Case Study

Global Workforce Planning Rollout with Boehringer Ingelheim

Boehringer Ingelheim

As the largest research-based pharmaceutical company in Germany, its core business is the research, development, manufacture and sale of pharmaceuticals.

  • Around 52,000 employees worldwide
  • Serves more than 130 markets worldwide
Initial situation

As a global company, Boehringer Ingelheim faces the challenging task of centrally consolidating and controlling the planning of personnel capacities and costs for around 52,000 employees worldwide.

In the past, Boehringer Ingelheim had no globally harmonized standard process or uniformly used system for workforce planning. Not only the planning data but also the planning granularity varied from country to country, as the planning process was largely geared to local requirements.

Since workforce planning is an essential part of the financial planning budget process, it was decided to establish a global approach that would synchronize HR and financial data and provide a consistent view of planning data. The “Workforce Planning” tender was intended to bring this global approach to realization and to further harmonize and standardize the planning process within the Group.


In order to use a global standard at Boehringer Ingelheim for the 2021 planning, only 6 months were planned for implementation. This required clear communication and focused collaboration between Boehringer Ingelheim and CubeServ. With discipline, focused technical exchange and close coordination within the project team, the deadline for going live specified in the tender was met to the day.

Project goals

With its introduction, the new «Workforce Planning» tool was to provide the “single source of truth” for HR and financial data harmonized across the Group and enable a complete and transparent view of employee capacities and personnel costs. The decentralized planning process had to be executed by the cost center managers with an intuitive front end in self-service.

A special feature was the connection of SAP SuccessFactors payment data as the basis for employee-related cost planning, supplemented by cost types from Controlling.

It was important to Boehringer Ingelheim that, in addition to planning individual cost centers, the option of aggregated planning was also offered. The global cost center hierarchy served as the central navigation object and basis for assigning system authorizations to the various user groups.

“The new Workforce Planning at Boehringer Ingelheim enables the planning of global capacities and personnel costs on the basis of standardized structures and processes. The new tool is an important step for the further design of planning activities at Boehringer Ingelheim. With CubeServ as a partner, it was possible to build on an already existing and established system solution. This enabled a good adaptation of our requirements and the successful completion of the project within a tight time frame.”

  • Christian Dittrich, Business Project Lead, Boehringer Ingelheim
Implementation of the project

Due to the prevailing travel and contact restrictions during the Corona pandemic, the project was implemented remotely throughout. The project was carried out using agile methods and was divided into different phases:

  • Solution Design: requirements definition (5 months).
  • Solution Build: Implementation and testing (6 months)
  • Go live: Roll-out and Hypercare (5 months)

Monthly «viewpoints» during the build phase served to align the results with the previously defined requirements for the system. Weekly reconciliations at project management level enabled an exchange regarding open issues and the tracking of risks. In addition, there was close cooperation between the work package managers from Boehringer Ingelheim and the respective architects from CubeServ throughout the implementation period.

Results and benefits

The state-of-the-art, web-based solution is tailored to the needs of the Business, HR and Finance departments. «Workforce Planning» brings several advantages:

  • A single platform for planning capacities and costs
  • Clear responsibilities in the process
  • Pre-filled planning masks through linked HR & Finance data
  • Intuitive planning cockpit & comprehensive reports
  • Faster decision making

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