Taking care of a healthy future: how Febelco is growing thanks to SAP SuccessFactors

Making health simple. That is the mission of Febelco, a leading distributor of medical products in Belgium. The company ensures that pharmacies can quickly provide the right medication to patients. To maintain this optimal service, the company had to transform its HR processes. At HR Connect 2024, Febelco talked about their challenges and the successful implementation of SAP SuccessFactors.

Febelco is the largest wholesaler-distributor of pharmaceuticals in Belgium, with a network of eight locations spread across Flanders and Wallonia. With 1,200 employees, Febelco supplies pharmacies throughout the country with medical products up to three times a day.

“When a pharmacy needs a certain medicine for a patient, we ensure it’s there the same day,” says HR analyst Stephie Vangenechten. “We understand how important that is. If your child is sick and needs a specific medicine, it must be available quickly. Together, we make sure pharmacies can provide the best service to their patients. We care about the people who take care of others. That’s our motto.”


Febelco’s challenges

To ensure that Febelco’s customers can continue to provide optimal service to patients in the future, further digitalization was necessary. “The labor market shortage is a challenge for us too. To grow, we needed to work on the optimal efficiency of our employees. Moreover, we aimed to improve employee engagement to reduce staff turnover.”

“We wanted to do this by putting the right person in the right place and ensuring they had the right tools,” says Vangenechten. “But that wasn’t easy. We had employees who hardly worked with computers. We had to comply with union demands and rules. And there were significant differences in language and culture across our eight locations.”


Implementation in four phases

Febelco realized it needed to choose a new, innovative HR solution. After extensive market analysis and several selection phases, where different vendors were evaluated, Febelco chose SAP SuccessFactors. Vangenechten: “This choice was based on SAP’s proven track record as a global player. Additionally, SAP guarantees continuous innovation and SAP SuccessFactors seamlessly integrated with our ERP system. We also chose HR Path’s expertise as our implementation partner.”

The implementation of SAP SuccessFactors was carried out in four phases. “We started with the enable phase,” says Vangenechten. “In this phase, we set up the new HR environment and reviewed the initial data templates. Next was the engage phase, where we worked closely with HR Path to discuss all desired applications and changes. In the personalize phase, these adjustments were made and extensively tested to ensure the final result met our expectations. The last phase was the activate phase, where we integrated the data and went live.”


“Benefits are immediately noticeable”

Febelco implemented several SAP SuccessFactors modules, including Employee Central, Document Manager, Job Profile Builder, Performance Management, Integration Payroll Provider, Recruiting, and Learning. “We are already reaping the benefits,” says Vangenechten. “Many processes that were previously manual or paper-based are now digitalized. This saves a tremendous amount of time. We are already looking at further expanding the SAP SuccessFactors suite, for example with the Onboarding and Succession & Development modules.”


Making the tree bloom more beautifully

Vangenechten looks back on the implementation of SAP SuccessFactors with satisfaction. “It was an intensive process. We continuously involved our employees and other stakeholders, such as unions. This alleviated concerns, for example about compliance and data security. All stakeholders could voice their opinions and ask questions throughout the process. This interaction was crucial for a successful rollout and good adoption.”

The result is a renewed, future-proof HR organization. “Many of our employees were not used to working with computers. It took a lot of time to bring these people along with the adoption. But now everyone has their own login credentials for SAP SuccessFactors. All our employees have access to the right tools. This improves employee engagement. Many of our HR processes are now much more efficient and user-friendly.”

With SAP SuccessFactors, Febelco is ready for the future. “For us, the new HR organization feels like a tree we’ve planted. There is now a beautiful tree, and our goal is to make it bloom more beautifully. So that we continue to grow towards a healthy future.”

Curious how SAP SuccessFactors can support your organization’s growth ambitions? Contact our specialists. Send an email to marjolein.de.wit@sap.com