Knüppel switches from SAP R/3 to SAP S/4HANA

Business processes are becoming more and more digital. This is forcing companies to expand their IT system landscapes. But every system reaches its limits someday. This is why the packaging specialist Knüppel has migrated its SAP R/3 system landscape to SAP S/4HANA.

The customer

Knüppel is a medium-sized packaging specialist located in Hann. Münden, Germany, and is one of the leading providers of durable, innovative product packaging. As a successful family-owned company, Knüppel combines its years of experience with new technologies to provide its customers with customized packaging solutions that are precisely tailored to the relevant application. Optimized and technically seamless packaging processes, efficiency and environmental sustainability as well as the safety of the packaged goods are its most important considerations.

The challenge

The central challenge at Knüppel was its existing technology: over the years, the aging SAP R/3 platform with its connected SAP BW (Business Warehouse) had developed into a complex, heterogeneous system landscape that could no longer keep pace with growing requirements.

The company’s digital business processes were in increasing need of an agile, flexible system that could process large volumes of data at high speeds and prepare it for instant analysis. The necessary technical upgrades had to have the capacity to be seamlessly integrated into these structures as the company grew, established processes needed to be streamlined and performance problems in the production system eliminated. Moreover, the aim was for it to be easier to carry out analyses to improve functionality in the future.

The solution

Together with SAP and Lufthansa Industry Solutions (LHIND), Knüppel switched its existing SAP R/3 system landscape to SAP S/4HANA as a participant in the Early Adopter Care Program. The external Business Warehouse system was integrated into the HANA platform at the same time. While migrating data to HANA, Knüppel’s ABAP in-house developments were adapted to s/4 and optimized.

The switch to Unicode was carried out at the same time that the company switched from using a Windows platform to Linux OS. In addition, a new financial planning system with a statement of profit and loss and a cost-center planning system were introduced in the integrated Business Warehouse – using SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC) on the established user interface Analysis for Excel.

During upstream process analysis, Lufthansa Industry Solutions identified the customer-specific optimization potentials of S/4HANA together with Knüppel’s specialist departments. LHIND carried out all of the important steps during the project such as the technical release switch and conversions as well as migrations and adjustments to ABAP programs. Experts from LHIND also integrated the external SAP Business Warehouse into S/4HANA.

The customer benefit

Interview with Christian Graszt, CIO Knüppel Verpackung, about successfully collaborating with LHIND in the digitization process.

Knüppel now enjoys considerable advantages thanks to the sophisticated technological update. Going forward, it will be able to access data in the main memory much more quickly than on the Oracle-based R/3 platform. Moreover, management and all of the departments will always be up to date, because the significantly improved system performance will allow for complex reporting across many different data sources. This is added to by simplified system administration, fail-safe platforms thanks to in-memory technology and a consolidated system landscape as a result of the Business Warehouse integration.

During the project, Knüppel has benefited from Lufthansa Industry Solutions’ extensive experience carrying out upgrades and migrating SAP systems. Since 2012, the company has been gaining practical experience with SAP HANA platforms as part of SAP’s Custom Validation Initiative. LHIND’s ability to combine process and industry knowledge with an entrepreneurial mindset also benefited the packaging specialist.

We want to be able to keep meeting our own standards in the future as well. This is why we made the effort to switch to a modern, agile, flexible system landscape early on. We found the right partners in Lufthansa Industry Solutions and SAP.

Christian Graszt
CIO Knüppel Verpackung