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Lilly relies on 4PLAN HR for personnel cost planning

With 40,000 employees worldwide, the pharmaceutical company Lilly knows all too well about personnel management. Founded in 1876, Lilly is now one of the largest suppliers and manufacturers of medicines in the world.

The German subsidiary Lilly Deutschland needed greater control over its complex and variable personnel costs. 4PLAN HR from Software4You was introduced, making it much easier to accurately calculate and forecast HR costs. In addition, Lilly Germany has been able to reduce the time required to create salary overviews by 50% since the introduction of 4PLAN HR.


Like all subsidiaries in large groups, Lilly Germany must ensure that it provides its affiliated companies with accurate information on personnel costs and the most accurate possible forecast of future personnel costs. These include not only salaries but also costs in connection with overtime payments, variable payments and bonuses.

During this time, there were many organizational changes in the company. For example, employees often moved from local positions to regional or global ones. As a result, the HR department had to constantly revise its personnel cost planning.

“The changes came faster and faster and we couldn’t make the adjustments to the plans quickly enough,” explains Schultz. “As a result, the company had to live with old plans, some of which were up to six months old.”

Because the company was unable to update the plans as often as necessary, the actual personnel costs deviated considerably from the planned costs. “We had to spend a lot of time analyzing the costs and we had many discussions with the finance department!” recalls Schultz.


Lilly Germany has decided to purchase a software solution that helps to improve the accuracy and timeliness of personnel cost planning. Once the requirements of the company and the users had been defined, three main criteria were identified which the new solution had to fulfill.

  1. The solution should be able to import data from all upstream systems.
  2. have the flexibility to take account of changes in the company
  3. We offer a broad spectrum of analyses and reports

The company contacted many providers and discovered Software4You. “It soon became clear that Software4You offered the best solution for us,” recalls Schultz.

“The Software4You staff were very knowledgeable when they presented their system and explained the benefits to us. We didn’t want to spend a fortune on the system and 4PLAN HR came with the right price.”

4PLAN HR is a software developed by Software4You specifically to help companies manage all their personnel costs. It enables HR managers to easily monitor very detailed and complex statistics, analyze cost variances and present information in clear reports. The introduction of 4PLAN HR at Lilly Germany went smoothly and it was very easy to import the data from existing payroll systems.

Two years after purchasing 4PLAN, Lilly Germany switched from the existing payroll system to SAP as part of the group-wide introduction of SAP.
The change did not prevent the use of 4PLAN HR. Lilly Germany simply exports the payroll data from the SAP HR module directly into 4PLAN HR.


Lilly Germany uses 4PLAN at least three times a year to plan all personnel costs, including benefits such as company car expenses. The HR department can look at cost centers and see where the deviations between forecast and actual costs come from. “We have planned and actual data in one system,” says Schutz. “This helps us to control our personnel expenses much more precisely.”

The company uses an increasing number of contractual partners. Previously, these people could not easily be included in Lilly’s payroll costs because they were not paid by Lilly and therefore did not appear in Lilly’s pay-roll system. Now all personnel costs for contractors and employees can be managed in one system.

Lilly Germany also uses 4PLAN HR at least eight times a year to generate complex salary and bonus statements.
“In the past, I didn’t have the right tools for this,” explains Schultz. “I was able to expand my data so that I got all the information I needed. Salary statements can now be created easily and up to 50% faster.

By using 4PLAN HR, the HR department is able to provide ad hoc information and reports to the managers responsible for the employees. Similarly, the HR department can provide reports to the finance department on costs related to employee groups. Or confirm the total cost of an employee, including salary, bonuses and benefits. “We can now provide information very directly,” says Schultz.

Lilly Germany has been using 4PLAN for over 5 years. During this time, Lilly was able to count on the support of Software4You. For example, when reports had to be adjusted as a result of reorganizations. “I really appreciate this support,” says Schultz. “There is always someone who can answer my questions.”

Schultz concludes: “I would definitely recommend Software4You to any other company that faces the same challenges we do in creating accurate personnel cost planning in times of rapid change.”

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