The client is a major transportation company in the United States, operating a subsidiary that manages an extensive network across multiple states. The subsidiary effectively connects with other rail carriers and provides services to major container ports in the eastern US. The company is a key transporter of industrial products, including chemicals, metals, construction materials, agriculture, and forest products. Additionally, it operates the largest intermodal network in the East and is a principal carrier of coal, automobiles, and automotive parts.
The client was embarking on their S/4 Finance implementation and wanted a readiness assessment. The assessment aimed to provide recommendations for improving their processes and implementation roadmap for optimal Go-Live. The client selected Applexus to conduct the readiness assessment, and subsequently, Applexus was chosen to implement the S/4 Finance program.
Business Challenges & Objectives
The client relied on SAP ECC for nearly two decades and started the implementation of S/4HANA in 2019, which spanned four phases, including Finance, Procurement, Payroll, and Fixed Assets. However, despite partnering with a systems integrator, the Finance transformation faced multiple issues during the Go-Live phase. To address this, the client partnered with Applexus to conduct a comprehensive Finance Go-Live readiness assessment with the following objectives:
- Identify process improvement areas in Finance that will reduce the overall risk to the S/4HANA Finance Go-Live milestone
- Identify SAP best practices and standard S/4HANA capabilities that may have been missed during the development of the S/4 Finance solution
- Perform a code review to identify opportunities to optimize the solution performance
- Create an implementation roadmap for the S/4 Finance Go-Live
Finance Go-Live readiness assessment
At a glance
A client was seeking a consulting firm to review their Finance and Analytics solution and minimize potential risks to the Finance Go-Live milestone. Applexus conducted a comprehensive Finance Go-Live readiness assessment, including recommendations on Finance Functional aspects, reporting and analytics, RICEFWs, Data Migration, Security, and Basis. The assessment provided a consolidated scope and a timeline for quick wins and actionable items for Pre-Go-Live, during Go-Live, and Post Go-Live.
Applexus conducted a thorough 6-week Finance Go-Live readiness assessment, where we assessed various aspects including Finance Functionality, Reporting and Analytics, RICEFWs, Data Migration, and Security. Based on our assessment, we provided actionable recommendations to optimize the overall solution. Our recommendations focused on leveraging SAP standards and best practices across all relevant scope areas, aiming to enhance the solution's quality and effectiveness. Additionally, we suggested specific remediation efforts to address identified gaps and ensure compliance with organizational requirements and industry standards. We provided a consolidated scope based on the assessment including a timeline for quick wins and actionable items for Pre-Go-Live, Go-Live, and Post-Go-Live stages, ensuring timely improvements.
Furthermore, we developed a plan and calendar of activities with a series of workshops to validate the Finance Go-Live design and facilitate solution remediation in readiness for the new target Go-Live. Through these workshops, stakeholders engaged in productive discussions, validations, and adjustments to ensure that the Finance module aligned with the organization's requirements and goals. The calendar provided a clear schedule and identified topics, fostering effective collaboration among stakeholders.
Applexus’ Finance Go-Live readiness assessment provided comprehensive insights into the current state of the Finance implementation. Our recommended actions, consolidated scope, timeline, workshop calendar, and proposed S/4 Finance implementation collectively aimed to drive a successful Go-Live and ensure a high-quality, optimized solution for the organization's Finance operations.
Key Findings and Benefits Delivered
- Enhanced processes across Finance modules (GL, AP, AR, GR, TR, FSCM) through the implementation of 70+ scope items for quick wins
- Leveraged SAC's "New Data Model" to improve reporting and analytics capabilities
- Identified over 700 improvement opportunities based on analysis of 250+ RICEFW objects
- Re-evaluated data validation rules before the final validation by the business team
- Reduced manual effort in managing Segregation of Duties (SOD) overlap and streamlined IT operations in Identity Management (IDM) to maintain grouped roles while leveraging standard SAP S/4 roles
- Analyzed custom Z* objects, addressing heap memory allocation issues and rectifying the Enqueue replication configuration
- Provided a roadmap for a successful go-live with S/4 Finance by October, leveraging SAP best practices and standard SAP functionality
- Established a solid foundation for upcoming phases, including the Procurement and Payroll implementations