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S/4HANA Cloud implementation at White Fields – System go live

In September, White White Fields for S/4HANA Public Cloud to support their planned growth, with an ambition to go live in 3 months. An unprecedentedly fast implementation time. In October the system was successfully set up, in November the users were trained, and now the big question is: was the deadline of January 1 to go live met?

In this blog, project leader Jan Tielemans takes you through the final phase before go-live: getting the systems ready for production.

process at whitefileds

December – getting the system ready for production

In October and November, basic processes were set up and users learned how the new system works. Then, in December, the processes were tested and master data was entered into the production system. Often in an implementation project, much time is spent on and testing and training the users. In this project, the strategic choice was made to spend a little less time on these activities and more time on hypercare after the go-live. The main advantage of this approach is that the system and operating procedures are refined in practice together with the users, based on actual business processes. It also provides the opportunity to further tailor the system to the actual needs of the customer and individual user.

Jan Tielemans: “I like to compare it to building a new house. You know what you want: the kitchen, the bathroom, the floors and the colors on the wall. But then the electrician asks where you want the electricity points. Globally, you know where they should be, but it’s not until the house is finished that you see where you need them. That one nice spot overlooking the garden, where you still want to put a desk, for example. If the electrician and the resident go through that process together, there is the greatest chance that the electricity points will be in the right place.’

Jan continues, “It’s the same way with setting up a new software system. As a consultant, you know what the system has to offer, what best practices work best. But you don’t know exactly how work is done within the organization. On the other hand, the users are familiar with all the processes, but they do not know in detail what possibilities the best practices of S/4HANA offer. As a consultant or project manager, it is therefore important to look along with the user. By physically sitting next to them, you can point out the convenience of the best practices and implement this immediately.

Challenge the approach from within

In late December, the new system went live for all three companies. The biggest challenge was not getting the users on board, but was primarily in creating standard forms to be used in production and delivery. Jan says, “A go-live at a smaller organization is an intensive period. There are often fewer people working who actively use the administrative processes. But the set-up of the system and the processes there are no less than at a larger organization. Therefore, it requires a lot from the employees. With proper guidance, after four weeks they are able to use the system optimally within the organization. This shows that with limited effort the supply chain can be digitized from front to back. What is important is that there are enough employees who can challenge your approach as a consultant, who say, “If we can do this with the system, can’t that other process also be digitized?” Thanks to their knowledge of the administrative processes, you make the S/4HANA system run optimally.’

Grow with your customers

Now that the system is live, White Fields sees even more opportunities for the future. Paul van den Berg, co-owner at White Fields, says: ‘ We at White Fields now have much faster insight into both the financial and logistical processes. In addition, we can now meet the digitization demands of our customers. Supermarkets expect delivery via Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). Because before, we still kept all our data in Office applications, we could only meet this demand by retyping everything. Now that all business information is standardized in the S/4HANA system, the margin of error has been reduced and we save time and costs. We will now build on this system by integrating the scanners, suppliers and transporters into the digital logistics process as well. Which will allow us to monitor the efficiency of the production process even better.’

image by Paul van den Berg

Support planned growth like White Fields?

White Fields implemented SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud in 3 months, allowing them to meet their customers’ demand. Do you also want to support your organization’s planned growth? And thus future-proof your organization? With SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, you have everything you need to get your manufacturing company ready for the future and the “sky’s the limit. Do you dare to be a high-flyer like White Fields?

Want to read how the first few weeks of implementation went? Read about it here: setting up the systems and training the users.