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Customer Snapshot: Overview

100% of paperwork completed before each new employee's first day

Vacationers across the United States come to Sun Communities properties to socialize, relax, and unwind. One of the reasons people keep coming back is the enthusiasm and spirit of the Sun Communities employees. Managing thousands of employees and keeping them excited about their jobs is no easy task, especially for a company that can find itself onboarding up to 200 new employees in a single day

Sun Communities, Inc.

US$471.68 million

Number of Employees

Engineering, Construction, & Ops

Visionary Themes

Run Simple, Run Live

Southfield, Michigan, USA

Customer Website

Line of Business
Human Resources

SAP Solutions
SAP Jam, SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central, SAP SuccessFactors Learning, SAP SuccessFactors Onboarding, SAP SuccessFactors Performance & Goals, SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting Management, SAP SuccessFactors Succession & Development

Cloud-based SAP SuccessFactors solutions are streamlining the process by eliminating paperwork and building team member engagement, encouraging collaboration, and spreading positive energy throughout the company.

Customer Snapshot: History

A Bright Past and an Even Brighter Future

Customer Snapshot: Business Model

One of America’s Largest Providers of Manufactured Housing and RV Communities

This publicly traded company has recently enjoyed strong growth largely through acquisitions and now has 251 properties in 29 states. Along with acquisitions come complex, disconnected technologies and mass onboarding challenges. In addition, personnel transactions are frequent at Sun Communities due to the seasonal nature of its business. Employment levels fluctuate between 1,600 in the low season and 2,700 at the peak.

Customer Snapshot: Success Strategy

Success: Built from the Ground Up

When customers walk into a Sun Communities manufactured housing community or RV resort, the first thing they notice is the superior service they receive. The company sees their people as their differentiator from the rest of the industry. That’s why it’s essential for Sun Communities to make fast, effective hires.

The Challenge

The Sun Rises on Social Collaboration

With a primary focus on creating exceptional on-site customer experiences, completing mandated onboarding requirements was not previously top of mind for hiring managers. Sun Communities was ready to break free from the challenges of manually onboarding new employees. Sun Communities had already implemented a strong, flexible, core HR foundation with SAP SuccessFactors to inform workforce planning and gain insight into talent management. The company was also actively leveraging social collaboration through the SAP® Jam™ social software platform.

What the company needed next was an onboarding solution that would be intuitive and accessible via mobile devices, would automate paperwork, and could also facilitate and track mandated training. As the company grows larger, management wants to keep that community feel alive for all employees, and that means optimizing team member engagement, communication, and collaboration.

Enter SAP

A Solution That Sets Up the Company and Individuals For Success

The company wanted to combine the tactical components of onboarding, such as orientation, paperwork, and compliance training with strategic aspects that would set up new hires for success. The choice was clear. The SAP SuccessFactors Onboarding solution was the key to consolidating legacy systems into one simple technology platform that could quickly integrate with existing human capital management (HCM) systems.
Sun Communities’ growth through acquisitions was another driver for choosing SAP SuccessFactors Onboarding. The company is migrating their business applications from on-premise technology to the cloud with a scalable software-as-a-service infrastructure.

The scalable system enabled Sun Communities to take advantage of yet another SAP product: the SAP Jam™ social software platform to promote collaboration and employee engagement.

With SAP SuccessFactors Onboarding, our team doesn’t have to bounce between systems. Looking at the whole picture, we’re ahead of where we thought we’d be now because of the continued cloud updates from SAP SuccessFactors. — Marc Farrugia, Vice President, HR Sun Communities.

Enter SAP: The SAP Experience

Immediate Access – Immediate Action

By using knowledge­based content already in SAP Jam, the learning and development team at Sun Communities can now extend their reach to new hires and easily guide them to the tools and resources needed to hit the ground running. New hires have access to system within hours, are set up for success and ready to go. Existing employees continue to feel heard and supported through mentoring, education, problem solving resources, and two-way online communication capabilities.

The platform includes SAP SuccessFactors Onboarding Solution, SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central, SAP SuccessFactors Performance & Goals, SAP SuccessFactors Succession & Development, SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting, SAP SuccessFactors Learning, and SAP Jam. 

Numbers are obviously how we're measured, but without the right people communicating well, nothing happens. Community is really communication, and that's where SAP Jam is so valuable. It helps us create a tremendous employee experience. — John McLaren, President and Chief Operating Officer, Sun Communities Inc.

Better Business

Focus Shifts from Paperwork to Talent

Rather than entering applicant data into multiple systems and having to update integrations periodically, Sun Communities’ HR staff can now focus on talent management because data flows seamlessly from one SAP SuccessFactors solution to the next. With SAP SuccessFactors Onboarding, Sun Communities doesn’t have to bounce between systems to get a full view of information and be able to take action in one location.


The company can now offer new hires a seamless employee experience from day one. Employee data flows automatically from SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting into SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central and SAP SuccessFactors Performance & Goals. New hires can also access SAP SuccessFactors Learning immediately, enabling them to get the training they need to do their jobs effectively as soon as they start.

Implementing SAP Jam enabled the company to help existing employees feel more connected with each other and with management, share best practices and referrals, post and share success experiences, and continue to build a sense of community despite any physical distance between properties.

Better Business: Benefits

Employees Get Tools and Training to Hit the Ground Running

Sun Communities’ HR team uses SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central to handle dozens of employee changes per day, back-dating and future-dating transactions as necessary before seamlessly pushing them to the payroll system. In addition, SAP SuccessFactors Succession & Development helps HR identify high-potential talent at a glance—an essential function in a growing company that frequently promotes from within. Managers can then assign employees relevant courses through SAP SuccessFactors Learning.

$100,000 savings in annual labor costs 100% completion rate for compliance related trainings


After gaining access to the SAP SuccessFactors mobile app, Sun Communities began taking videos of team members performing maintenance tasks and making the videos available through the app. Employees can now watch videos on their iPads or Android devices out in the field to help them fix an air conditioning unit or troubleshoot a plumbing issue. They have even begun to upload their own snapshots of successful initiatives, turning a corporate communication tool into a proactive community resource.

Better Business: Run Simple

Employees Get On Board In Hours, Not Days

Now that Sun Communities has deployed SAP SuccessFactors Onboarding, new employees can expedite the onboarding process, and paperwork and training can be completed from just about anywhere at any time from a mobile device.

Prior to SAP SuccessFactors Onboarding, it could take three to five days before a new hire would get manually queued into the system, and for their data to flow to the learning management system. It was a long process. Now, new employees can access our system within hours of being hired. — Marc Farrugia, vice president of HR at Sun Communities

With onboarding tasks automated and information flowing into Sun Communities’ core HR tool, the SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central solution, the company knows that compliance standards are being satisfied across the board and new employees are starting their positions with a positive experience. The seamless cloud updates from SAP SuccessFactors has smoothed the migration and rollout of new systems and processes in an easy transition.

Journey Ahead

The Sun Rises on New Growth Opportunities

Employees can be eased out as positively as they were hired by using SAP SuccessFactors Onboarding. The company plans to extend SAP SuccessFactors Onboarding to help existing full-time and temporary employees. The growing organization has a lot of internal movement due to promotions, transfers, and the seasonal nature of the business, and the solution can help make these changes and transitions smoother than ever. Sun Communities’ next big priority is offboarding seasonal employees in a way that makes them feel welcome to return the following year. It’s a big win all around when temporary employees leave at the end of a season, only to return year after year. SAP SuccessFactors Onboarding can make onboarding, offboarding, and employee retention easier for everyone.
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