<< More customer stories
  • Tweet this Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on Google+ Email

Explore how other customers are generating value with SAP technology.

More customer stories ›

Customer Snapshot

Changing Lives and Creating Self-Sufficient Communities—One Child
at a Time


children in 90,131 communities around the
world received help in 2012


Plan International was founded over 75 years ago, and is one of the oldest and largest child welfare organizations in the world. Their programs and services extend to children across the developing world. The company has grown, and so has their need for HR systems that keep up with their growth.

Today, Plan International employs 10,000 staff and utilizes over 6,000 volunteers. They needed a better way to monitor and manage these resources to ensure they were being used effectively, delivering the most support to the children they are designed to help. Plan International decided to employ a single, global HR system and coordinated processes to enable better decision making, empower employees, improve efficiencies, and save costs.


Plan International


Surrey, United Kingdom


€679 million (Non-Profit Organization)

Number of Employees

10,000 employees
6,000 volunteers

Implementation Partners


Line of Business

Human Resources


Public Sector

Featured Products

SAP ERP Human Capital Management (SAP ERP HCM)


Wars create displaced children


  • 1937"Foster Parents Plan for Children in Spain" was founded to help children whose lives were disrupted by Spanish Civil War.
  • 1940During World War II, the organization became known as "Foster Parents Plan for War Children" and operated in England, helping displaced children from all over Europe.
  • 1950Plan opened new programs in less developed countries. The organization removed the reference to war children in their name, and became 'Foster Parents Plan Inc.'
  • 1960The company expanded its work in Asia and to countries in South America.
  • 1970The name changed to "Plan International," as program now were conducted in Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and Africa.
  • 1980Belgium, Germany, Japan and the UK joined Canada, the US, Australia, and the Netherlands as donor countries. Plan was recognized by the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
  • 1990Plan marked its 60th anniversary of helping children. Offices opened in France, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, and the Republic of Korea.
  • 2000Plan's donor countries increased to 20 as offices opened in Colombia, India, Ireland, HongKong, Spain, and Switzerland. The name Plan International evolved to simply 'Plan' and a unified global identity was created to help make it more easily recognized around the world.
  • 2010Plan launched its "Because I am a
    Girl" campaign with a focus on gender
    equality. Plan is working to prevent
    early marriage, and keep girls in school.
    Plan knows that when a girl is
    educated, the community benefits.

Business Model

Breaking the cycle of poverty

Plan operates support programs from improving education to rolling out health programs in 50 developing countries. Their staff and volunteers work with children and their communities to help break the cycle of poverty.


Plan aims to lift millions of children out of poverty through 8 core areas:

  • Education – offering children the life skills needed
  • Health – supporting immunization programs and training volunteers
  • Water and Sanitation – improving access to safe drinking water
  • Protection against violence
  • Economic security – ensuring poverty stricken families have skills to increase their income
  • Relief – emergency disaster relief as needed
  • Child participation – helping children learn about their rights in their communities
  • Sexual health education – raising awareness for sexual health and protection, including avoiding HIV

Success Strategy

Holding a vision for human rights

Plan International holds a noble vision for a world in which all children realize their full potential in societies that respect people's rights and dignity. They plan to achieve lasting improvements in the quality of life of deprived children in developing countries, through a process that unites people across cultures. This process adds meaning and value to their lives by enabling the children, their families and their communities to meet their basic needs, and to increase their ability to participate in and benefit from their societies. Plan’s ongoing efforts build relationships to increase understanding and unity among people of different cultures and countries.


The Challenge

Needing a single source of truth

One of the key challenges an organization like Plan faces is finding the best people for their global staff. Plan requires a wide variety of skill sets, from very junior personnel, to drivers, administration assistants, and right up to country and regional directors. With ever-changing requirements, Plan used to rely heavily on career websites, newsletters, and advertising for recruiting. The organization didn’t have a solution that would allow them to actively find suitable candidates themselves.

For example, when the Earthquake hit in Haiti, Plan’s number one priority beyond fundraising, providing blankets, and rebuilding shelters and schools, was to get French speaking disaster trained people to Haiti. They sent emails around to everyone asking if staff knew of anyone that fit that profile. With a common HR system this would not have been an issue. Plan would have been able to identify those French speaking trained staff and moved them quickly to Haiti. The video below captures an even more recent example:


  • http://sapvideo.edgesuite.net/vod/2014/customer-journey/cj-plan-international-the-challenge-vidcj1096.mp4
  • 488
  • 275

Quickly finding and deploying the most skilled people needed to aide in a disaster

Enter SAP

Speaking globally, acting locally

Plan International needed a single view into their business. They were looking for a supplier who could provide a stable and proven global platform that would support common processes across their global organization. Systems had to speak to each other across countries but also have the ability to meet country-specific legislations. They chose SAP and SAP Cloud for Human Resources to meet this need.


  • http://sapvideo.edgesuite.net/vod/2014/customer-journey/cj-plan-international-on-the-philippines-disaster-scene-after-typhoon-haiyan-vidcj875.mp4
  • 488
  • 275

On the Philippines disaster scene after Typhoon Haiyan

The SAP Experience

Global partner

  • http://sapvideo.edgesuite.net/vod/2014/customer-journey/cj-plan-international-the-sap-experience-vidcj1097.mp4
  • 488
  • 275

Plan International worked with Atos as their implementation partner, who provided implementation framework as a starting point. Plan International, with input from their employees, then ran with three design iterations. Working team members attended regular planning workshops at which areas of change were identified and process owners were assigned. Their role was to sign off the design and assist in the creation of one global template. Regular communication and training on the new systems and processes were rolled out across the organization to ensure all were bought on and empowered to utilize the new processes.

Better Business

For their customers – the children they serve, there’s now a better allocation of resources – putting people and funding where they are most needed.


Global transparency

Plan International now has visibility into their overall business, with benefits that include:

Cost reduction:

local systems retired,

reducing maintenance costs

to allow better TCO from

one global supplier.



employees and managers can now see and manage their own data and teams.



working globally with a system that can cater for local country needs.




processes and transactions are now streamlined and far more efficient.


Talent management:

now managed and recognized across the organizations.









Run Simple

Making a real difference for children worldwide

Today they work in 50 developing countries across Africa, Asia, and the Americas. In 2012, Plan worked with 84 million children in 90,131 communities. SAP has enabled them to reduce costs and improve efficiency, gain a global view of the business, and attract and retain the best staff and volunteers.


With SAP, Plan can now ensure they are deploying their people resources effectively and redirecting the resulting cost-savings to making a tangible difference in children's lives.

Journey Ahead


Plan International intends to continue with implementation and move to 100% staff utilizing all systems in 2014.

Related Links