Royal Mail is looking for a services contractor to deliver a human resources IT platform based on SAP enterprise resource planning.

The postal group wants to remove a wide range of legacy systems currently performing key HR processes. It has been migrating other systems over to SAP since 1999. Work on the HR platform is expected to last three years, but Royal Mail has not announced what it expects to spend on the programme.

The systems will be used by 25,000 staff working for Royal Mail Letters, package courier Parcelforce and local Post Office shops. They will provide self-service HR functions for staff. It is not known which HR functions will be automated, but traditionally they encompass functions including booking holidays and declaring sick days.

The systems will also process payment for the rest of the company's 200,000 staff, most of whom are paid weekly.

Managers will be able to see a range of employee data in one place, Royal Mail said, helping with employee performance, payroll including overtime, expense management, and development and training. Managers will also use the system to recruit new staff.

Royal Mail is now looking for an IT services firm to provide consulting, software development, internet and support services around SAP in order to develop the new HR system. It wants data to be migrated from legacy systems, and it is looking for change management and training.

The government-owned mail delivery company is already an extensive user of SAP, including in its finance department. It is also over half way through a Deloitte-run SAP e-procurement rollout, which is targeting £300 million savings.

In a contract notice, Royal Mail wrote that it wants the winning bidder to develop “process blueprints” for human resources, to extract data from legacy systems and move it to SAP, as well as testing new systems and managing change while training staff.

It also needs the “necessary infrastructure and hosting capability” to help with quality assurance before systems are switched on, it said.

“The programme is a major business initiative which will see the implementation of transformed HR processes and investment in an SAP ERP platform,” Royal Mail wrote in the contract notice. “[It] will replace legacy payroll and HR admin systems, a multitude of bespoke point solutions and a plethora of local spreadsheets with a single SAP ERP HR system.”

Royal Mail said it would choose “the most economically advantageous tender” that meets its requirements. Potential IT suppliers have until 12 January next year to indicate their interest, and they can bid on the online SAP-based e-sourcing system used by the company. The contract will run from May 2009 to April 2012.

Deloitte, which worked on business planning, procurement, change and people management, and technology enablement in the e-procurement programme, did not immediately comment on whether it would bid for the work.

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