To become a strategic partner to the business, HR leaders at this global telecommunications company needed to understand the complete lifecycle of their workforce—including talent acquisition, position management, and space planning—for 8,500 employees. Using Anaplan, they have complete staffing visibility, the power to make accurate plans faster, and the ability to forecast personnel costs on a longer horizon.
With Anaplan, we are making strategic staffing decisions that contribute to a healthy cost/revenue ratio.
General Manager, HR
“A lot of companies look at their workforce as a commodity, but we don’t,” says the HR general manager of a well-known global telecommunications company. “That’s why our Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) wanted our workforce planning system to integrate not just with finance, but also with other HR processes like talent acquisition, position management, and even space management.”
It was a challenging mandate for the company, and two factors made it even more complicated: First, with 8,500 employees in 38 countries, the workforce is the company’s largest single expense; and second, its finance team wanted to forecast headcount costs on a three-year basis but could barely plan a year in advance. HR and finance tried to solve the problem using spreadsheets customized with complex macros, and then spent more than a year attempting to customize a large ERP system to do the job. “It was still unable to provide the level of detail we needed,” the HR general manager recalls. “That’s when we heard about Anaplan.”
A workforce planning proof-of-concept created by Anaplan convinced the company’s HR team that planning at their desired level of granularity was achievable. After a five-month deployment period, the system went live; the HR team has improved and refined the solution further in the months since launch. “Our forecasting and planning are now much more accurate than they were before,” the HR general manager notes. “And the journey of making it sharper and sharper still continues.” With Anaplan, the global telecommunications company can track every position through its entire lifecycle — from requisition creation to onboarding to employee movement — which has given leaders visibility into headcount costs and deep insights that previously were hidden in the planning process.
The company initially chose Anaplan for its quick implementation and ability to support workforce planning at a granular level. As the implementation matured and improved, the company has taken advantage of the platform’s versatility to improve other workforce-related business processes. For example, because plans are now consistent across the company’s divisions, the workforce planning cycle has become much faster and more accurate. The HR general manager notes, “We’re able to enforce a tight schedule for all of the HR teams to complete their simulations and submit their plans.”
The team is also exploring Anaplan’s advanced capabilities. In one instance, a test project with machine learning is helping users choose the best simulations for their needs and build plans based on their desired outcomes. These capabilities and more have made HR a strategic partner throughout the company. “Because we can accurately measure staffing costs, we are driving productivity and making decisions that contribute to a healthy cost/revenue ratio,” the HR general manager concludes.