The Andersons Streamlines Workforce Planning and Increase Business Visibility with Planful

7 yearsas a Planful customer
3 acquisitions, 2 divestitures made easy with Planful
Payroll and BenefitsRepresent significant costs; Planful enables granular analysis at the employee level

The Andersons Streamlines Workforce Planning Processes and Increases Visibility Across the Business With Planful

The Andersons is a diversified public company rooted in agriculture that conducts business in the commodity merchandising, renewables, and plant nutrient sectors. With 2,300 employees, $17.2 billion in revenue, and 140 facilities around the world, the company helps its customers grow and market their crops and transport the resulting products to end markets. With economic and global factors constantly influencing the agricultural industry, and an active M&A strategy, The Andersons added Planful for Human Resources to its existing Planful solution to streamline its workforce planning processes and bring more visibility to decision-makers across the company.

For 75 years, farmers around the world have depended on The Andersons as an integral component of the agricultural supply chain, helping turn crops into food, feed, and fuel. Around seven years ago, the company moved from spreadsheet-based financial forecasting and reporting processes to Planful. The manual processes limited scalability and created opportunity for error. The Andersons initially used Planful for budgeting and forecasting. Planful also integrated with existing systems via Boomi and Planful connectors. With ever-changing market dynamics and an active growth strategy, the process for the company’s workforce budgeting, planning, and analysis processes needed to be upgraded.

“We have an ever-evolving mix of businesses and Planful gave us a common platform to link processes and focus on the future,” recalled Adam Zobler, Senior Business Analyst at The Andersons. “With ongoing supply chain and workforce challenges, we needed a better, faster, and more accurate way to analyze the workforce budgets versus actuals throughout the year. We also wanted to give greater visibility to managers, HR professionals, and operational personnel.”

Workforce planning challenges: integration, granularity, alignment

Adam Zobler faced several critical challenges in workforce planning processes. The company’s HRIS systems lacked integration with budget data, making it difficult to align workforce changes such as hires and terminations with financial planning. Additionally, their ERP systems lacked granular detail on employee benefits, hindering decision-makers’ ability to gain a comprehensive overview of spending on labor and benefits. The discrepancy between detailed source systems like HRIS and the reporting period of the GL system further complicated data analysis and interpretation.

“Human Resources entered detailed workforce budget data in their HRIS system, but only high-level data made it to Workforce Planning reports, which then forced us to go back to the source systems to find the details,” Adam added. “We were also on a two-week payroll cycle that did not match up with us posting entries monthly, and that further obscured some of the details. When it came to reconciling budget versus actuals, it became very time consuming to find the true numbers.”

Granular Workforce Analysis Drives Informed Decisions and “smiles from HR”

In early 2023, The Andersons expanded its investment in Planful to add Planful for Human Resources and integrate the solution with its existing HRIS system. The Planful Platform offers over 1,400 pre-built connections to the most common data sources, including Workday, which makes getting financial and operational data into Planful easy.

With Planful’s workforce planning solution and newly released ‘WFP Actuals’ feature, The Andersons achieved significant benefits and tangible results including:

  • Enhanced detail and visibility by cost center: Planful’s solution provided a comprehensive view of actuals, budget, and forecasted expenses at the employee level. This level of detail enables the team to precisely understand allocations at the most granular level.
  • Bridged the gap between GL and HRIS and budget: By integrating budget data from its HRIS systems with Planful, The Andersons eliminated the disconnect between its HRIS system, forward-looking financials in Planful, and actual general ledger postings for labor and benefits. This enabled end users to visualize HRIS workforce changes in their forecasting process on a more frequent basis.
  • Comparative insights against forecast and budget across periods: Planful gives The Andersons a comprehensive view of monthly, year-to-date, and full-year forecasts broken down by individual employees. This empowers decision-makers to conduct merit analysis, consider open positions, and make data-driven decisions at the cost center local level with confidence.

“Our managers can quickly see how their costs are going up or down each month, and that’s a huge value we’re getting from Planful,” Adam concluded. They can view budgets versus actuals by worker, and gain visibility into overtime to see what is really driving their P&L. It would be impossible to do this analysis at the employee level without Planful.”


The Andersons is a diversified company rooted in agriculture that conducts business in the commodity merchandising, renewables, and plant nutrient sectors. Its operations span North and Central America, Europe, and Asia.






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