A large European industrial goods company was considering a migration to SAP S/4HANA to modernize their business and way of serving clients. Company leadership intended to launch a business-driven transformation rather than just a technical upgrade and was willing to rethink many aspects of the business. The ambition was to establish lean and harmonized processes close to SAP standard, but it was unclear how to get there.

Complicating matters, the company faced challenges defining the optimal target application architecture and necessary SAP "bill of material,” and weren't clear on their data quality or readiness for data migration. 

Additionally, leadership were concerned about employees’ readiness to embrace the anticipated changes in their working methods. After an extensive discovery phase, the company was still looking for the most effective approach to design and launch the program, and struggled get it off the ground. 

The AlixPartners team brought its extensive expertise in business-driven ERP modernization programs, along with our proven "S/4HANA Transformation Excellence" approach. With our help, the client successfully initiated and executed the program within six months while minimizing the risk of failure. We created full organizational alignment, ensuring buy-in across the board and all former functional silos, and facilitated the selection process for the most suitable systems integrator.

We ensured the client’s readiness along four key dimensions:

  1. Business: target business and operating model, steering model and core processes
  2. System, data and IT: solution architecture and roadmap, master data and data migration, and IT operating model
  3. Program: program structure and planning, program organization and governance, and business case
  4. Organization: resource planning and external support, change management and communication

On the far side of the transformation, the company was operating under a new business model with a clear focus on three core businesses: projects, products, and services. We detailed these target business models to the required extend prior to manifesting them in the ERP system.

Not only did leadership come out of the transformation with a modern business setup and solid underlying business case, but a €34 million boost to EBITDA and €18 million ledger of savings over the following three years provided a compelling narrative, prompting buy-in from the entire board of directors.


EBITDA impact


gross profit


savings over 2-3 years

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