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ZF Friedrichshafen Gets a Clear Picture of its S/4HANA Transition

Playground provides important insights

The transition to SAP S/4HANA and the development of a global template represents a major challenge for renowned technology company ZF Friedrichshafen and its heterogeneous ERP landscape. The international supplier of driveline and chassis technology wanted to test the potential and opportunities of S/4HANA in advance in a zero-risk environment using real data to provide important input for roadmap planning. ZF has 160,000 employees at around 260 locations in 41 countries. Its sales amount 40 billion euros.

With support from cbs Corporate Business Solutions, ZF therefore created a realistic, individual test environment for an S/4 Playground in logistics. This was used to test end-to-end processes using the group’s own master and transaction data, discover new logistics functionalities and test Fiori apps in realistic scenarios. This had the advantage of allowing ZF to see how its own processes work in the S/4 environment. The test provided important insights into what a future transition scenario at ZF might look like. It also meant that key users could be brought on board at an early stage.


Reducing risks and effort


The S/4HANA playground permits a more in-depth testing of new functionalities, and helps bring the new SAP world to life for the 30 key users. This was very important for ZF, especially given the users’ initial caution about engaging with the new software. Many employees wondered what S/4 was all about, what benefit the new SAP standard would bring for them, if the ZF processes would even be S/4-compatible? All affected employees now have a clearer picture.

“The S/4 playground helps us to engage with the key users early,” explains project lead Christophe Buchet. Some have discovered new functionalities, others can see the potential of Fiori apps. The employees are therefore interested and curious about the future system and can see what improvements it could bring. Significant knowledge about the readiness of S/4 has also been gained: Procedural and planning uncertainties have been ironed out and synergy effects in ongoing projects have been utilized, which has helped reduce risk and effort.

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