Case Study

Creating Long-term Impact and Lowering Costs with HR Transformation

The Problem

When a medical product business unit of a pharmaceutical was divested from their parent company, they realized their overhead was high and wanted to reduce their back-office costs across the board and reinvest in their customer facing capabilities. While examining their operations, they realized that their entire organization needed to transform to reduce spend and improve strategic impact.

On top of these inherent organizational needs, the main goal was an aggressive spend restructuring. Their budget was sitting at approximately 100 million and they needed to effectively reduce that by half.  

After working with several large consulting firms, it became clear that their formulaic techniques were not fitting the business’s needs. The archetypes and benchmark data that these firms used were not a natural fit, making it difficult to find a realistic path to lasting change. 

The type of restructuring that was necessary to achieve their cost-cutting goals while maintaining strategic support for the business required a customized solution. Holistically, they wanted a firm that would act as a thought partner and empower their leaders to own the change over the course of its implementation. 

The Solution

They identified The RBL Group as a partner to help tailor the transformation to the business’s needs. As the first step, The RBL Group worked with their HR leadership team and global transformation office to clarify their required future capabilities from an outside-in perspective.  

This acted as the foundation for a structured process that allowed the team to explore user issues and understand how to better group and organize outputs for enterprise, division, and local levels. With this documented inventory of services provided and foundational and strategic work outputs, they were able to develop structure, roles, staffing designs and cost opportunity recommendations. This transition plan was created to be implemented over three years so their road map needed to be both specific and adaptable. 

By referring to the values of the Human Experience Function, these teams were able to find ways to redistribute talent while considering the needs of the current workforce. They also worked with RBL consultants to define the differences between their strategic HR and their foundational HR roles and migrate people into strategic roles with the right skills and capabilities to make each person and each role more effective. Since lowering spend was such a huge goal for this business, these moves had to be as efficient as possible to accommodate a workforce that was going to be significantly smaller than that which the organization had historically required.

The Outcome

The design team crafted a single, globally integrated HR design which acted as a gateway to several profound impacts on the business as a whole as well as an improved HR function. Overall, a clearly planned end-to-end process design made for a better employee experience and increased the effectiveness of their HR leadership team. 

The transformed HR design boasts:

  • More strategic capability in strategy, organization, talent, and leadership with global and divisional business teams
  • Simplified and standardized global HR processes with improved efficiency
  • Consolidated transaction and operational processes in shared global service centers
  • Leveraged program design with global centers of expertise
  • Improved support for business teams though franchise HR teams focused on design and operational execution
  • Reduced costs by $38 million: 41% of the starting budget.

If your business is ready to get real results from HR Transformation, contact us now to begin.