MaxiTRANS standardises business processes in move to SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud

Published: 08/July/2024

Reading time: 3 mins

Key Takeaways

⇨ SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud replaced custom-made legacy Oracle JD Edwards system

⇨ Adopted SAP best practices to standardise and simplify processes, while also being future-ready

⇨ Engaged cbs Corporate Business Solutions as implementation partner due to its experience in the transportation sector in Europe

Australian manufacturer of semi-trailer equipment and solutions, MaxiTRANS, has upgraded to SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud to standardise its business processes and implement best practices.

Speaking at Mastering SAP Collaborate Melbourne in May this year, MaxiTRANS general manager of IT, Andrew Rosicka, said SAP S/4HANA replaced an “outdated” Oracle JD Edwards system that was heavily customised to fit business needs.

“[The old system] is like a noose around our neck,” Rosicka said. “It was put in seven years ago but it’s also unsupported in every way – the vendor, the operating systems – so we had to get off it.”

The public cloud option specifically was chosen so MaxiTRANS could move away from a customised solution, focusing instead on adopting best practices.

Standardising processes was the priority – as manufacturing MaxiTRANS trailers require around 800 raw materials to build – along with simplification of processes and future-readiness.

MaxiTRANS engaged with Germany-headquartered cbs Corporate Business Solutions (cbs) as its implementation partner despite being a recent arrival in Australia, citing its sizable presence in Asia and strong industry experience in Europe.

“There’s great synergies for us to have cbs on board, because their consultants in Europe have got years of dealing with the same industry, the same issues, the same problems,” Rosicka said.

Rosicka said the previous Oracle JD Edwards system did not have features like single sign-on, “proper” service support, reporting, middleware, warehousing and barcoding, so it had to use external solutions like SolidWorks to compensate for these shortcomings. The multiple add-ons and third-party tools meant the system became complex and inefficient.

Through SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud, MaxiTRANS has eliminated the need for these add-ons and third-party tools by consolidating all the functionality into a single, streamlined system.

“When we said we were going with SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud and I got the first estimate of what we’d be spending with SAP, I did nearly have a heart attack,” Rosicka said. “But then when I added up all the costs of everything that we do today, and that’s just the costs of the software, it was much more than we were going to spend with SAP, which really surprised me. And that doesn’t include the amount of money that we spend just to keep this going every year that we get absolutely zero return from.”

The implementation timeframe was eight months from the contract signing to go-live and Rosicka said it was achieved with the use of best practices.

MaxiTRANS’ payroll was integrated directly into the new SAP S/4HANA system. It also added SAP Analytics Cloud for reporting, SAP Extended Warehouse Management (SAP EWM), SAP Integrated Business Planning Software for Supply Chain (SAP IBP), SAP CPQ and more.

“[SAP S/4HANA] Public Cloud has warehouse management in it, and it’s quite good, Rosicka said.

“I’m used to ERP systems where the warehousing functions are really limited. But it really is an advanced warehousing system, all within SAP S/4HANA.”

Rosicka added that the new system allows MaxiTRANS to not rely on as many skillsets and partners due to SAP S/4HANA’s clean architecture.

The implementation was split into two phases to manage complexity and risk, starting with MaxiTRANS’ dealership business, followed by manufacturing. The dealership network across Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and a central warehouse in Ballarat were transitioned, and then SAP IBP and CPQ were implemented.

SAP provided support via the SAP Preferred Success program, while cbs has provided experienced consultants.

The project started just over a month after signing the contract.

“I’ve never ever done that in my life before. Normally it’s six months to get your resources in place,” Rosicka said. “cbs have been amazing at getting us to where we are today and everything’s going really well.”

Rosicka said SAP has best practices embedded in templates, and governance was crucial in not allowing staff to revert to old practices

“You must have good governance,” he added. “We’ve got a very strong steering committee – all of the executives are on it and brought in, they go to every meeting and the CEO signs off on everything.”

SAP Signavio Process Navigator was also helpful in providing best practice workflows, security roles and task tutorials – according to Rosicka – while SAP Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) was used for automating testing and project management processes. The SAP for Me digital companion also provided user management and provisioning capabilities.

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