Payroll Services

Sodexo: At the service of its personnel

  • Industry: Food services & facilities management
  • Employees: 427,268
  • Headquarters: Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Human Resources and Information Systems Managers, even more so when your name is SODEXO and you employ no fewer than 100,000 people across Europe of which more than 30,000 in France. It is nevertheless this challenge, which Michel Foulon, VP Strategic Planning & Control and IS&T at SODEXO Alliance Europe, decided to take on in implementing the project in France and Germany before subsequently picking up the gauntlet…

The Context, the Challenges

The SODEXO Group, a leader in the restaurant and services industry, decided to align the working practices of its four subsidiary companies at the end of the 90s and to update its systems ahead of the year 2000, given that not all were likely to pass this deadline. This challenge is not unknown to payroll processing in France either.

The Complexity of Payroll Processing in France
SODEXO’s payroll in France is particularly complex as a result of the diverse employment statutes and contracts of which it is composed:

  • 32,000 salaries paid per month
  • 5 collective agreements: SNRC, SYNTEC, Hospitality, Index-linked payroll for Seconded Municipal Staff, Monaco
  • Around 30 different types of employment contracts
  • 7 salary categories: active, apprentice, artist, extra…
  • Employment type L122-12 resulting from restaurant buybacks – significant number of transactions per month: 3,900 incoming and 3,500 outgoing

About Sodexo

Headquarters: Marseille – France
Established in: 1966
Activity: Restaurants/Catering, services, technical maintenance
Turnover € 12.8 billion
Presence: 28,300 sites in 80 countries

A First Sap Payroll Project before the Year 2000

It was in this context that an initial project was launched in 1999 for the implementation of a payroll system based on SAP. Spurred on by the approaching deadline of the year 2000, SODEXO adopted an ambitious plan to meet the required deadlines and to optimize its payroll projects over the following two years. SODEXO’s priority during this initial stage was to guarantee the internal maintenance of the application.

Parallel with the upgrading of its SAP system and a renewal of its contract, and with a view to achieving further improvements in productivity and quality, the organization began a second phase in the strategy:

  • to reduce the maintenance budget
  • to manage internal resources dedicated to non-strategic tasks (9 FTE: Full-time equivalents)
  • to guarantee quality operations and constant growth, notably with regard to regulations

“Alongside its commercial competitiveness, one of the key factors which convinced us to choose NGA Human Resources was their leading position in SAP HR with respect to Payroll. It came down to having the best possible consultants in order to maintain a certain credibility with the internal teams, who are themselves experts in the field.”

Michel Foulon
VP Strategic Planning & Control and IS&T, Sodexo Alliance Europ

A Second Phase: Outsourcing Payroll

There were several objectives set by SODEXO:

  • to reduce the total cost of salary slip production
  • to standardize the calculation rules
  • to implement the “Organization Management” module
  • to add a decentralized time registration module for the 3,000 sites across France
  • to integrate the HR / Payroll systems between the various countries

Two Possible Scenarios Presented Themselves To SODEXO:

1.To pursue the development and maintenance of the HR / Payroll applications internally with the use of existing teams.

2.To outsource payroll processing and change management (ASP mode), a model already employed by others within the group (China, Asia-PAC).

In turning to NGA Human Resources, SODEXO in the end opted for the outsourcing solution with its rapid ROI and straightforward quantification.

The project, jointly executed by SODEXO and NGA Human Resources has resulted in simplified payroll preparations and their subsequent transfer to NGA Human Resources’ external platform.


Among the numerous benefits observed, one can cite:

  • significantly reduced total cost, per salary slip
  • substantial gains on shared SAP technical environments
  • the complete delegation of routine tasks to NGA Human Resources, allowing SODEXO to focus on more valueadded work

Evolution of the Project

On the back of these successes, SODEXO decided to pursue the development and optimization of its HR/Payroll systems by exploiting its partnership with SAP and NGA Human Resources. For example:
  • the development of a HRIS for Europe (in progress)
  • the implementation of a time registration module supporting various job profiles in the different locations (in progress)
  • a successful initial ASP (Application Service Provider) test with SODEXO Altys-KLM in the Netherlands (6,000 salaries)
  • full payroll outsourcing (BPO) in Germany (5,000 salaries)

Why NGA Human Resources

The selection process for choosing the right outsourcing partner was long and rigorous. NGA Human Resources was finally retained for four main reasons:
  • NGA Human Resources’ position as ‘European leader in SAP HCM’ made it the perfect partner for lending SODEXO international support
  • A positive shared initial experience in Belgium enabled NGA Human Resources to demonstrate its professionalism
  • NGA Human Resources tendered the most competitive commercial proposition
  • NGA Human Resources’ strong spirit of partnership and enterprise finally convinced SODEXO