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Customer Stories

Merck: Redesigning the order-to-cash process to strengthen customer relationships

Explore Merck’s journey with SAP

When global science and technology company Merck KGaA sought to realize its digital go-tomarket strategy for its lab supplies business, it used SAP Business Network integrated with SAP Ariba solutions as its technology centerpiece. With reshaped order management processes, Merck increased sales through digital channels and improved service delivery.

lift in sales in business-to-business channels year over year.

increase in sales through digital channels in 12 months.

major buyers transacted with on SAP Business Network.

We’ve made SAP Business Network a pillar of our digital and go-to-market strategy. In the 12 months since go-live, we’ve seen our sales revenue lift by 15%.

Lucas Gurevich
B2B and E-Commerce Specialist, Merck KGaA

The Challenge

Discovering a new way to strengthen key customer relationships

Merck is a global science and technology company engaged in healthcare, life sciences, and electronics. Its vision for its innovative products, services, and digital offerings is to help create solutions for people globally and a sustainable future for generations to come. Merck’s life sciences business provides tools, services, and digital platforms to empower scientists and engineers to deliver breakthrough therapies more quickly.


Having successfully moved to electronic interactions with customers in the United States and Europe, the company’s team in Latin America could clearly see the benefits of digitalizing and integrating order management processes in its lab supplies business. Adopting a strategic initiative in Latin America called “take science to the digital world,” Merck set out to digitize business-to-business (B2B) transactions with its strategic accounts to improve service delivery and strengthen relationships with its strategic customers.

With our integrated suite of solutions from SAP, we improved the order-to-cash experience for our internal team and B2B customers. We now spend less time on manual processes, and there are fewer opportunities for human error, which has boosted operational efficiency.

Lucas Gurevich
B2B and E-Commerce Specialist, Merck KGaA

The Solution

Automating and reducing manual, paper-based processes

Aiming for a significant revamp of its order-to-cash process, Merck knew it needed to adopt advanced technology capabilities in its business to satisfy growing customer expectations and increasing business complexities.


To realize its ambitions for modern and connected operations, Merck sought help from experts from SAP to implement an integrated suite of cloud-based solutions from SAP, including SAP Business Network and the SAP Ariba Catalog solution.


Delivering improved visibility across supply chain processes, the solutions allow the company to manage and receive orders with greater efficiency and provide real-time updates to its customers every step of the way. With SAP Ariba Catalog, Merck can control how its products and services are displayed to buyers and increase exposure to new customers. Elsewhere, the company can participate in and respond to sourcing events using the SAP Ariba Sourcing solution.

With the implementation of SAP Business Network and SAP Ariba solutions, we have stronger visibility into our supply chains and are seeing clear wins for our business and customers.

Lucas Gurevich
B2B and E-Commerce Specialist, Merck KGaA

The Result

Reshaping order management for increased productivity and profitability

In the 12 months since implementing SAP Business Network and SAP Ariba solutions, Merck has seen a 40% uptick in sales in B2B channels and increased the share of its digital channels by 15%, helping reduce operating costs. By collaborating with customers electronically as well as automating and streamlining order management processes, Merck significantly reduced the time required for quotation processes and order processing.


Bringing its digital go-to-market strategy to life, SAP Business Network is the key pillar in its B2B interactions with 212 major customers, strengthening supply chain transactions with buyers. Using SAP Ariba Sourcing and SAP Ariba Catalog has helped the company reduce its reliance on manual processes, increasing operational efficiency.


“The automation and integration of our supply chain processes gives us clear transparency across the order-to-cash lifecycle and has delivered a better experience for our trading partners as well as huge time-saving efficiencies for us,” says Lucas Gurevich, B2B and E-commerce Specialist, Merck KGaA.“We now offer our full portfolio in a digital way, integrated with our customers’ systems.”

For Merck’s lab supplies business, four major advantages of adopting SAP Business Network are automation, time saving, user experience, and transparency.

Lucas Gurevich
B2B and E-Commerce Specialist, Merck KGaA

Future Plans

Formulating long-lasting relationships with high-value customers

Already transacting with 212 buyers on SAP Business Network, Merck is well placed to conduct more business electronically with more customers as they digitalize their operations. Having already automated and integrated previously manual processes, the robust digital footing allows Merck to focus more on the customer journey and continually optimize the customer experience.


Once a year, Merck aligns its objectives with its key accounts. This allows for collaborative strategy development, deepening long-lasting relationships with high-value customers. And in addition to monthly meetings, the team from SAP Services and Support continues to share knowledge with the team locally, helping expand Merck’s internal expertise.


When reflecting on Merck’s digitalization journey, Gurevich has some sage advice for other suppliers just starting out on SAP Business Network. “Keep to standard configuration. Trying to adapt and personalize to customers’ requests makes it too difficult to maintain in the long term. And make sure you include experts from SAP in the whole process,” he says

SAP helps Merck run better

Key business outcomes and benefits

  • Increased sales in B2B channels by 40%
  • Expanded the share of its digital channels by 15%, leading to reduced operating costs
  • Streamlined order management workflow, significantly reducing the time required for quotation processes and order processing
  • Strengthened relationships with key accounts
  • Gained transparency across the order-to-cash lifecycle and improved the experience for customers

Featured solutions and services

  • SAP Business Network enables collaboration with supply chain trading partners and provides visibility across supply chain processes.
  • SAP Ariba Catalog helps make catalog creation easier for suppliers, offering an intuitive user interface and a streamlined content and catalog creation process.
  • SAP Ariba Sourcing delivers sourcing and negotiation technology with strategy and category expertise, access to a global network of suppliers, and automation of critical tasks.

About Merck

Merck KGaA is a global science and technology company operating in healthcare, life sciences, and electronics business segments. Its life sciences business encompasses the activities of MilliporeSigma, which provides solutions that facilitate biotechnology and pharmaceutical research with a product range that includes laboratory water systems, gene editing tools, cell lines, and drug manufacturing systems.

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