Case Study

Operational Budget Workforce Planning With SAP at Schaeffler


The Schaeffler Group is a world’s leading integrated automotive and industrial supplier.
The company stands for highest quality, outstanding technology and distinctive innovative strength. With precision components and systems in engines, transmissions, and chassis as well as rolling and plain bearing solutions for a wide range of industrial applications, the Schaeffler Group makes a decisive contribution to “mobility for tomorrow”.

  • Around 84,000 employees worldwide
  • 14.4 billion in sales in fiscal 2019
  • Serves more than 170 locations worldwide
Initial situation

In 2003, Schaeffler decided to transfer the workforce planning of its German parts of the company, which had previously been carried out purely by Controlling, to the HR department and thus take advantage of the synergy effects of the SAP HCM system used there. For this purpose, the extrapolation functionality in SAP HCM was used, which was supplemented after some time by a self-developed Access database and Excel data entry forms to support decentralized planning.
This resulted in a complexity of the planning processes in SAP, Excel and Access with manual loading processes and did not allow a further rollout of workforce planning either in Germany or at the foreign subsidiaries.

Project goals
  • As a first step toward a fundamental renewal of the planning system worldwide: Creation of an integrated solution for the budget planning process including decentralized planning by executives in SAP BW for Schaeffler Germany.
  • Replacement of the Excel and Access applications previously used and automation of the underlying planning processes to the greatest possible extent.
  • Creation of an uniform user interface that allows the various user groups manual and decentralized access for measures entry.
Implementation of the project

The provision of an initial functional solution with tangible results was possible within a short time thanks to the “CubeServ HR workforce planning” package used.
The conception phase then resulted in customer-specific adjustments as follow-up activities, which could essentially be implemented via customizing. In addition, for some particularly complex planning logics, own extrapolation methods were developed.

Challenges were in particular:

  • Short and firmly defined timeframe until the planned go-live date
  • Provision of different views for supervisors and HR staff (HR wage types and payment periods) and for controllers (different wage types, view by cost type and statistical key figure)
  • Complex authorization concept for different user groups for planning and reporting
  • Automated interface to downstream systems
Results and benefits

Schaeffler now has a new level of planning accuracy with a very high degree of sharpness as well as excellent traceability while at the same time reducing the amount of work required for plan data provision. This was achieved by a freely parameterizable extrapolation, individual calculation programs and the possibility to enter measures manually.

The novel, intuitive user interface includes plausibility checks and validation functions with integrated reporting and enables efficient, decentralized capacity and cost planning for supervisors, HR managers and controllers on the web. The data views generated in this way also allow direct connection to integrated, company-wide personnel reporting for actual-budget comparison, as well as transfer to downstream systems such as SAP CO and non-SAP systems.

“The direct, high-performance and flexible access to my planning data has given me optimum creative freedom. It enables me to carry out my planning according to my own ideas and still ensure short-term coordination with my responsible HR supervisor and the responsible controller. The operation is simple and intuitive. I can immediately recognize all changes to my budget in the planning tool, check them and correct them if necessary.”
(Jans Held, Head of Human Resources Information Systems & Payroll, Schaeffler AG)

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