<< More customer stories
  • Tweet this Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on Google+ Email

Explore how other customers are generating value with SAP technology.

More customer stories ›

Customer Snapshot

Setting the Bar for Quality as High as the Clouds


team members in
over 120 countries


Hilti supplies the construction industry with superior products, systems, and services. To remain innovative and customer-focused, Hilti standardized core global business practices on SAP, increasing productivity and customer satisfaction. With that foundation in place, Hilti automated production and can now make insightful decisions more quickly. Relying heavily on its network of subsidiaries, independent resellers and distributors, Hilti focuses on the Cloud.



Hilti Group


Schaan, Liechtenstein

Customer Website



€3.3 billion

Number of Employees


Implementation Partners


Line of Business

R&D, Engineering, Manufacturing, Supply Chain, Information Technology


Industrial Machinery & Components

Featured Products

SAP PLM, SAP HANA, SAP Extended Warehouse Management (SAP EWM), SAP Business ByDesign


From workshop to global enterprise


  • 1940Company founded and began manufacturing components for Swiss textile and German automotive industries; development of power-actuated fastening system began.
  • 1950Hilti Fastening systems launched; sales network expanded into Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, Sweden, Ireland, Great Britain, Peru, and South Africa.
  • 1960 1st rotary hammer drill marketed and anchoring products added to portfolio; expanded number of production facilities and began developing markets in Canada, Latin America, Yugoslavia, Japan, and Greece.
  • 1970Added production facilities in Europe; opened North American headquarters in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
  • 1980Expanded into China; entered diamond coring, screw fastening, and construction chemicals markets.
  • 1990Further expansion in China and other Asian markets, as well as eastern Europe; launched laser positioning tools and entered cutting and sanding market.
  • 2000Developed 1st electric rockdrilling system allowing entry into mining industry; expanded in solar power market with acquisition of Unirac; information systems standardized globally.
  • 2012Hilti continues to offer innovative products.

Business Model

From start to finish

  • 488
  • 275

Why is Hilti a unique company?

Hilti is unique in its industry – it’s the only company that goes from manufacturing straight to selling to the end customer – construction professionals on job sites.

Success Strategy

Creating a path for success

Hilti is focused on increasing revenue, and fostering sales entrepreneurship is critical to the growth of the business. Hilti wants to provide user-driven reporting to ensure each sales person has the information he/she wants to drive the best decision possible.

The Challenge

The case for standardization

As Hilti grew, each new organization ran on their own, creating a very fragmented set of operating practices and IT systems. Over time, that hurt their ability to place their innovative products quickly and efficiently. Hilti also needed a cost-effective business management system for its small subsidiaries – without the challenges associated with a typical on-premise ERP installation.


  • 488
  • 275

Same high quality standards as in the larger countries

  • 488
  • 275

The Greatest Challenge for Hilti

More, Faster

Hilti’s global development of its products was challenged by the limitations of their home-grown product data management system, slowing overall growth.


Across all lines of business, as the amount of important data grows, users need more flexibility and speed to make better business decisions faster.

Although [our product data management system] was…stable… we were starting to notice more and more drawbacks. We were struggling to keep up with the latest technology developments, and integration with new solutions would often prove tricky. To move with the times and boost efficiency, we decided to replace it with a standardized solution.

Enter SAP

Reputation and track record

SAP’s reputation as a leading technology vendor first prompted Hilti to consider it. Now, after over a decade of working with SAP, Hilti has come to rely even more on SAP technology and services to differentiate themselves from competitors.

The SAP Experience

Added value

Hilti runs 95% of its business using SAP solutions. Once its core operations were running on SAP ERP, Hilti began to add other SAP technology to its IT portfolio, expanding the value of its investment.


  • 488
  • 275

Systems in Place

“SAP solutions support all our business processes and help us remain flexible and agile. Standardized IT means we can respond faster to changes and roll out functionality to multiple sites much more quickly. Many of our innovative sales models would not have been possible without SAP software.”

  • 488
  • 275

Implementation of SAP Customer Relationship Management in North America was an outstanding success with 85% of revenue covered within 3 years.

Better Business

All signs point to SAP

Many factors contributed to Hilti’s North American division’s decision to select SAP as it evaluated 33 dimensions before selecting a technology partner: SAP’s professionalism and the quality of its employees, its global presence as well as the high quality products offered. SAP ranked first in all 33 dimensions.


Hilti went live with SAP Business ByDesign in the second half of 2012, connecting its subsidiaries in Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, and Albania with its central ERP system via cloud ERP. The company is primarily using the CRM, Marketing, and Sales functions of the software.

  • 488
  • 275

21st century sales force in the Cloud

  • 488
  • 275

Why We Selected SAP

Hilti chose SAP HANA to provide greater reporting flexibility and better performance to its users. SAP HANA offers a comprehensive approach not stopping at reporting, but merging the transactional and analytical worlds.

  • 488
  • 275

Merging Transactional with Analytical

SAP extended warehouse management is
the foundation for further growth.

  • 488
  • 275

SAP EWM Foundation for Further Growth

To meet their global product development requirements, Hilti needed a comprehensive ERP / PLM infrastructure and concerted business processes.


Hilti selected SAP’s ecosystem with its profound expertise to manage this challenge.



Engineering was convinced that the direct access to SAP would give us advantages, for example access to certain purchasing or stock data. Our requirements in this respect are such that they can be met fully by SAP [Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)].


Benefits beyond expectations

With the implementation in North America of SAP Customer Relationship Management, both on premise and via mobile devices, Hilti saw significant increases in sales productivity, and team morale. Greater understanding of its customers allowed Hilti to anticipate customer demand and increase customer satisfaction by delivering on the brand promise.


Customers Benefit from Cloud Solution

With SAP’s Cloud Solution, the customers of Hilti’s smaller local organizations can now benefit from the Hilti standard. They now have the same standards as in the large countries, where they are running SAP Business Suite. Salespeople can now access the solution from their smartphones and easily register a new customer and add a new order. The benefit for the end customers: shorter delivery times!


Analyzing 53 million customer contacts now
takes 2-3 seconds, instead of 2-3 hours.

Biggest Trigger to Select SAP HANA

The biggest benefit is a clear driver for business transformation. With SAP HANA, there is a clear possibility to shorten the amount of time between information being available and the decision a user would make. Simplification and better visualization will make it easier for users to make a decision.


  • 488
  • 275

The key word is...Simplification.

The Impossible Is Now Possible

SAP Extended Warehouse Management is the most important system in Hilti’s production facilities where they use automation with conveyor technology. It provides the right materials to these facilities at the right time for both the production and assembly lines, ensuring that products are made on-time and according to Hilti’s high standards.


  • http://sapvideo.edgesuite.net/vod/2013/customer-journey/cj-hilti-sap-ewm-the-most-important-system-for-production-vidcj516.mp4
  • 488
  • 275

SAP EWM: The most important system for production.

Lessons Learned

It’s all in the results

  • 488
  • 275

Consolidating on one global CRM instance.

Implementing SAP Customer Relationship Management(CRM) in North America increased sales productivity in the Channels division. That’s why Hilti decided to globally consolidate all of its CRM operations on one SAP platform.


Helping the Smaller Country Subsidiaries Benefits All

The SAP Cloud Solution is perfect for subsidiaries, because smaller countries get a lot of functionality while saving IT costs and shortening the roll-out time.


Run Simple

True partnership for success

With its latest investment in SAP HANA, Hilti expects that increased entrepreneurship will further differentiate their business from the competition by giving more employees the ability to make informed decisions.


This year, Hilti will provide the Cloud Solution to thirteen local organizations – beforehand, the company would just have been able to roll out four local organizations per year.

  • 488
  • 275

Improving performance

In addition, hoping to continue lowering the total cost of ownership and leverage the power of global standardization, even in the smallest subsidiaries, Hilti now plans to rollout SAP Business ByDesign Private Enterprise in 30 countries.

Related Links