The most valuable resource of a consulting company is its personnel. Taking the closest possible look at its own human resources today and in the future is therefore also a component of success. Drees & Sommer has now expanded and improved its system landscape with noventum HR Planning powered by CoPlanner.
The system, which has been live since January 2021, now enables a daily forecast of FTE development based on employee master data and planned assumptions. This information is available to various stakeholders in the company in different perspectives (company, locations, teams and many more). In addition, the system can be used to create a well-founded personnel cost plan at any time.
The new system ensures reliability and quality of figures as well as transparency and integration of all involved information carriers and recipients. In addition, the high degree of automation saves time and effort, as redundant data maintenance is no longer necessary.
Drees & Sommer is the innovative partner for consulting, planning, construction and operation. As a leading European consulting, planning and project management company, the company has been supporting private and public clients and investors in all matters relating to real estate and infrastructure for 50 years. In interdisciplinary teams, around 4000 employees at 46 locations worldwide support clients from a wide range of sectors.
As in most companies, sound personnel cost planning at Drees & Sommer can only be achieved through the cooperation of many responsible parties. Even before the introduction of HR Planning, the HR Business Partners at Drees & Sommer were responsible for providing a well-founded outlook of all personnel movements. These were previously maintained on an Excel basis with a great deal of manual effort and condensed daily or prepared for various report recipients. Colleagues in the finance department used this as a basis for their regular personnel cost forecast.
A reorganization finally prompted the decision to replace this process with a software-based solution in order to reduce manual effort, simplify access to information, and ultimately bundle responsibility for the process and results.
The new HR forecasting system needed to integrate as well as possible with the SAP SuccessFactors HR management solution, which now combines nearly all HR-related information. The goal was to create a standard for workforce planning and personnel cost planning that fit the requirements and yet was flexible enough to easily map possible additional customer needs.
Based on these requirements, Drees & Sommer decided to introduce noventum HR-Planning powered by CoPlanner and to implement it with the experienced team of noventum consulting. The solution has been live since January 2021 and ensures even more quality, transparency and topicality in Drees & Sommer's HR forecast.
The core of the planning is an FTE-related development of the headcount based on existing information from SAP SuccessFactors and additional planned assumptions. These are essentially planned new hires (but also already known changes to existing employees such as changes in working hours, absences, promotions, and much more before these are mapped in the HR management system.
FTE planning is updated daily with data from SAP SuccessFactors. New plans can be made at any time by the HR Business Partners. If a planned position is filled, it can be directly linked to the new employee in SAP SuccessFactors - when updating in noventum HR Planning powered by CoPlanner, planning assumptions are thus automatically replaced by real data. Also in comparison with budget and forecasts, the link between the once planned position and the actual staffing becomes clear.
A preview of personnel costs is regularly generated on the basis of the current FTE development (monthly preview in Germany for 75% of the employees, once a quarter for the international workforce). Depending on the company, this is based either on the update of actual data from payroll systems (such as SAP HCM) or the development of gross wage information from SAP SuccessFactors. Employer contributions can be parameterized on a country-specific basis and calculated automatically for each calculation. For new jobs, average salaries are used, which can be maintained on the basis of various characteristics. By integrating the finance managers directly in the system, a common and reliable picture of the future is created quickly and efficiently.
This result of the personnel cost and FTE planning can then be transferred at any time to the controlling system used in the group. Reconciliation and audit reports ensure consistency and traceability. The standardization of cost calculation while retaining national peculiarities further enhances transparency and trust.
Even in dynamic times, a rapidly growing company like Drees & Sommer must constantly be able to rethink itself and its future. This also applies to HR, which is responsible for the company's most important asset. A reliable picture of the future can only be drawn together if all parties involved (departments, HR business partners, HR operations, finance) work together.
This is exactly what happens in the newly introduced noventum HR-Planning powered by CoPlanner: the various parties involved bring their information together and thus help to map current expectations as accurately as possible. This creates more transparency and quality and still succeeds in less time and with less effort than before. This picture of the future is then also accessible to other areas that need this information for their decisions (site managers, team leaders, etc.) - so the system ultimately becomes the single point of truth for personnel planning in the future.
In Drees & Sommer HR, the clear picture of the future relates to the further development of the workforce and thus to the early forecasting of the development of resources and costs. The systems created have laid a solid foundation for many years, which can now be built on in the future, e.g. as part of further automation steps to continuously improve usability and accuracy.