strategic role in business planning.

Why Alight?

DCC plc had worked successfully with Alight on two previous HR transformation projects. Therefore, the teams from Alight were very familiar with the business. This is what DCC needed. A partner that would be self-sufficient and deliver results.

Alight does this well. And, we value the openness of the team. So we're at a point now where we’re more like colleagues. We demonstrate the same desire for fast project success.

Olwyn Kerns, Vital
a DCC plc company

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