Agfa Makes HR Strategic Business Partner with SAP SuccessFactors

In many ways, 150-year-old Agfa-Gevaert is the poster child for industry disruption in the digitalized world. After restructuring to meet evolving market demands in the rapidly changing graphics and healthcare industries, this Belgium-based digital image leader turned to SAP SuccessFactors to transform human resources (HR).

“SAP SuccessFactors provided us with the scalable, flexible intelligence we needed to make HR business-driven,” said Peter Dignef, global head of HR Services at Agfa-Gevaert. “We can free up our HR team from service-oriented, daily transactions so they can focus on being strategic business partners, directly supporting our expansion into new markets through acquisitions and other high-growth opportunities.”

One Centralized Solution Replaced 50

What’s particularly exciting for Dignef is how SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central helped the company meet the global and local needs of a diverse workforce. The 3,000 employees in the spun-off healthcare group are younger, highly-skilled IT professionals building hospital information systems. Workers in the print division’s manufacturing facilities for packaging have factory-related skill sets. They tend to be older, and typically operate under local labor regulations. Bringing in SAP SuccessFactors allowed Agfa-Gevaert to replace approximately 50 disconnected HR systems with one centralized platform.

“Having a single global system of record for our entire workforce ─ regardless of where they work and what they do ─ has standardized our HR processes for greater efficiencies,” said Dignef. “Employees can manage their personal information in the HR system, and their managers have the data to do a better job. For example, with a real-time view of business demands and employee availability across country boundaries, managers can make better, faster decisions in response to employee leave requests, or monitor overtime for smooth operations.”

When roll-out is complete, the solution will reach 11,000 employees across 50 countries.

Modernized Recruiting

Agfa-Gevaert’s move to the cloud began with the introduction of SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting to the global workforce. Previously, every local HR manager was required to spend 20 percent of their time on recruitment. Using SAP SuccessFactors, the company centralized recruitment within one smaller, far more agile team. One of the biggest benefits was the ability to maximize productivity despite inevitable peaks and valleys.

“With one global system it’s easy to shift workloads between recruiters as activities ebb and flow worldwide,” said Dignef. “Just as important, recruiters and hiring managers have one digital view into the entire process from resumes received, through email and other communications, and hiring. We have fact-based information on the status and outcomes of every recruiting situation.”

Dignef added that the business outcomes weren’t just about saving time. Using data from the Agfa-Gevaert career site, the HR team can make more informed decisions about recruiting investments based on which sources draw the best candidates.

Ready for Ongoing Disruption

Dignef saw Agfa-Gevaert well-positioned to adapt and grow in the face of continuous, expected disruption. The company’s print business has already experienced the shift from newspapers to digital print business. In healthcare, Agfa-Gevaert has become essentially a software company.

“Our packaging business is changing too, and emerging markets are driving new demands,” he said. “With SAP SuccessFactors, we can attract the next generation of digitally savvy employees, and empower them to achieve their best, supporting our growth and innovation in the years ahead.”

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