- Ratingen, Germany -

PRECI-DIP is a renowned Swiss manufacturer, whose solutions address particularly demanding sectors, such as aerospace, medical, industry, and defense. PRECI-DIP can offer reliable, precise, and innovative solutions both for standard products and for its personalized projects. This synergy is made possible by the grouping of R&D and production activities on a 25,000 m2 site, feeding a global network of distributors responsible for service, quality, and close relationships with customers. The company wanted to integrate the management of batches and even partial production batches within its SAP ECC ERP, to improve the traceability of operations.

“This business need was the trigger for our migration project to SAP S/4HANA ERP, which offered some of the features we needed to achieve our objectives,” explains Michael Hofer, Project Manager, PRECI-DIP.

The company called on Augusta Reeves, an SAP integrator based in the Lake Geneva area, and also a member of the United VARs alliance, for the quality of its Skyfield offering and its skills in integrating SAP into demanding industrial environments.

A migration in Skyfield mode

PRECI-DIP decides to opt for the RISE with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, a Private Edition solution. The RISE offer makes it possible to delegate the management of systems and infrastructures to SAP, with the publisher taking care of relations with hyperscalers. PRECI-DIP has opted for private cloud infrastructures, to have more latitude when deploying specific solutions and more control in ERP version upgrades.

A choice is all the more logical since PRECI-DIP, in addition to its Swiss site, has establishments in the United States and China, which will be easier to cover with a cloud ERP hosted by a hyperscaler than with a solution on-premise.

The cost benefits are largely linked to the specific pricing applied by SAP on its cloud offerings. Occasional users are not counted in the same way as traditional users, according to the principle of Full User Equivalents (FUE). Thanks to FUE, it is, therefore, possible to open the ERP to a large number of users, without the subscription price exploding. From salespeople to operators working on a production line, everyone will be able to interact directly with the ERP, which will then become a tool truly capable of monitoring supply chain processes from end to end and in real-time. Once the choice of the RISE with SAP offer was validated, PRECI-DIP began looking for an integrator capable of supporting it on its project.

“The choice of the cloud is a key element of PRECI-DIP’s strategy. Not only is this the most cost-effective solution, but it is also the option that SAP will prioritize supporting in the future.” Elie Radaniela, CEO, Augusta Reeves Switzerland.

“We were seduced by Augusta Reeves’ proposal. Its Skyfield approach offers a good compromise between Greenfield and Brownfield. This is one of the elements that tipped the scales in his favor,” continues Michael Hofer.

Remember that the Greenfield approach consists purely and simply of getting a “new look” to be at the forefront of innovation. While the Brownfield approach certainly allows the migration to be carried out without disrupting existing business processes, but in fact deprives the company of the best practices of the SAP S/4HANA ERP.

On the one hand, abandoning your existing system by choosing a Greenfield approach means a new implementation that comes at the cost of a long and expensive project, heavily involving the business lines during process redefinition workshops, but allows, in return, to make the most of the standardization and innovation brought by SAP S/4HANA. But when the company has spent several years fine-tuning its SAP environment to create systems of record that are as efficient as possible, is it appropriate to ask it to abandon these hard-won configurations and thereby abandon its data? historical data (including data required for compliance purposes)?

On the other hand, there is the possibility of opting for a Brownfield-type conversion which is, let’s say it, more technical than strategic: schematically, we take the same business processes, including obsolete ones, the same customizations, and the same unused components, and we start again. A project of this type requires much less effort because we take advantage of SAP’s well-established tools. But why go through thorny testing phases and downtime to achieve the same result, without significant process improvement?

Faced with these issues, during a conversion project to SAP S/4HANA for one of its clients, Augusta Reeves created a new hybrid and flexible scenario called Skyfield.

The Skyfield approach allows companies to focus their resources on developments that will bring them the most business benefits (as in a Greenfield-type project), while identically reproducing the processes that were satisfactory in the old ECC system (as in a Brownfield type project). The ERP is quickly operational in its new version. The freed-up time is used to focus on targeted advancements and a limited number of strategic processes. This is the case for batch traceability for PRECI-DIP.

Technical conversion to S/4HANA completed in just 6 months.

Project start-up, with the conversion phase completed in just six months. PRECI-DIP’s SAP ECC ERP covers a vast functional scope (finance, management control, production, quality, sales, logistics, warehouse management, HR, etc.), and the majority of the configuration of the old system could be resumed without major modifications.

“We were pleasantly surprised by the duration of this phase of the project, well below what we had initially estimated,” notes Michael Hofer.

Around 200 functional developments were identified during the project scoping phase. However, only one will be implemented for the production of the new ERP: the management of batches and partial production batches.

The tool used until then will be replaced by native functionalities of SAP S/4HANA, which will be connected to the company’s MES. “The MES integrates the data necessary for batch quality control carried out in SAP S/4HANA. This data also makes it possible to have traceability between batches and to apply derivation rules between them,” explains Franck Lombardo, Pre-sales Manager, Augusta Reeves.

Batch management has been completely redesigned, thus offering the possibility of precisely monitoring daily production, correlating it with manufacturing orders sometimes spanning several months. Unrivaled flexibility and precision in batch management.

Objective: Go live on January 1, 2024

The implementation of the batch management process is carried out in agile mode, with development driven by the PRECI-DIP technical and business teams. All interfaces are produced according to the new SAP standards (OData). Note that traceability crosses all operational processes of the ERP: production, quality, logistics, purchasing, etc. This solution will therefore push the limits of batch traceability, which will allow the manufacturer to always better meet the requirements of its customers.

PRECI-DIP’s SAP S/4HANA ERP has been in production since January 1, 2024, the date defined at the start of the project. However, it was decided to split the deployment of the new batch management process into two phases, as Franck Lombardo explains: “This process will be launched in two waves: a first covering generic batches in January, then a second covering batch of specific productions in March. The reason for this change is linked to management’s desire to limit the business impact during the January go-live (period of high activity), but also to secure the project schedule, which becomes more tense as we approach the deadlines. Delivery”.

The Skyfield approach was respected, with a rapid technical conversion, which freed up a maximum of time to devote itself to concrete business contributions (here, the overhaul of the management of batches and partial production batches), everything with control of planning and costs. Once the solution is operational and the hyper-care phase is completed, PRECI-DIP can look into one of the 200 other functional developments identified during the project scoping phase. The ability of SAP S/4HANA to support almost all supply chain processes and the concept of FUE, which makes it possible to open the ERP to a large number of users, contributes to the implementation of ‘an IS that is more integrated, efficient, and capable of better-supporting businesses daily.

“Ultimately, we would like each physical activity to be accompanied by a computer activity. Firstly, the system will be able to assist users better. And in the longer term, it will be able to guide them through all supply chain processes,” underlines Michael Hofer.

Innovation continues!

Beyond 2024, PRECI-DIP will be able to implement and enrich the SAC (SAP Analytics Cloud) reports developed during the project to benefit from the improved integration of its flows and the SAP S/4HANA platform to optimal visibility of its operations. Augusta Reeves will continue to provide technical and functional support after this milestone.

The partnership between Augusta Reeves and PRECI-DIP is a concrete example of how a company can change its trajectory by leveraging advanced technologies and an innovative approach. The choice of the Skyfield approach and the SAP cloud underlines PRECI-DIP’s commitment to operational excellence and traceability, particularly in sectors as critical as aerospace and defense. Ultimately, the project is a human adventure and the PRECI-DIP and Augusta Reeves teams are working diligently to ensure its success.

Augusta Reeves Group

Augusta Reeves (Platinum Partner) has been an integrator and distributor of SAP solutions for over 25 years, present in 8 agencies, located in Switzerland, France and Madagascar. Member of the United VARs network, Augusta Reeves will be able to support you during your international deployments in more than 110 countries.

You will find more information at https://www.augustareeves.fr/

About United VARs

United VARs is a global alliance of SAP solution providers mainly for the midmarket. With over 70 members in 100 countries, the alliance serves all types of SAP rollouts and integrations across the world.

Media Contact: Carol Li, Communication Manager at United VARs


Follow Us

Linkedin | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Spotify

stronger than one