Case Study

How ÖBB Achieved More Transparency in HR Controlling With CubeServ Workforce Planning


The Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) are the largest railroad company in the country and are 100% owned by the Republic of Austria.

Every year, they transport around 477 million passengers, which corresponds to a CO2 saving of 4.2 million tons. This makes them Austria’s largest green mobility service provider.

ÖBB consists of 70 companies in Austria and abroad, divided into 3 subgroups. They employ approx. 43,000 people.

  • Around 43,000 employees
  • More than 477 million passengers annually
Initial situation

ÖBB is a very personnel-intensive company. The demographic structure of the company will lead to many colleagues leaving the company in the coming years (more than 7,000 employees by 2025) – this means a massive recruiting effort. The workforce planning serves as a basis for determining in which companies and positions the need for new employees is to be covered.

Due to the high level of detail and the volume of workforce, there were serious performance problems with the old tool. The technical basis in the company was the SAP HCM system, which serves both as an input tool and for calculating various key figures. The data generated from this is transferred monthly via an interface to the SAP Business Warehouse, where the new workforce planning tool, which was implemented together with CubeServ, starts.

Project goals

The following project goals were defined by ÖBB together with CubeServ:

  • The new planning tool was to be designed in such a way that planning would be permanently simplified and streamlined.
  • The level of detail in planning was to be reduced in such a way that performance was to be sustainably increased. For example, storage times that used to take several minutes should be reduced to a few seconds.
  • Usability should be increased in order to be prepared for future challenges with the help of the new planning tool.

In summary, ÖBB wanted workforce planning to be newer, more modern and better performing.

Implementation of the project

After the setup for the project was created, the focus was on implementing the three planning functionalities:

  1. Personnel quantity planning
  2. Personnel cost planning (workforce planning)
  3. Additional planning applications, e.g. overtime planning, vacation planning and planning of external leased personnel

The usability factor in the planning process was particularly important to ÖBB. The project lasted 12 months and was structured into the sections of detailed conception, implementation, testing and go-live.

Success factors
  • Open and honest communication between the ÖBB project team and CubeServ.
  • Fast response to external circumstances, immediate and smooth continuation of the project from on-site to remote.
  • Fast training of employees due to the user-friendliness of the tool.
Results and benefits

Thanks to an effective and cooperative partnership between the employees of ÖBB and CubeServ, the entire project was implemented within just one year.

Mr. Korbinian Riester, expert in personnel controlling at ÖBB, describes the implementation of the new tool as follows:

“The biggest success is the high acceptance of the solution among the 200 active users* of the new tool. All users can plan and extrapolate measures with little training because it is simple, intuitive and performant.
The calculation of personnel expenses has been increasingly automated and improved, which has accelerated the planning process overall.
We are proud that with CubeServ we had a competent and reliable sparring partner at our side to successfully implement the project. The new planning tool is a milestone in ÖBB’s workforce planning.”

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