Dedicated and fully integrated app further extends efficiency gains for Centrica.

“We’ve taken the transformational impact of Workday even further. Our new Workday Extend app is driving huge efficiency gains in a highly complex operational process that is unique to our business.”—Carmen Frost, Workday Architect

Tailored solution to overcome slow and time-consuming manual process

Significant improvement in recruitment agility and efficiency

Seamless and reliable functionality with immediate user acceptance

Fully integrated app with single source of truth

Responsible for the first public supply of gas in the world, Centrica’s heritage spans two centuries. Today, it is an international energy and services solutions business operating in 12 countries with over 10 million residential and business customers. The company’s largest presence is in the UK, Ireland, and Denmark where it is more familiar as its trusted consumer brands British Gas and Bord Gáis Energy.

It now has a range of complementary businesses operating across the energy value chain and plays a central role in not only helping to create a more inclusive and sustainable future, but also helping to achieve net zero. In addition to the supply of energy, Centrica offers an extensive range of products and services including heating installations, renewables, energy storage, smart devices, heat exchange, commodity trading, and insurance. Consequently, the company has an extremely diverse range of skills in its workforce of 20,000+ employees, as well as second- and third-party contingent workers.

Around 6,500 members of the UK-based workforce are field-based engineers responsible for fixing and installing boilers, heating exchanges, smart meters, and EV chargers. Great care is taken to recruit for and support the frontline roles to align with Centrica’s high customer-service standards. The complex task of matching the thousands of job applications received daily to their eligibility to work and the current openings in different areas was previously a time-consuming process using spreadsheets. But Centrica has, for many years, used Workday to streamline those manual processes and increase operational efficiencies. Direct access to all relevant data in the same place and in real time has been transformational. Centrica wanted to build on this success by extending Workday functionality to automate the unique and complex recruitment and area management for engineers.

Inclusive approach culminates with the seamless introduction of a new app.

Centrica chose to take full advantage of Workday flexibility by introducing Workday Extend. Working closely with longtime Workday partner Alight, Centrica used Workday Extend to develop a dedicated Engineer Area Management app.

Centrica also worked closely with its recruiters right from the start of the project to secure their buy-in and ensure the app met their needs. This inclusive approach and Alight’s hands-on design methodology allowed adjustments during the app’s development to accommodate new requirements. As a result, building the various elements of the new app and the user acceptance testing process were streamlined and quick.

The power of Workday Extend is the ability to automate and simplify complex processes. This app is a great example of how it can be used to streamline a largely manual process and quickly add real value.

David Mulhern, Workday Technical Architect

Complex and challenging administrative tasks now completed within seconds.

Workday core functionality was used in developing the Engineer Area Management app; however, Workday Extend provided the ability to address the unique and complex recruitment criteria and processes for engineers. It also ensured the new app was entirely consistent and fully integrated with other Workday products used at Centrica.

The first task was to extract information from the earlier manual spreadsheet to clearly define different areas of the UK in accordance with Centrica’s established geographical specifications. This resulted in custom lists to reflect different geographical groups, wards, and patches, as well as mapping to postcode sectors and the assignment of engineers to different training areas. This approach has provided a scalable solution that also accommodates mass loading and updating, with the maintenance of custom lists carried out exactly as other drop-downs in Workday.

It was also important to add another layer of security to reflect the different ways the app is used within Workday by administrators, recruiters, and other personnel responsible for updating information following address and role changes. And, as well as determining eligibility and ensuring alignment with Centrica’s existing job catalog, employment agreements, and job architecture, a new job-classification group was created to simplify the management and adjustment of job profiles.

For recruiters, the new app has improved data visibility and has made previously onerous tasks, such as matching candidates to open roles near where they live, much easier. Centrica is now able to build upon lists and select from prequalified candidates within the candidate pool without delay and or the need to advertise the role.

A versatile tool to reflect the unique and dynamic nature of the business.

Removing the need to copy and paste information into spreadsheets and providing real-time access to information has improved Centrica’s operational efficiency considerably, and has already saved the recruiting team the cost of at least one FTE. Centrica is also fully embedding the solution into its field operations and surfacing data so it can flow to downstream systems. Given the dynamic nature of the business and the versatility of Workday Extend, process refinements and enhancements within the new app will be continuous.

Maximizing the capabilities of Workday Extend has added value to Centrica’s business processes. Work completed by different people within the business can be repurposed to full effect, and solutions can scale securely and safely to meet new demands and unplanned requirements. Such agility and positive outcomes are simply unachievable with a general-purpose platform.

Workday Extend represents the art of the possible and has helped us simplify and streamline an extremely complex process. We’ve also launched additional Workday Extend apps to cover specific areas like volunteering and workplace adjustment passports.

Carmen Frost, Workday Architect 

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