Low-cost HR process management

Low-cost HR process management

The client

Munro Footwear Group is the leading Australian house of brands for fashion shoes, and are custodians of iconic footwear brands including Midas, Mollini, Django and Juliette, Diana Ferrari, Colorado and more

They have more than 290 stores and 2000 employees nationallyWith perhaps the largest shoe inventory in the world (~ 500,000 SKUs), the Munro Footwear Group incorporates leading edge technology for the benefit of its internal stakeholders, as well as their growing customer base.

Munro Footwear leverages Power Apps for better HR process management.

A need to automate HR processes

Covid forced Munro to pivot, innovate, and embrace digital in a wholesale way. Their first digital transformation success was the launch of an omni channel fulfilment app, made possible with the Power Platform. The low-cost, high ROI app encouraged the team to explore what other processes could be automated, and their next focus was Human Resources (HR).  

In many companies (including Munro), the HR department is small compared to finance/supply chain/manufacturing etc. This often means that the technology is quite lean unless it’s for critical functions such as payroll and recruitment. Yet, while there may not be an appetite to invest in significant HR management systems, there are several use cases that are time consuming and cause inefficiencies to spread throughout the organisation. 

One of these is compliance around flexible working – made compulsory and mainstream during Covid, and now here to stay. With people working partially from home and the office on a permanent basis, Munro needed to update the employment contract to ensure their records are consistent with what’s happening in the office and with each employee. They were initially doing this manually with spreadsheets; however, this had a high risk of error and non-compliance. In addition, they estimated the effort to maintain these processes manually would be measured in months, if not years in terms of work hours. So, Munro engaged Empyrean to look at a way to use Power Apps to fill the gap between a spreadsheet and a full-blown HR system. 

The second use case was how to engage with employees who have left the company, but who need corrections to their pay. Munro would need to confirm superannuation and banking details without the former employees logging on to the full HR system (because they had left the company). Again, a relatively minor gap in the process, which could cause major headaches if errors were made. 

Using Power Apps to manage HR processes

These two use cases, while small, have incredible payback in terms of efficiency and compliance. But most of the big HR systems don’t solve these problems because they’re such unique use cases. 

Instead, Munro now use Power Apps as a usability buffer, between the big systems to the users. Most big systems such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications are difficult to use because they’re trying to be a ‘Swiss Army Knife’, – all the screens are generic with processes are trying to cater to 200 different scenarios. However most modern ERPs are cloud based, so they have a suite of APIs, enabling Munro to use Power Apps to streamline the process of interacting with the ERP (or any big system).  

Now specific tasks (especially at a volume transaction level) are streamlined so that staff can complete them without logging in to the ERP system. Instead they use a custom Power App, and with two clicks the interaction and associated data is integrated with the ERP. It was important to Munro that they avoid building apps that create duplicity of data that needs to be synchronised. Instead, their apps take out all the complexity that the ERP and other large systems presents, to focus on one or two tasks that are repeated hundreds of times a day. 

We work with the experts of the platform [Empyrean], to put product lifecycle management around the apps. I don't want to deal with security and AD integration – stuff like that should be integrated into the platform. The intention is to work with Empyrean to make sure there is enough management in place to retire old apps, consolidate them, to improve them.

HR process management digital transformation

Empyrean worked closely with the Munro HR team to complete a business analysis that mapped out requirements and dependencies. This was an in-depth process that had to capture all the approval gates, e.g., from the manager to a department head, to the head of HR etc. This information informed how the process would flow from forms and the front page of the app, to how the approval process is automated and what the Power BI reporting looks like on the back end.  

The business process mapping was critical to the success of the application and Empyrean completed this step before technical people were brought into the project.

Simplifying HR process management

Munro’s approach to managing processes within their business, is to “deliver value to everyone, not just users of the big systems. 

Utilising Power Apps is a low cost, low risk way to manage the multitude of processes across the business, which are not captured by the large systems. 


Security was another factor in Munro’s selection of Power Apps – they didn’t want to deal with security and AD integration – they wanted solution where this is already integrated with the platform. 


The ongoing management of the processes and apps was also important to Munro, and they can lean on Empyrean’s expertise to put product lifecycle management around the platform.  


Munro continues to work with Empyrean to develop new applications and support, consolidate, and improve the existing apps. 

The Numbers

Shoe inventory



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