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Preliminary study for SAP S/4HANA (GAMBIT roadmap program)

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Preliminary study for SAP S/4HANA (GAMBIT roadmap program)

Preliminary study for SAP S/4HANA

The challenge

The company had a heterogeneous, split system landscape and needed data and facts to make a decision on switching from SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA.

The solution

GAMBIT conducted a preliminary study for SAP S/4HANA with the GAMBIT Roadmap program, taking into account the company's harmonization efforts, among other things.

The customer benefit

After the preliminary study, the company had a well-founded decision template, a cost calculation, information on the degree of best practice coverage and recommendations for action in strategic areas.

The client

The thyssenkrupp Dynamic Components business unit is one of the leading automotive suppliers and development partners for highly complex drive technologies with around 3,800 employees.

A plethora of paths, forks in the road and decisions to be made - anyone wanting to implement SAP S/4HANA needs clarity at the beginning in view of the many options.

Before any implementation, the first step is to clarify the fundamental questions and find the best path to SAP S/4HANA. Is "green", "brown" or "hybrid" the right path? Which operating model best suits your own requirements? And does it make sense to transfer customer-specific developments to the new SAP S/4HANA landscape?

"Because the options are so diverse and the goals and starting situations of companies are so different, we always recommend that our customers conduct a preliminary study for SAP S/4HANA," says Philipp Fischer, Project Manager at GAMBIT Consulting and project manager of the roadmap project.

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"We are very satisfied with the solution-oriented way of working!" Ina Hofstetter, Project Manager and Head of ITM-ERP at thyssenkrupp Dynamic Components "We are very satisfied with the solution-oriented way of working!"

As a partner, GAMBIT played a key role in ensuring that we were able to meet our ambitious schedule.

Benefit from SAP S/4HANA in the long term

"A preliminary study like this gives companies exactly the clarity they need to subsequently implement a successful implementation project - and, above all, to benefit from SAP S/4HANA comprehensively and in the long term," says Philipp Fischer.

In 2020, those responsible at thyssenkrupp Dynamic Components were also faced with the question of how best to master the migration to the new SAP software suite. Headquartered in Ilsenburg, the division produces drive components for combustion, hybrid and electric engines - at ten locations worldwide

Like many other companies, the division had an established, heterogeneous SAP ECC system landscape with a large number of environment systems. The company used several productive SAP ERP systems, including in Europe, the USA, China, Mexico and Brazil.

Focus on strategic goals

In March 2021, the company commissioned GAMBIT Consulting with a preliminary study for SAP S/4HANA, a "GAMBIT SAP S/4HANA Full Scope Roadmap Program", in order to find the right path to SAP S/4HANA for its own requirements and goals.

The joint project kicked off at the beginning of April 2021 and was completed six months later in September.

"With the help of the preliminary study, we wanted to arrive at a reliable basis for decision-making and precisely outline the best path to SAP S/4HANA for us - from the possible use of SAP best practices to the planning of effort, costs and project organization," says Ina Hofstetter, Head of ITM-ERP at thyssenkrupp Dynamic Components.

"The strategic view was very important to us here. By switching to SAP S/4HANA, we want to simplify and standardize our processes, consolidate the system landscape, ensure greater flexibility and harmonize our data - and thus benefit from the switch to SAP S/4HANA in the long term," says Ina Hofstetter.

Three possible variants for the changeover

In preliminary discussions with GAMBIT, three fundamentally possible options for the changeover initially emerged, which were to be analyzed and evaluated as part of the preliminary study:

  • a greenfield implementation (in an "extended" best practice version in accordance with the updated SAP Five Golden Rules)
  • system conversions ("brownfield") for the three active production systems
  • a hybrid conversion or selective migration based on a system conversion of the European system, but supplemented by a selective data migration of the other systems

GAMBIT's roadmap program basically comprises several consecutive investigation steps. The results obtained in the individual phases help a company's management to make a reliable decision on the appropriate path at the end of the preliminary study.

To this end, the program primarily answers the key questions of top management - for example, with regard to achieving strategic goals with SAP S/4HANA or the question of risk minimization in the implementation of such a project.

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"A preliminary study gives companies the clarity they need." Philipp Fischer, Project Manager at GAMBIT and project manager of the roadmap project "A preliminary study gives companies the clarity they need."

On this basis, they can successfully implement the introduction and benefit in the long term.

Step by step to the right roadmap

The GAMBIT roadmap program basically follows the SAP Activate methodology. This is a standardized set-up for introducing SAP S/4HANA more quickly and easily. GAMBIT has developed this methodology further and refers to it as the "GAMBIT Activate Plus process model".

The GAMBIT roadmap program consists of six phases:

  • the set-up of the project and team
  • the identification, classification and processing of strategy and top management issues
  • target process mapping, translation into the SAP standard and implementation of "guided walkthroughs" on a demo system as well as the technical investigation of a conversion (brownfield)
  • the design of the target system landscape, the consideration of effort, internal and external costs and risks
  • the evaluation of project organization, change management and the individual variants
    and a final report as an executive summary

"We also followed this sequence at thyssenkrupp - and therefore scrutinized every single aspect relevant to the changeover," explains Philipp Fischer, GAMBIT project manager for the preliminary study.

"At the very beginning, we introduced the project members to the central SAP S/4HANA topics in initial training sessions and workshops in order to ensure that everyone involved had the same level of knowledge - from an overview of the contemporary structure of digital SAP architectures to an introduction to best practices in commercial and logistics areas."

At this early stage, a live demo system was also provided and prepared for process walkthroughs in the system.

"A live system like this enables the customer to experience and try out the system directly at a very early stage - in my view, this is a very important element of a project like this in order to familiarize themselves with the new system," explains Philipp Fischer.

The processes - and the SAP standard

In addition, the SAP experts conducted several strategy interviews with the management in order to record and take into account the strategic objectives of the company management.

The strategic objectives of top management identified in the interviews included, for example, the standardization of processes and greater user-friendliness when working with SAP.

Another key component of the GAMBIT roadmap program is the measurement of the process-related target coverage of a company's processes, as this primarily determines whether the extensive use of SAP standard processes is worthwhile - and therefore whether a near-standard implementation according to the greenfield approach is worthwhile.

If the degree of coverage is very low, for example, a greenfield implementation is not recommended because the company's individual requirements are not met. Conversely, a brownfield migration would not be suitable if the degree of coverage is already very high because the potential of standardization cannot be exploited.

As part of the preliminary study, the GAMBIT experts examined and evaluated not only the feasibility and suitability of the greenfield approach, but also the feasibility of system conversion and selective migration. They also drew up a valid schedule of the possible roadmaps for the various migration scenarios and a reliable cost and effort plan for all implementation options.

Implementation according to the greenfield approach

In the end, the GAMBIT consultants were able to present a final report to those responsible, which contained everything necessary to make an optimal decision about the migration path.

The company ultimately opted for a greenfield implementation as an "extended" best-practice version.

The main deciding factors were the high degree of coverage of best practices and the advantages of this approach in terms of process harmonization and a more flexible and leaner system architecture. In comparison, the strategic target achievement rate of 100 percent for the greenfield approach was also significantly higher than for the alternative variants of system conversion and selective migration.

"The roadmap project was an important and target-oriented preparation for the S4/HANA implementation in our group of companies. As a partner, GAMBIT made a significant contribution to ensuring that we were able to meet our ambitious schedule," says Ina Hofstetter from thyssenkrupp Dynamic Components.

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Meinolf Schäfer, Senior Director Sales & Marketing

Would you like to find out more about modern IT architecture and the introduction of SAP S/4HANA?

+49 2241 8845-623


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