Martin Thomas

Head of Total Workforce Management, Royal Philips

Supernova Award Category: 

Future of Work: Human Capital Management

The Organization: 

Founded in 1891, Royal Philips is a leading healthcare technology company focused on improving people’s health and enabling better patient outcomes. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the company employs around 77,000 people worldwide and generates annual revenue of approximately €18.1 billion ($20.35 billion).

The Problem: 

Philips wanted flexible, cost-effective access to the skills it needs to thrive in the healthcare technology business – its new area of focus.  Philips wanted to make better decisions about how to get work done. With this in mind, the company aimed to better align its talent strategy to encompass its entire workforce – including employees, contingent labor and services providers. In parallel, the company set out to gain better visibility of its total workforce.

The Solution: 

First, Philips created a talent management team that sets the strategy for employees and the external workforce – helping the company to manage its entire workforce holistically. Next, Philips engaged Randstad Sourceright, a managed services provider, to help develop and support its external workforce management program. Philips combines data from SAP Fieldglass and its HR system to compare the cost of acquiring each skill from an employee and contingent worker. To increase its access to highly skilled talent, Philips uses the twago freelancer management system. Since SAP Fieldglass offers a pre-built integration with twago, Philips was able to set up the interface quickly and enable seamless data transfer between the two systems. As a result, when Philips engages freelancers via twago, some data fields are automatically populated in SAP Fieldglass, saving time and reducing the risk of error.

The Results: 

Philips gained deep visibility into its contingent workers – seeing their responsibilities, locations, certifications, access rights and more. This newfound visibility enables Philips to actively manage this workforce and mitigate risk. For example, the talent management team can identify people who have been working on a contract basis for many years, and contact the relevant function to ensure this type of engagement is appropriate and complies with labor legislation and the company’s internal policies. The project will also lead to huge savings year-over-year.


The project will lead to huge year-over-year savings (SAP to share additional metrics if available)

The Technology: 

Philips relied on SAP Fieldglass, a best-in-class, cloud-based technology solution designed to help companies manage their external workforce efficiently and effectively  – from temporary staff to Statement of Work-based consultants to freelance workers, gig workers, contractors and more. Its industry-leading solutions enable organizations to optimize their use of these resources to increase operational agility and accelerate business outcomes in the digital economy.

Disruptive Factor: 

The Future of Work is changing, and with it, so is the way that businesses manage their workforces. More individuals are participating in the Gig Economy, regardless of industry, and as a result, companies need new ways to manage all of their employees - whether full-time, part-time, contingent, contractors and more. Business are often relying on these gig workers to more effectively get access to the skills and experts they need in the face on ongoing technology transformation. For Philips, as they are shifting focus to become a healthcare technology business, they needed to more readily manage both its existing and potential talent, as well as readily understand the skills available throughout the organization. For this, they turned to SAP Fieldglass to help them transform how they acquire, engage and manage the entire workforce - with a data-driven approach that increases insights and visibility into contingent workers and productivity.

Shining Moment: 

This project was gamechanging for Philips because it has given the company unprecedented access and visibility to its entire workforce. With this visibility, the company has been able to better engage contract workers, and identify where there were needs to shift contract work and priorities to ensure efficiency and productivity across the organization. 

About Your Organization

Philips is a leading health tech company that improves people's health and enables better outcomes, from healthy living and prevention, to diagnosis, treatment & homecare. Philips is a leader in diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy, patient monitoring & health informatics. Philips generated 2018 sales of EUR 18.1 billion and employs 77,000 staff.