How Kärcher Supports a Growing Workforce by Moving HR to the Cloud

As one of the world’s leading providers of cleaning solutions, Kärcher offers a range of innovative solutions – from pressure washers and vacuums to steam cleaners and sweepers – designed to make everyday life simpler, better, and more pleasant. Headquartered in Winnenden, Germany, Kärcher operates worldwide, employing more than 14,500 people in 73 countries.

Kärcher is a family-owned enterprise, and Founder Alfred Kärcher’s strong belief that the company had a special responsibility towards its employees continues to this day. Florence Favrot, manager, HR Technology & Digitalization, confirms: “Our people are at the heart of our success, so we place great value on providing a working environment that empowers employees to reach their full potential.”

To provide the best workplace experience for all employees, Kärcher is overhauling HR, moving from disparate on-premise systems, localized processes, and spreadsheets to a fully digital, cloud-based HR system – a new global standard based on SAP SuccessFactors Human Experience Management Suite.

“The SAP SuccessFactors portfolio ticked all the boxes in terms of functionality and fit in with our wider cloud strategy,” says Favrot. “Across the business, we are moving away from on-premise systems to take advantage of the flexibility and cost-efficiency of cloud computing.”

Kärcher began its HR transformation journey in 2018, deploying four solutions – SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting, SAP SuccessFactors Performance & Goals, SAP SuccessFactors Succession & Development, and SAP SuccessFactors Learning – for 12,000 employees in 67 countries, covering more than 90% of the workforce. In the coming years, the SAP SuccessFactors solutions will be available to all 14,500 employees worldwide.

The company also recently went live with the SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central solution, which now serves as the single point of truth for HR data globally. Kärcher chose PwC as its implementation partner and opted for a big-bang deployment strategy, rolling out the core HR solution to all 67 countries that were already using the other SAP SuccessFactors solutions simultaneously. The company also worked closely with PwC to build an interface between the SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central solution and an on-premise solution used in Germany. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the implementation was delivered remotely.

With operations all over the world, it is vital that Kärcher’s HR function runs 24/7. The company now runs its HR technology in a hyperscale environment for maximum availability and scalability. This helps to minimize downtime and ensure that vital HR services run reliably for all employees, no matter where they are.

“With the SAP SuccessFactors solutions, employees benefit from the convenience and simplicity of self-service HR – enhancing the workplace experience and improving access to development opportunities,” Favrot concludes. “Meanwhile, managers can recruit, develop, and retain the right talent to support the business as we continue to innovate and grow.”

Learn more on how to simplify your migration from on-premise human capital management (HCM) to the cloud.


Lara Albert is vice president of Solution Marketing for SAP SuccessFactors.