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Customer Stories

Schenck Process: Getting even closer to the customer with integrated ERP in the cloud

Explore Schenck Process’ journey with SAP

When your mission is to understand and optimize diverse customers’ manufacturing operations, you need all team members to speak the same language – no matter where they are. Schenck Process Holding GmbH is using SAP S/4HANA Cloud to deliver on that mission.

At Schenck Process, we aim to be part of our customers’ processes and to make them better. That’s why SAP S/4HANA Cloud – which enables increased stability, standardization, and innovation – is the perfect fit.

Stephanie Hanl
CIO, Schenck Process Holding GmbH 

The Challenge

Harmonizing and modernizing a fragmented IT landscape

Schenck Process has a 140-year history of building trusting, long-term relationships with customers. As a discrete manufacturer serving enterprises as diverse as pet-food, cement, and paint makers, it accumulates in-depth knowledge of each customer’s processes to help transform them.


But becoming part of a customer’s ecosystem requires a consistent approach, and numerous acquisitions and a company realignment had left Schenck Process with around 25 ERP systems and a large amount of custom code. This outdated, nonstandard landscape made it difficult to align processes and access accurate data.


As Schenck Process CIO Stephanie Hanl explains, “With large customers, you have to serve them from different locations with different information stored in different systems. A common ERP suite would give us a holistic view of the customer and help us understand their needs better across their various businesses. With a standardized approach, we could lock more easily into their systems. And harmonized master data would also let us focus on the customer instead of on internal processes.”


And the Schenck Process team knew moving to next-generation ERP would also set the stage for increased innovation and help embed best practices across the enterprise.

Thanks to SAP S/4HANA Cloud, we now speak one language. We can go into systems and understand them instantly, increasing transparency across the board. The whole company is growing together because we’re discussing the same topics and solving the same problems.

Christian Grote
Vice President, Global Project Management Office, Schenck Process Holding GmbH 

The Solution

Harnessing the power of the cloud to focus on customer needs

With Schenck Process having recently centralized its data, the time was right for moving ERP systems to the cloud. This transition would reduce the total cost of operation by removing the burden of maintaining an on-premise infrastructure. It would also enhance the company’s digital offering, help improve its internal processes, and enable the flexibility to access new, innovative applications and technologies.


Having many years of experience with SAP solutions, the company decided to implement SAP S/4HANA Cloud to help it work collaboratively across a common system. A key deciding factor was the availability of multiple add-ons that would let the company adjust rapidly to changing internal and customer demands while maintaining a standard core ERP system in the cloud.


Working with partners Microsoft Corporation and Corporate Business Solutions Unternehmensberatung GmbH, Schenck Process began to roll out the suite, going live first in the Czech Republic and then in the UK. Using the SAP Activate methodology helped it replace diverse processes with standardized, best-practice approaches across the enterprise.


The company also implemented software including the SAP Engineering Control Center integration tool and SAP Extended Warehouse Management application, laying the foundation for integrated, end-to-end processes to replace the old, siloed approaches.

The Result

Innovating and working together in an efficient, agile environment

It took only a few months for Schenck Process to see the benefits of its new system built on SAP S/4HANA Cloud. Being able to introduce new applications and features without affecting its ERP core is already giving the company greater freedom to innovate.


As Hanl says, “One country may go to market in a completely different way than another. The benefit of SAP S/4HANA Cloud is that you can give both countries what they need without disrupting the standardized processes on your ERP backbone. And different countries learn from each other about how to digitalize to meet customers’ needs.”


With standardized operations and accurate information on quotes, orders, and materials availability, the company has increased efficiency, improved order-to-cash processes, and reduced delivery times. Christian Grote, Vice President of the Global Project Management office, explains, “For instance, because our old system couldn’t use serial numbers, our engineers had developed a system of unique material numbers. But this made it hard to report on exactly which machines a customer had. Now, we have accurate data that lets us group materials, standardize our bill of materials, and resynchronize our operations. We have a clean, robust landscape that really allows us to be part of a customer’s processes.”


Speedy access to accurate data means monthly financial closing is completed more quickly, while auditing and compliance processes are smoother and faster. The company also expects to see a reduction in KPIs such as days sales outstanding.


From an IT perspective, the new cloud-based ERP system has removed the maintenance burden on teams, who have access to robust reporting on system performance, while system downtime and risk are reduced.


Collaboration between departments has also significantly improved, and cross-border teams are better able to support each other. Working from one system using the same data has enabled a new shared services mentality and reduced communications effort.


And introducing SAP S/4HANA Cloud has also brought improvements from an HR standpoint. Recruiting people is easier because of the standardized nature of the SAP software, and onboarding and training new recruits is faster. Meanwhile, increased automation such as invoice scanning and expense management supported by SAP Concur solutions enhances both productivity and the employee experience.

For our IT teams, introducing SAP S/4HANA Cloud has been wonderful. They spend less time developing applications, because we just look in our new IT ecosystem and choose an application that fits our needs – while the ERP core remains standard.

Stephanie Hanl
CIO, Schenck Process Holding GmbH 

Future Plans

Speaking one language across a global enterprise

Having established production and sales templates for the Czech Republic and UK, Schenck Process is now rolling out SAP S/4HANA Cloud to other countries, including its German headquarters. This will pave the way for integrated, end-to-end processes across the company.


Once the suite is fully deployed, as Grote explains, “Customers will be able to expect the same service all over the world, because that service is based on the same data and the same way of working.”


As the company introduces SAP S/4HANA Cloud to more countries, it looks forward to discovering how streamlined processes, greater visibility, and innovative new applications help it take customer service to the next level.

SAP helps Schenck Process run better

Key business outcomes and benefits

  • Increased capacity to innovate for customers while maintaining a stable, standard ERP core
  • Faster financial cycles and smoother auditing and compliance processes
  • Greater transparency and a holistic view of the customer
  • Reduced total cost of operations with one scalable, flexible ERP suite in the cloud

Featured solutions and services

  • SAP S/4HANA Cloud is a complete, modular cloud ERP software designed for diverse business needs – powered by AI and analytics.

About Schenck Process

Schenck Process is a global market leader in sustainable, integrated measuring and process technology solutions. Located in 21 countries on six continents, the 140-year-old company fields a diverse team of more than 3,000 experts who bring the international know-how and collective passion that are essential to making processes work.

Industry Region Company Size Partner
Industrial manufacturing Darmstadt, Germany 3,000 employees Microsoft and CBS
Featured partners

Microsoft Corporation enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on th e planet to achieve more. Together, SAP and Microsoft accelerate the transformation of businesses into intelligent and frictionless enterprises.

Featured partner

Corporate Business Solutions Unternehmensberatung GmbH (CBS) helps large industrial companies bring digital business processes onto one global solution platform. An expert in SAP solutions, it supports the SAP software portfolio across industry-relevant applications. Its services encompass strategy and management consulting, process and application consulting, and technology consulting and support.

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