Navigating A Post-Acquisition HR Transformation

Energy & Utilities Case Study

We helped one of the largest corporate-owned convenience stores in the U.S., and a leading convenience store operator in the Southeast, undergo a major HR transformation after separating from its former parent company.

Client Situation

Like many other players in the Oil & Gas space, a predominantly U.S.-based wholesaler divested its retail arm to fund other strategic acquisitions. Our client, the divested division, was one of the largest company-operated convenience stores in the U.S., and a leading convenience store in the Southeast who needed guidance navigating the transformation after separating from its former parent company. Although the group was acquired by another company, there was no plan for an integration, which meant that the division had to be stood up as an independent company in a very short timeframe. Our client needed to re-invent its HR systems and processes within six months.

Significant changes to organization, processes, and technology were necessary to achieve the required separation objectives. Most notably, the current Human Resource Information System (HRIS), which had been implemented recently, had 30 interfaces that needed to be evaluated in the context of the acquiring parent company, which operated in two large areas: natural resources and energy.

Our Approach

Over five-week sprints, North Highland gathered insights through stakeholder mapping and informational interviews then analyzed processes, technology, and other documentation to provide a solution based on our client’s future vision and priorities.

Next, we established a core implementation project management team to collect HR demographic data, benefit data, and payroll data. This team played a critical role in steering the project through conflicts and flagging potential risks, while maximizing value and minimizing the disruption associated to the complex initiative.

As the HR team was influx during the organization’s acquisition, North Highland was able to advise the client executives through tough internal transitions and support critical decision making as multiple HR and implementation team members transitioned.

In understanding the impact to the organization’s workforce, North Highland took a human-centered approach to advising change management best practices to promote employee adoption and reduce resistance. With the HRIS configured, we also supported the virtual and in-person training company-wide for over 3,500 employees to ensure they were comfortable with the new transition.

To complete the project, the team reviewed 397 scripts across Time & Attendance, Payroll, HR, and Benefits in four days, and validated the payroll information for 3,000 employees in one week.

Value Delivered

North Highland helped accurately assess our client’s needs and transition to the new model within four months of the tool and service selection. By choosing a central vendor, the organization realized $1M in savings initially, and an estimated $7M in over the next five years. The client also transitioned to a new Time and Attendance system with the same vendor, which will result in a $4M savings over the next five years.

North Highland successfully navigated the HR function transformation with minimum interruptions in day-to-day operations to meet the acquiring parent company standards for a seamless transformation.

North Highland led the implementation and guided the client throughout the decision-making process, user acceptance testing, and roll-out of the system. Due to North Highland’s diligence, the roll-out team had 2,300 employees registered in the system within 72 hours of “Go Live” and 90% of issues resolved within 24 hours.