Philips Forges an Innovative Strategy for External Workforce Management – and Sees Strong Business Benefits

Founded in 1891 and initially known for lighting, Royal Philips is now a leading healthcare technology company. It focuses on improving people’s health and enabling better patient outcomes, from diagnosis and treatment to monitoring and healthy living at home. Philips employs around 77,000 people worldwide and generates annual revenue of approximately €18.1 billion ($20.35 billion). 



Contingent Workforce Management  
Services Procurement – in pilot


  • Forge a total talent strategy
  • Find and engage top talent
  • Enable data-driven decisions
  • Reduce contingent workforce costs
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Healthcare technology requires specialist skills – and a total talent strategy

As a healthcare technology company, Philips relies on highly-specialized skills that are often in short supply. To find the right talent, Philips needed to look globally at options for hiring an employee or engaging a contingent worker or services provider. Its aim was to find the right talent, in the right location, at the right price. 

To drive success throughout the company, Philips aimed to better align its talent strategy to encompass all workers – employees, contingent laborers, and services providers, gaining greater visibility across its entire global workforce. Ultimately, with a total workforce strategy in place, Philips wanted to make better decisions about how to get work done.


Enabling better visibility and decision-making

First, Philips created a talent management team to manage its entire workforce holistically. Next, the company engaged managed services provider Randstad Sourceright to help develop and support its external workforce management program. At the heart of the program is SAP Fieldglass – a robust vendor management system (VMS) designed to help companies manage their external workforce efficiently and effectively. 

With SAP Fieldglass, Philips has gained deep visibility into its contingent workers – seeing their responsibilities, locations, certifications, access rights, and more. This insight empowers Philips to draw detailed comparisons between its contingent and employee workforce and look at the cost of getting work done via each channel. As a result, the company can make better decisions across its total workforce, from making more informed choices about where to set up global operations centers to helping the business meet its rising demand for IT and digital skills by increasing recruitment of recent graduates.

“Equipped with tangible insight from SAP Fieldglass, we can support better decision-making across the business. Ultimately, we help the business get the right skill in the right place through the right channel to get work done.”

Martin Thomas 

Head of Total Workforce Management, Koninklijke Philips N.V.

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Gaining deep insight into the contingent workforce

Currently Philips runs SAP Fieldglass in 25 countries in multiple languages, effectively and efficiently managing its contingent workforce around the globe.

Philips started its program focusing on contingent labor and now manages €500 million spent on contingent workers each year via the SAP Fieldglass solution. Additionally, the program has unlocked significant cost savings year-on-year, freeing up funds for investment in other areas. Spurred on by these impressive results, Philips continues to roll out the program globally.


Bringing services providers into the picture

Building on its success, Philips is now piloting the use of SAP Fieldglass for services procurement – including managing services providers such as consultancies, design agencies, IT companies, and engineering firms. By managing SOW workers as part of its total workforce, Philips will be able to establish consistent processes for on-boarding and off-boarding, granting and switching off system and building access, ensuring compliance, giving training, and more.

Philips has already achieved enormous success by introducing an external workforce management program. The company is confident that the program will help it fuel business growth, support its transformation, and capture a larger share of the healthcare technology market.

THE STORY CONTINUES: Philips Responds to Global Pandemic with Speed and Agility

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Philips found its increased visibility across their entire workforce invaluable for managers making challenging staffing decisions.

What makes Philips a leader in managing their external workforce?

By implementing a total talent management strategy and SAP Fieldglass solutions to find, engage, and manage its external workforce, Philips gained the following key benefits: