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AFS to S/4HANA Migration for Leading Fashion Brand | Success Story

AFS to S/4 Fashion migration for a leading Fashion brand to drive operational efficiency

AFS to S/4HANA Migration

Our client manages the design, manufacture and supply of footwear for a major fashion brand. They are a British Global company with operations in 5 countries across 2 continents supplying a Global customer base from factories mainly in Asia. They were formed as a joint venture between 2 leading fashion organisations and having recently separated from their parent organization, they wanted to implement a new cloud-based ERP solution to autonomously manage their business. They wished to migrate from a legacy AFS system to the latest version of SAP S/4HANA for Fashion and Vertical Businesses, considering the superior functionality of S/4HANA and limited support life for AFS. They also wanted to standardize their business processes while exploring new analytics capabilities for key processes.

Major benefits realized by our client

  • Fastest completely remote implementation in just 8 months –deploying S/4HANA for Fashion, B/4HANA and SAC
  • Reduced custom developments from 93 to just 8 objects using a fit to standard approach, leveraging the superior functionality of S/4HANA for Fashion and Applexus’ consulting expertise. This allows for easy upgrades and faster adoption of additional functionality while reducing risk
  • Real-time insights through Embedded analytics deployed in key processes, providing dashboards that highlight critical information, enabling business to take immediate action
  • Increased order accuracy via Single business process - Simplified the primary business process to use a single approach for multiple scenarios, be they samples or factory orders via subtle document changes, reducing the risk of error by users


A leading UK Fashion brand


S/4HANA Fashion for Vertical Business, B/4HANA, SAC and InSITE (Vendor Invoice management solution)

At a glance

S/4 Fashion, B/4 HANA and SAC delivered across 8 countries, 100% remotely in just 8 months from Contract to Go Live.

  • Improved productivity through Reduced data maintenance - Multiple price files for different channels were reduced to a single price file which automatically adds the appropriate uplift, surcharges and royalties for the specific channel or scenario
  • Increased cost control - Managing price variance through analytics to track cost price variances throughout the products’ critical path, allowing the business to respond in real time
  • Efficiency through partner innovation – Deployed Applexus InSITE, our accounts payable automation solution, to process an additional 80% of invoices, with added capabilities to store and retrieve critical shipping-related documents

How we did it

Switching to a new ERP system is not a simple undertaking and requires a sound business case, careful planning and meticulous execution to ensure a successful and lower risk implementation. One of the primary concerns an organization has while undertaking an S/4 implementation is the ability to generate a quick return on their investment. Here’s how Applexus helped to incorporate enterprise-wide innovation through S/4HANA, ensuring a successful implementation on time, on budget and on scope.

Fit to standard approach to S/4HANA Fashion migration

Fit-to-standard involves implementing industry best practices to build a clean core solution that is agile, dynamic, and responsive to market challenges. However, issues in functionality and usability can force businesses to heavily customize causing multiple challenges during system upgrades. But SAP S/4HANA for Fashion, rich in functionality and with a superior user interface requires minimal customization. This allows for easy adoption of innovation and continuous improvements leading to a faster realization of business value and a lower total cost of ownership. We leveraged the fit-to-standard approach for our client’s S/4HANA, B/4HANA and SAP Analytics Cloud implementation. This helped deliver the solution much faster while ensuring a low cost of ownership and the ability to innovate on the standard solution.


Leveraging Pre-configured solutions

Along with fit to standard approach, leveraging pre-configured solutions and prebuilt collateral gives a head start to the implementation. Instead of starting from scratch, a pre-built working solution that includes business processes, supporting documentation and tools relevant to the planned scope saves a lot of time enabling a faster rollout.

With functional expertise in SAP implementations and in-depth knowledge of the fashion industry, Applexus has developed an industry focus solution for S/4HANA Fashion. A working demonstration of the solution was showcased to our client and pre-built user stories and workshop material were leveraged to identify areas in which they required additional changes. This drastically cut down on the custom developments and testing, enabling the project to be implemented well within the stipulated time.

Proven RunningStart Agile methodology

A proven and agile methodology is also critical to ensure a successful and quick completion of the project. Implementing the functionality in short sprints with the involvement of business users helps generate faster results and monitor the performance closely.

The Applexus RunningStart methodology that has its roots in agile principles was leveraged along with a global delivery model to deliver a faster and cost-effective S/4 implementation. It includes additional speed factors and risk mitigations above those provided by SAP Activate including accelerators for data migration, testing, training, and documentation. RunningStart provided a head start for our client’s S/4 migration while ensuring a smooth and successful implementation.

Our client wanted to be stand alone and off of their legacy AFS system provided as part of their temporary service agreement. This meant that the implementation had to be carried out in an agile manner while at the same time ensuring it was risk-free and successful. A fit to standard approach coupled with leveraging the Applexus industry focus solution for Fashion and our unique methodology meant that the project was completed in just 8 months and more importantly before the end of the temporary service agreement.

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