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Panalpina and ECA developed ECAEnterprise to improve the interoperability between it and other HR systems to reduce the time spent on the salary and bonus review process.

Key project metrics
Reduction in the time it took to run the annual salary and bonus review compared with the previous year 85%
Human error in the annual salary and bonus review  <1%
Duplication of effort in the annual salary and bonus review 0
Faster and improved communication with assignees  +100%

“ECA has not just provided the means to execute what our vision was, but has shaped it, brought entirely new ways of looking at things and really acted as part of the team – an expert in global mobility, programming, design and communication. We really couldn’t have transformed the Panalpina GM programme without them, and we are very excited about continuing to push the boundaries with them.”

- Sara Holczer-Grand, Corporate Global Mobility Manager at Panalpina


Panalpina has partnered with ECA International since 2008 and the partnership has transformed the business through the creation of a global mobility programme that gives greater transparency on costs, benefits, budgets and business practices, centralises International Assignment management and successfully and efficiently services both business units and expatriates.

Challenges and aims

At Panalpina, there were two particular challenges:

  • Lack of interoperability between HR systems prevented information from one system being easily used elsewhere and thus led to a duplication of effort
  • Need to improve efficiency without compromising the accuracy of the salary and bonus calculations

The aim of the project was to:

  • Eliminate the duplication of effort while overcoming the need to avoid any alterations to other HR systems
  • Ensure that the flexibility for exception management remained despite introduction of further automation and process management
  • Ensure that calculations continued to be highly accurate for any and all assignees and assignments

What the project entailed

Panalpina and ECA worked closely together to:

  • Identify bottle-necks in the existing review process, and devise ways to fix these
  • Design processes to optimise efficiency and take maximum advantage of technological capabilities
  • Design, script and implement new batch processing functionality that enables ECAEnterprise to automate the whole base compensation and bonus reviews for the entire active assignee population, incorporating data taken directly from other Panalpina HR systems
  • Design, programme and implement new management reporting functionality, enabling export of the reviewed calculations directly into payroll systems
  • Improve and add to existing batch print functionality, enabling more efficient collation and creation of salary reports for assignees, saving time and improving communications and assignee satisfaction


The successful delivery of this project resulted in significant efficiency gains for Panalpina:

  • An 85% reduction in the time it took to run the annual salary and bonus review compared with the previous year
  • ​Reduction of human error to less than 1% in the annual salary and bonus review
  • Elimination of duplication of effort in the annual salary and bonus review
  • Faster and improved communication of reviews to assignees

Looking ahead

The success of this project has paved the way for further development both in terms of building on the work done as part of the project but also in allowing for the partnership to use the time savings to focus on other areas of development. Some of the development planned or already in development following on from this project includes:

  • The design and creation of a number of new assignment policies (in addition to the existing three policy types) which are now being incorporated into ECAEnterprise. Panalpina and ECA believe these will allow for the better creation and measurement of Global Mobility-specific KPIs (both financial and non-financial) using the ECAEnterprise system.
  • The ability to use data from other Panalpina HR systems in ECAEnterprise. A new development phase will incorporate some of the assignee reporting functionalities currently existing in other systems within Panalpina into ECAEnterprise, resulting in further increases in efficiency to the annual salary and bonus review processes.
  • Improved visibility of month-on-month budget versus actual cost analytics to provide greater transparency.
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