Brownfield migration in two project phases
System Conversion to SAP S/4HANA for Noske Kaeser Deutschland GmbH
System Conversion to SAP S/4HANA for Noske Kaeser Deutschland GmbH
SAP S/4HANA implementation according to brownfield approach
Noske Kaeser Germany GmbH supplies solutions and components for ships and offshore platforms and is part of the ENGIE Group. The company generated sales of around 40 million euros in 2021.
The company planned to migrate from SAP R/3 to SAP S/4HANA and wanted to retain standard processes and working settings.
Noske Kaeser migrated according to the brownfield approach in two project phases. First, there was an upgrade to SAP ERP 6.0, followed by the conversion to SAP S/4HANA in a second phase.
The team mastered the migration to SAP S/4HANA on schedule and below budget. The company benefits from a significant increase in performance and standard functionalities thanks to SAP S/4HANA.
I would like to thank GAMBIT and the project manager Ms. Grothausmann for the professional implementation of this complex project.
The engine room of a submarine needs to be cooled - and without external air? A cruise ship needs cost-saving air conditioning, a merchant ship an electronic control system? In many cases, the technology comes from Noske Kaeser in Hamburg!
Setting new technical standards again and again - this is something the experts at Noske Kaeser have been familiar with for 140 years. The company from Hamburg is one of the world's best-known and leading companies when it comes to air conditioning systems or ventilation and fire extinguishing technology for the shipbuilding and offshore industries.
For Noske Kaeser, however, new standards were also at stake in a project that saw the company replace the SAP ERP system it had been using and introduce SAP S/4HANA. After all, even a company like Noske Kaeser needs a powerful ERP system to reliably control and manage its business processes.
It was a conversion project in which the Hamburg-based company worked with consultants from GAMBIT Consulting.
Multiple extended output system
Noske Kaeser was using a system that was getting on in years. In 2002, the company had introduced a comprehensively designed SAP R/3 4.6c system that had been repeatedly adapted to new requirements in the course of its long period of use, for example by merging company codes. Thus, at the time of the changeover, the system in use contained a large number of settings and data that were no longer necessary and needed to be cleaned up.
In addition, not only the age of the system, but also the end of maintenance for SAP R/3 at the end of 2027 played a role in the decision to switch to SAP S/4HANA.
"We knew we had to act," says Conrad Leilich of Noske Kaeser, "but we deliberately wanted to keep the changeover lean in order to minimize costs and risks and also not overburden the organization." The company therefore opted for a purely technical changeover, a so-called system conversion. This involves transferring the system one-to-one to SAP S/4HANA - including the processes, data and individual developments.
Usage of the standard
The declared goal of those responsible at Noske Kaeser was to adopt the functioning customizing, to retain standard processes not affected by the conversion to SAP S/4HANA, but also - given the sometimes high complexity of the company's own business processes - to use new SAP standard functionalities with SAP S/4HANA where possible.
The required functions of the PP (production planning), MRP, LVS/WM (warehouse management system), MM-IM (inventory management and stocktaking) and material master data management modules, for example, were already largely mapped with standard functions in the legacy system.
"It was very important for us to quickly arrive at a new solution that we could work with," says Conrad Leilich from Noske Kaeser. "We therefore made a conscious decision to postpone the optimization of our processes and functions to a second phase after go-live. Keeping the project as short as possible was simply a higher priority here."
The changeover to SAP S/4HANA initially began at Noske Kaeser in August 2021 with a Unicode conversion in SAP R/3 4.6C.
Intermediate step to SAP ERP
Subsequently, the initial system had to be upgraded to the SAP ERP 6.0 version with EHP 5 because a direct changeover to SAP S/4HANA was not possible. This step also included the import of the EHP 7 enhancement package for SAP ERP.
"The changeover with the intermediate step to SAP ERP was already something special. Technically, however, it did not cause us any problems, so that we were able to do the Readiness Check directly afterwards and implement all further necessary pre-projects", says Dr. Thomas Fischer, Project Manager and Partner at GAMBIT Consulting.
With the Readiness Check, the experts checked, among other things, which HANA database size is required after the Inplace upgrade, which Fiori apps can be used with SAP S/4HANA, if any, and - by adding the Simplification List for SAP S/4HANA - which changes and innovations there are with SAP S/4HANA compared to the legacy system.
In addition, there were some preliminary projects that are mandatory before a system conversion and have therefore now been implemented: the introduction of the new general ledger (New GL), a customer vendor integration to convert customer and supplier data to the new master data object Business Partner, and the introduction of the new asset accounting.
After this preliminary work, the actual technical conversion finally followed in August 2022 - the conversion from SAP ERP 6.0 to SAP S/4HANA. "Together, we thus implemented the project exactly on schedule and even more cost-effectively than originally planned," says Dr. Thomas Fischer.
Thanks for the excellent cooperation to Conrad Leilich and the team at Noske Kaeser!
Integration of previously isolated solutions
After the changeover, work now continues as planned: Noske Kaeser is expanding the new system to include certain workflows, for example, and is taking care of the integration of previously isolated solutions and tools. "In addition, we are also implementing a new system for product lifecycle management, which will gradually improve the stability and transparency of our processes significantly," says Conrad Leilich from Noske Kaeser.
One of the company's central goals is to significantly reduce the proportion of non-digital processes in the company - and thus further advance the digitization strategy defined in 2020 with the help of SAP S/4HANA.
"We want to and will reduce the proportion of activities that contribute nothing to our value creation - for example, when an employee in the warehouse spends a long time looking for a particular part because he does not know the exact storage location. By digitizing these processes, we are making work easier and more attractive for our employees," says Conrad Leilich of Noske Kaeser.
"In addition, we can all concentrate even more on the activities that are at the heart of the matter: developing and producing suitable products and solutions for our customers so that we can continue to set the standards in the industry in the future," says Conrad Leilich.
Meinolf Schäfer, Senior Director Sales & MarketingWould you like to learn more about the options for switching to SAP S/4HANA?
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