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Digital Supply Chain Consulting (SAP EWM) S/4 HANA – Marston’s Brewery

Admin September 23, 2020
 Building a robust business case & practical organisational change strategy for an SAP Digital Supply Chain & S/4 HANA transformation Rocket case study
Rocket proudly supported Marston’s, a leading British brewery, pub and hotel operator, to build a robust business case & practical organisational change strategy for their SAP Digital Supply Chain and S/4 HANA transformation.

Generating a clear transformation road map from SAP ECC to SAP S/4 HANA plus SAP Digital Supply Chain, though a confident SAP platform selection process and generation of business case.

The Challenge

Supporting the long-term business strategy, Marston’s embarked on a transition from SAP ERP to SAP S/4 HANA and SAP Digital Supply Chain (DSC), part of which included ‘Value Areas’ to provide additional benefit to the business through process re-engineering and/or taking advantage of new capabilities available in S/4 HANA and SAP DSC.

To ensure success, several key objectives were identified as needing to be delivered as part of the definition of this important transformation project:

  • Evaluation and selection of the appropriate SAP Warehouse Management System.
  • Definition of a transformation strategy, implementation approach timeline and budget, fully supporting transition to S/4 HANA and avoiding the business risk of a 'big bang' across the production and warehouse sites.
  • Identification and recommendation of S/4 HANA and SAP DSC capability to fulfil Value Areas and meet overall supply chain objectives.
    SAP EWM Mobile

The Solution

Taking a strategic decision to move to S/4 by 2025, the time required to do that for multiple sites meant Marston’s had to start the project in 2019. The technical renovation of their IT landscape was a large driver.

Other strategic drivers included efficiency and removal of supply chain pain points and bottle necks, increasing process automation and reduction of administration and operating expenditure.

Since Marston’s first invested in SAP and implemented SAP Warehouse Management System for their warehouse, production and distribution sites, they have more than doubled capacity and been through significant periods of sustained growth. Marston's WMS was not only at the end of it's life due to the move to S/4, but it was also no longer able to meet the supply chain and operational needs of the business—resulting in numerous inefficiencies.

In order to avoid a 'big bang' scenario, as part of their S/4 HANA roadmap Marston’s identified and focused on two key Digital Supply Chain value drivers to progress with at the start of their journey.

  1. Selecting the right platform or platforms to underpin the digital transformation.
  2. Understanding the organisational change journey. Specifically, how were Marston’s going to get six operational sites transitioned across to the new digital supply chain platforms with a minimal level or risk and a minimal level of business interruption? This meant not having a big bang scenario.

Business Outcomes

  • Marston’s reduced business risk by achieving a clear transformation and system implementation strategy.
  • Were confident in their SAP software platform selection – the organisation identified SAP EWM Advanced as the best fit strategically and tactically-aligned platform.
  • Creation of a well substantiated business case to secure Capex for the project, in the form of a process and detailed Evaluation and Strategy Report, demonstrating how the platforms support each of the strategic requirements, the extent to which each of the functional requirements are fulfilled, how the pain points will be mitigated, and highlights additional benefits to the business.
  • Generating a clear transformation road map from SAP ECC to SAP S/4 HANA plus SAP Digital Supply Chain

During the Warehouse Management System selection process, Marston’s were able to confidently evaluate and make an informed decision on the most appropriate SAP platform to meet their strategic needs. They were also able to demonstrate how this underpinned the business systems, operations and IT, demonstrating how the platform would meet the individual key functional requirements and deliver benefit as a key value driver of the S/4 transformation.

The decision and transparent recommendation criteria presented by Rocket were clearly understood by Marston’s and helping support the business case production and securing of Capex for the project. The evaluation process clearly demonstrated the benefits of EWM advanced being the recommended platform over and above the other possible solutions and allowed Marston’s to understand the incremental benefits of this platform over the other solutions.

The whole process demonstrated how an S/4 digital supply chain project and roll out could be implemented in parallel with their existing SAP ECC system and support a stable transition state that was fully future-enabled as and when they moved to S/4 and the ERP components. The process also supported a site-by-site implementation, avoiding 'big bang', lowest risk and interruption to the business.

Ultimately, Marston’s were very confident that the platform decision was the right one.

Business Outcomes Highlights

  • Marston’s were able to put forward and substantiate the platform decision and corresponding budgets, proving confidently how it would support value areas and business strategy.
  • They were able to demonstrate the time and resource required to support the transformation program supporting a prompt start.
  • They were able to justify the additional SAP platform and licence required.
  • Marston’s gained transparency and control of the decision-making process.

At Marston's we were planning our conversion to S/4 HANA from ECC6 and a particular issue related to our Warehouse Management System in SAP and the options around moving to SAP S/4 HANA. We initially engaged with Rocket Consulting in the summer of 2019 and after that they worked closely with us and helped us set out a roadmap ahead. From day one myself and others from Marston's IT had a good feeling about working with Rocket Consulting. Their people were really interested in our business and the consultants worked with were knowledgeable, courteous and professional. I'd certainly recommend working with Rocket Consulting - first class! 

- Phil Court, Head of Technology Delivery, Marston’s

June 2020

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