How S/4 HANA works in practice: 3 success stories

S/4 HANA is the name of the newest SAP platform and organizations are jumping on the bandwagon to implement it. We take you through three examples of how S/4 HANA has brought about change – and what changes exactly – in organizations.

Success Story #1

From 'Selling just a machine' to offering a whole new comprehensive service

Desired outcome of the organization
An equipment manufacturer wants to move to predictive maintenance and change its service business model; no longer selling equipment but selling a service.

Strategic decision(s)
This particular company recently executed a PoC on the S/4 HANA Cloud Platform and saw the potential benefits of making the move. It showed it can track the health of the customer’s fleet in real-time. The benefits have permeated into many different aspects of the company, and the prospect of more profit is on the horizon: from ‘selling just equipment’, they could offer an additional comprehensive service. How, you ask? Well, by using the Internet of Things (IoT): sensors have been inserted in their machines, and through the S/4 HANA Cloud Platform all data is gathered and processed.

Additionally, the transactional and master data from the back-end system as well as third-party data (e.g. weather information) have been combined to get the insight into the equipment they needed. This allows them to monitor exactly how the device is performing, see how much of the product is consumed and determine how long certain (parts of the) equipment can go before having to be replaced. The sensors and data allow the company to implement predictive maintenance: they simply know when a certain part is likely to need maintenance. Even better, a mechanic will already be on his way before the customer has logged a complaint.

The PoC showed that the new S/4 HANA technology can contribute to redefining their business and staying ahead of the game. It helps the company to identify up-sale opportunities and potentially improve overall customer service. In the long run, it could even help them redevelop their business model and move beyond predictive maintenance and the ability to offer their clients a service where they only pay-per-use, instead of paying for the entire machine.

The result: an enormous increase in customer satisfaction. The benefits for the organization are significant, too. The better insights into the state of their machinery allow them to optimize their logistics system and supply chain drastically, and reduce costs to ensure an overall efficient business process. To put it into numbers: the development time of machinery decreased by 15%, while the database response time increased fivefold.

Success Story #2

Taking the business model to a completely new level and position it in the market through implementing S/4 HANA

Targeted outcome of the organization
Consumer company supplying soda machines to the hospitality sector wanting to establish a connection with the end consumer.

Strategic decision(s)
Our second example is a consumer company supplying soda machines to the hospitality sector. Similar to the above-mentioned example, this company also wanted to utilize the Internet of Things in order to establish a connection with the end consumer. In addition to just make the product readily available, their key focus was to find out exactly who bought what at which machine; when machines would run out of (certain) sodas and effectively implement financial operations in the process.  

Having a holistic overview of points of contact and sales enables the organization to offer a customized supply to a specific outlet, i.e the exact sodas that people in that specific area prefer. Moreover, they are notified when machines need new stock, and gather valuable data that helps them decide whether or not a specific machine should be where it is. Thanks to S/4 HANA combining all data from the machine with the back-end data, they’re able to run a smoother and more efficient supply chain and an optimized end-to-end service.

Success Story #3

Digital healthcare for employees and customers

Targeted outcome of the organization
A global healthcare group looking to increase patient care by offering innovation services whilst also providing a more attractive working environment for home care nurses. 

Strategic decision(s)
The company faces several internal and external challenges. In addition to changes in overall demographics and patients becoming more aware of their own health and often wanting second opinions, the company also has to deal with complex internal processes and administrative work. What’s more, there is an expansion of legal and regulatory requirements. In order to tackle these obstacles, the company needs to move to an outcomes-based approach (as opposed to a product-based approach) embrace more real-time insights and documentation and avoid duplication of work. They turned to the S/4 HANA platform to redefine the home care sector.

By smoothing the transition from hospital to home care, ensuring a seamless information flow and having effective communication across the value chain while facilitating efficient documentation and billing, the company experienced an increased quality of care, more satisfied nurses and patients and increased value. Some details about the outcome: nurses need one hour less per day for their work; the back office receives 15 percent fewer inquiries and communication with patients has improved significantly through the digital communication means, such as video simulation.

More information? 
Interested to find out more about S/4 HANA benefits? Read our comprehensive article How S/4 HANA Transforms Your Organization into an Agile Survivor’

Author: Accenture the Netherlands