How an end-to-end HR supports Biobest’s buzzing growth

In 1987, Belgian veterinarian Roland De Jonghe began breeding bumblebees in his garage to organically pollinate his tomatoes. Fascinated by this process, he founded Biobest, now a global leader in natural pollination and biological crop protection. As Biobest grew over the years, so did the need for a modern, end-to-end platform to centralize and streamline HR operations. Moreover, one that could integrate with their existing ERP.

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With more than 2,800 employees in 28 facilities around the world, Biobest is well prepared to provide growers with tailored advice. As business continues to boom, so did the need for a modern HR platform to:

  • Gain an overview of all employee data
  • Centralize and streamline HR processes
  • Improve reporting and decision making

Towards an end-to-end SAP environment

Back in 2019, Biobest had embraced SAP S/4HANA to streamline its business processes and data. The logical next step was to stick with SAP to centralize its HR operations. That’s why they called on Flexso to implement SAP SuccessFactors.

Kristof Truyens CHRO Biobest

The goal was to build an end-to-end integrated HR environment that encompasses every process, from recruitment to retirement. To achieve this, we took a step-by-step approach, first implementing Employee Central to centralize all employee data and later adding extra modules to cover other processes.

Kristof Truyens - CHRO at Biobest

Key elements for a successful HR digitisation

Kristof Truyens shares his 4 tips to ensure a successful SAP SuccessFactors implementation.

1. Set your priorities straight

During the planning phase, Biobest and Flexso determined which HR processes had priority and in what order they would implement the various modules.
“That’s the strength of an agile platform like SuccessFactors. With Employee Central, we had laid a strong foundation, which we could then expand according to our needs. In the long run, we want to integrate all of our HR processes into SAP SuccessFactors.”

2. Roll out country by country

Instead of implementing SAP SuccessFactors in every country at once, Biobest opted for a gradual, country-by-country rollout.
“We can add new entities whenever they’re ready, allowing us to adjust the pace of the implementation to what works best for everyone and to match our growth. For example, we first implemented the Performance module at our HQ in Belgium, and later rolled it out in the Netherlands, China, Kenya, Spain, and Morocco.”

3. Integrate, integrate, integrate

Flexso used Cloud Platform Integration (CPI) to integrate SAP SuccessFactors with Biobest’s existing SAP S/4HANA ERP.
“By integrating our SAP SuccessFactors to our SAP ERP, we benefit from advanced insights and are able to further improve decision making to support and manage our growth.”

4. Get everyone on the same page

There's more than the technical side of a project. The collaboration between the teams at Flexso and Biobest also played a vital role.
“Both our key users and executives as well as the Flexso consultants were very driven to reach the finish line with a nice result. Flexso was the perfect partner to guide us along the way.”

What’s buzzing today?

Today, Biobest is already reaping the benefits of its new HR platform. “We finally have a clear overview of basic employee data,” Kristof concludes. "The management at Biobest can make strategic decisions based on accurate HR data. The gradual rollout was also a success: the entities that were systematically added to the project, seamlessly implemented SAP SuccessFactors. Now we can easily add new entities to the platform.”

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Growing along together

Biobest chose a gradual approach to get a head start on a centralized and fully integrated HR environment. This is part of their path towards becoming a fully integrated organization, end-to-end interconnecting data and processes.

“In the meantime, we’re adding other SuccessFactors modules. Compensation will soon go live, after that Succession & Development is planned, as well as Employee Engagement with Qualtrics. Besides SAP SuccessFactors, we’ll continue to expand our other SAP solutions such as S/4HANA and our CRM. Last but not least, we’re also considering developing custom tools with SAP Build.”

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