T.CON finalises system conversion to SAP S/4HANA at Perlen Packaging


Pharmaceutical blister films from Perlen Packaging (photo: Perlen Packaging)
Pharmaceutical blister films from Perlen Packaging (photo: Perlen Packaging)

T.CON GmbH & Co. KG from Plattling, Germany, an SAP Gold Partner, carried out the system conversion from SAP ERP to SAP S/4HANA version 1709 in only one step at Perlen Packaging, a subsidiary of Chemie + Papier Holding AG (CPH). This one-step approach enabled significant time and cost savings and only one downtime was necessary. Thanks to this and T.CON's know-how and structured approach, the project was completed within seven months. “Implementing a project of this complexity so quickly and smoothly deserves great respect,” says René Kuhn, head of IT at Perlen Packaging, commenting on the successful system conversion.

The commissioning of SAP S/4HANA in April 2018 was an important step on the way to becoming a digital company for Perlen Packaging, an internationally active manufacturer of pharmaceutical blister films. In addition, the ERP suite offers powerful functions for the integration, processing and analysis of mass data – keyword Big Data – as well as for forecasts and simulations. Business functions based on the principle-of-one concept, a lean data model and functions retrieved from the ERP core, such as from the SAP industry solution for Discrete Industries & Mill Products (DIMP), make processes “simpler”. Intuitive SAP Fiori interfaces offer a modern user experience and enable real-time access to data, key figures and processes - on the desktop or mobile via smartphone or tablet.

Perlen Packaging already benefits from the advantages of SAP S/4HANA in the financial sector. The ERP suite removes the separation between controlling and accounting, since all financial data is stored centrally in a repository and processed at the level of line items. The interaction of SAP S/4HANA with the manufacturing execution system MES CAT SUITE from T.CON also works smoothly. The full-service provider for SAP has already introduced the MES, which is installed locally on its own servers, at Perlen Packaging earlier.

For the system conversion, the experts from T.CON first of all made a system separation, since Perlen Packaging and Perlen Papier AG, another CPH subsidiary, jointly used the existing SAP ERP system. At the same time, they set up a secure sandbox environment with a system copy of the SAP system previously used. Here, the necessary preparatory work could be carried out separately from ongoing operations: the comparison of system settings against the “SAP S/4HANA Simplification List”, the custom code analysis for the adjustment requirements of customer-specific ABAP developments, the design of SAP S/4HANA Finance or the migration of customers and vendors to the business partner. Thanks to the Software Update Manager (SUM), the software upgrade to SAP S/4HANA 1709 and the switch to the SAP-HANA database took place in one go. After completion of the sandbox phase, the T.CON consultants carried out step-by-step system conversion for the development, quality assurance and production systems. After the go-live, users were able to continue working directly on SAP S/4HANA at the locations in Switzerland, Germany, China and the USA. Thanks to the offline capability of the MES CAT SUITE, there was no downtime in production and logistics.

René Kuhn draws a consistently positive conclusion: “With System Conversion to SAP S/4HANA we are prepared for further growth and the digital transformation with its challenges. The application suite is an important building block for a smart factory based on the concept of Industry 4.0 and for innovation projects relating to digital business processes and models.”