Throughout the month of March, ASUG premiered its ASUG Best Practices: SAP S/4HANA virtual conference. For four weeks, ASUG members joined together to learn from fellow SAP users about how they are making their move to SAP S/4HANA. However, the conversations did not stop with the conference close. ASUG continues to program opportunities for members to expand their networks and learn from SAP peers at every stage of their SAP S/4HANA migration with ASUG Think Tanks.

The ASUG Chicago, Carolinas, Colorado, and Oklahoma chapters invited SAP customers from Leprino Foods, Arapahoe County Government, Mrs. T’s Pierogies, and The Chicago Faucet Company, a Gerberit Group, to share their migration experiences.

On April 6, The Chicago Faucet Company, a Gerberit Group, shared how it formed its road map to SAP S/4HANA. According to DeVario Voltz, IT application analyst for The Chicago Faucet Company, “We charted out a course of three years—with two years for planning, analysis, and clean-up and one year for implementation. Currently, at this point, we are still at the analysis and clean-up phase. We decided to move away from that large, big-bang approach and decided to combine both analysis and clean-up in a more agile methodology.” Voltz commented on how The Chicago Faucet Company wanted to set a clear vision of its strategy by first tying project goals to individual goals, searching for a planning partner, and evaluating a road map of current projects.

Educate the Business Team

Mrs. T’s Pierogies continued the conversation by sharing how it succeeded with going live on SAP S/4HANA in September of 2020. Tim Coyle, director of information systems and technology, revealed Mrs. T’s Pierogies began its planning back in 2018. “It took me about a year and half to get an approved plan with all my information together in a business case. We began the project in February of 2020 then went live in September, but in the middle of that, we were thrown into a pandemic.” Despite global pandemic shifts and transitioning to a remote work environment, Coyle attributed the success of its go-live to networking and learning from others via events like ASUG Think Tanks. Coyle also added the need to educate his business team at Mrs. T’s Pierogies about what SAP S/4HANA is and why it is important to make the move now. “There is a whole process of educating people on just the terms before we even get to the reasons for wanting to do this,” Coyle elaborated.

The conversation on SAP S/4HANA continued through May 4 with Leprino Foods and Arapahoe County Government. Leprino Foods completed its ECC implementation in 2016 and is now planning its transition to SAP S/4HANA through 2025. “In 2019, our challenge was we didn’t know what decisions were required… In the first quarter of 2019 we embarked with SAP Business Suite on HANA and S/4HANA feasibility assessment,” stated Ronda De Groodt, integration architect for Leprino Foods. This spring, Leprino completed a proof of concept in a sandbox—SAP ECC converted to SAP S/4HANA 1901.

Why SAP S/4HANA and Why Now?

Arapahoe County Government ended the Think Tank with its story of going live this March. Arapahoe divulged that the team chose a selective data transformation instead of a brownfield or greenfield approach. Jon Rajewich, SAP business operations manager, shared, “The business driver for moving forward was an analytical capability. We did not have an analytical capability solution that expanded beyond Excel.” Rajewich also stated Arapahoe did not want to wait until the end of 2027 to begin the project, due to the limited number of resources and consultants. Arapahoe’s journey involved moments of trial and error as well as starting and restarting. However, its big takeaways were to learn while playing, analytics are powerful, and to identify areas needing extra focus for the next request for approval.

If an ASUG member is searching for active engagement, immediate connections, and the opportunity to ask as many questions as necessary to find their solution, an ASUG Think Tank is the virtual space for them. ASUG programs hour-long Think Tanks weekly on a variety of topics for all industries that use SAP. Find your next opportunity to join an ASUG Think Tank live.

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